Published March 6, 2020

CHENGDU, China — Wen-Jian Han, 87, former resident of Melrose, Mass., passed away from cancer on March 1, 2020 in Chengdu, China. He was born in Shenyang, Shaanxi, China in March 1933.

In 1950, he received two medals for his good work and his service as a courier. Wen-Jian studied geology at Northwest University in Xi’an where he met his wife Ju-Fen. After graduation, they worked for the Sichuan Petroleum Institute and were married in 1958. They surveyed remote mountain areas for seven months each year from 1956 to 1973. Wen-Jian’s team explored 100 counties in three provinces of China. They discovered an 18-foot dinosaur skeleton, which later was exhibited in a museum.  

Later, Wen-Jian served as the assistant director of the institute and became chairman of his labor union. He listened to complaints from workers and helped advise them, and later, served as a consultant. At home, he woke up early from Monday to Saturday and prepared breakfast for his family but liked to sleep late on Sundays until almost noon. In their retirement, Wen-Jian and Ju-Fen visited friends and family. They visited their daughters’ families in the United States and helped watch their grandchildren, and then returned to Chengdu for time with their son and friends in China.  

Wen-Jian enjoyed watching Beijing Opera, reading newspapers, stamp collecting, and taking neighborhood walks. While in the U.S., he and his wife enjoyed visiting playgrounds and parks with their grandchildren including the Melrose Common, Pine Banks Park, and Breakheart Reservation and family trips to Acadia National Park, Niagara Falls, and Newfound Lake in Bristol, New Hampshire to visit their daughter Yi’s family at Cheerful Garden Chinese Restaurant, recently renovated and reopened by new owners as the Very Excellent Chinese Restaurant.  

Wen-Jian was predeceased by his father Yan-Jian Han and his mother Zheng, brother Wen-Su and sister Wen-Xiu of China. He is survived by his wife Ju-Fen Guan and son Jie Han of Chengdu, China; daughter Ying and son-in-law Anthony Brach of Melrose, grandsons Jonathan of Batavia, N.Y., Richard of Burlington, Vt., and Joseph of Melrose; daughter Yi and son-in-law Chih-Hua Pao, grandchildren Jay and Jasia of Duluth, Georgia, and nephews and nieces in China and the United Kingdom.  

Visitation and interment in China was private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Wen-Jian’s name may be made to Catholic Relief Services (, St. Mary of the Annunciation Church in Melrose (, the International Committee of the Red Cross ( or your favorite charity.