(CNN) – During the eulogy for his mother, Adrian Wong told mourners that Carol Tan Wong passed away from stage four lung cancer.
Adrian was “supposed” to be the only speaker, but suddenly a man who was a stranger to the family came forward and started making impromptu remarks.
The man, David Small of Quincy, said, “I’m not affected by this, but I see smoke in the Asian churches so prevalent that I gag when I go outside. I hope what I told you about smoke in churches is not taken in offense. I mean it’s your culture.”
Small attended the service with his girlfriend, who he said is Asian. A funeral director finally told him to sit down.
Adrian said, “I found it very offensive, and I think the community should as well. We found it wildly inappropriate to kind of use broad comment about the entire community.”
Small acknowledged that he is outspoken and the funeral home was an inappropriate location to bring it up, but his message was “There’s a high rate of smoking in the Asian community and they burn incense in their churches, and that’s a health risk.”
Adrian noted, “I think that he owes us an apology; not just to me, but the entire community.”
Small said he admits that he was wrong, and sends a heartfelt apology to the Wong family.