Bellevue artist Lillian Yeh, a former Federal Way employee, dies in moped crash

Lillian Yeh is pictured with her son, David. - Courtesy of Runa Nakayama
Lillian Yeh is pictured with her son, David.
— image credit: Courtesy of Runa Nakayama

Lillian Yeh, a Bellevue resident and former City of Federal Way employee, died in a moped accident while vacationing with her family in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

While riding a moped on April 13, Yeh crashed into the right rear side of a truck, according to Tribuna de la Bahía, a Spanish-language newspaper. Although she had been wearing a helmet, Yeh fell into a coma and died the next day from head trauma. She was 48. Yeh's husband, Joe Welch, and son, David Welch, were with her in Mexico.

Yeh worked for the City of Federal Way for about five years in economic development and tourism promotion. She left the city when her position was cut at the end of 2010. Patrick Doherty, director of economic development, translated information from the Mexican newspaper for this report. He had hired Yeh and praised her work in the Federal Way business community.

"She was a good representative for the city," said Doherty, noting that Yeh was one of the central forces in the creation of the Buds and Blooms Festival. "She was very hard working and enthusiastic. … We've never been able to fill her shoes."

According to Susan G. Komen for the Cure Puget Sound, Yeh joined Komen Puget Sound in September as an advocacy intern, and was instrumental in organizing the proclamations of Breast Cancer Awareness Month among local county governments. She also helped coordinate January's Advocacy Day in Olympia.

Yeh was also an accomplished artist who specialized in watercolors. According to the "about the artist" section on her website, she wrote: "There is no greater pleasure for me to translate what I see in nature onto paper using beautiful watercolors. … I try to create pieces that capture the essence of the subject, so that the viewer will fall in love upon every viewing."


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