Breckenridge Texan

Khay Khvan

Khay Khvan
April 28
15:00 2020

Khay Khvan, 79, of Breckenridge, Texas, passed away Saturday, April 25, 2020. Visitation will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. on Friday, May 1, 2020, at the Melton-Kitchens Funeral Home. A funeral service for all family, friends, and community members will be held in the Melton-Kitchens Chapel of Memories beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 2. A reception will be held immediately after the service at Ezell Aviation.

Khay was born June 8, 1940, to Chhun Khvan and Khut Penn in Ponhea Lueu, in the Kandal Province of Cambodia. Khay grew up in Ponhea Lueu, Kandal, and married his wife of almost 58 years, Kuntheary Kong, on July, 21, 1963. Khay was awarded the prestigious Livret Scolaire through the Royaume Du Cambodge University and received a full scholarship to Brisbane, Australia, to complete his education in electrical engineering. His degree paved the path to his love for aeronautics. He served in the Cambodian Royal Army from 1970-1973. Khay spoke English, Khmer (Cambodian) and French fluently which proved valuable during the years he worked as a journalist/reporter for The Mainichi Newspapers a company based in Tokyo, Japan in 1971. In early 1973, Khay, as a self-taught aircraft mechanic, worked for Intanu Airlines, an American company based in Phnom Penh. It is here that Khay met an American Airforce Captain who helped him and his family escape the Khmer Rouge during the Vietnam War. On April 4, 1975, he made the difficult decision to flee his beloved war torn country. After a brief stay in a concentration camp in Utapao, Thailand, Khay and his wife and children were repositioned to Camp Pendleton in San Diego, California. He and his family were sponsored by Jean and Jim Rominger to Breckenridge later that year as the first Cambodian family to establish their life here.

Khay and his wife have been pillars in the Breckenridge community for the last 45 years where he established his career at Breck Airways with Howard Pardue until 1986 where he then pivoted to work at Ezell Aviation. Nelson Ezell and Khay together, worked to establish Ezell Aviation and build the business into what it is what it is today. Khay retired from Ezell Aviation in 2012. Khay’s favorite hobbies were restoring antique cars with his only son, gardening with his beloved wife, caring for his beloved pets and fishing with his wife. Khay cherished the quality time he got to spend with his wife, children and beloved granddaughter.

He is preceded in death by his first born son, Samnang Chhun Khvan of Ponhea Lueu, Cambodia; his sister, Sokhan Khvan of Ponhea Lueu, Cambodia; and his parents, Chhun Khvan and Khut Penn of Ponhea Leue, Cambodia.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Kuntheary Khvan of Breckenridge, Texas; his oldest daughter, Yuthchenda Chhun Khvan Peterson and husband Matthew John Peterson and granddaughter, Emily Grace Peterson of McKinney, Texas; his middle son, Sambo Chhun Khvan of Henderson, Nevada; his youngest daughter, Jeanette Chhun Khvan of Argyle, Texas; and his youngest brother, Khun Khvan of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Memorial can be made in Khay’s memory at the choice of the donor and be left at the Melton-Kitchens Funeral Home. Online condolences may be made at www.meltonkitchens.com

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