Chow, Rhoda Y.

December 13, 1925 - June 17, 2013

Rhoda Y. Chow born December 13, 1925 passed away surrounded by her family on the 17th of June, 2013. She was a devoted wife, loving mother and cherished grandmother. She had an independent spirit and was a woman of grace, character, resilience and integrity. She made lasting friendships wherever she went and touched the lives of those she met in many different ways. She is survived by: her husband of 61 years Wen Chow, 6 children, and 12 grandchildren.

A private ceremony for the family will be held to celebrate her life. In lieu of flowers, if you are so inclined, please make any donations to the “Wen Chow Fellowship Fund” of the University of Illinois Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering @

or via address and/or phone:

Wen Chow Fellowship Fund c/o The University of Illinois Foundation • Harker Hall • 1305 West Green Street Urbana, IL 61801, 217.333.0675

Arrangements are under the direction of ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home 19310 Preston Road, Dallas, Texas 75252, 214-306-6700.


Rhoda Chow’s husband, Wen Lung Chow, passed away on September 20, 2013.

Click here to view his obituary:

49 replies on “Chow, Rhoda Y.”

Linda Kuo says:

I grew up with the Chows in my early childhood. My most wonderful memories are the times I’ve spent with them––playing games, and just hanging out. As a family they were forever (and to this day) fun loving, engaging, and accepting. It felt like my second home, and I was always excited at the idea of going there to play. All 6 of them are a wonderful testimony to the grace and presence of their parents, who I remember were always warm and welcoming. My most sincere condolences to their family as I extend my most heartfelt sympathies for their loss. Love, Linda Kuo

Eric Wilson says:

Chow family,

I am so sorry for your loss. If there is anything we can do please let us know. You all are in our thoughts and prayers and may the comfort and peace of Christ shower down on you all.

Lori Kuo Dillon says:

It is with immense sadness that I express my heartfelt condolences to Uncle Wen, Marie, Jimmy, Jan, Angela, Chris, and Greg. I have many fond childhood memories of the happy times our families spent together eating dinner and playing games. I remember Auntie Rhoda always had a smile on her face despite the large group of kids running around. She always made me feel warm and welcome and the closeness our families shared long ago continues despite the miles between us. May the graciousness your family has extended to others over the years lift you up during this time. Keeping you close in my heart and prayers. Love, Lori Kuo Dillon

Julia Chen says:

So sad we lost our generous, kind, gentle and dear, dear friend Rhoda.
My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

The photo in the obituary is a very good one, looking sweet, cheerful and
intelligent young lady. She will be missed by all who knew her. She had
gently touched many lives.

God Bless.


Sara Lo says:

HELLO ! My family and I are very sorry for your loss. Your mother was something like a second mother to many of the children that grew up with you in Champaign-Urbana. Children loved to visit with you , they looked forward to it. There was a lot of game playing and on top of all there were those tasty meals that your mother prepared with much love. She never complained or mind the hard work. She always appeared relaxed and comfortable regardless of the responsibility of raising a big family. She is now gone ….. She has pain no more …… She is being welcome by God …… SHE IS IN A BETTER WORLD ………. May she rest in peace !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Raymond Hu says:

My Mom and Dad feel so sorry to lose their sister and they are deeply saddened by the news of her death. They know that this is a dreadful shock for your family, but would hope that your Dad and you will come back from the deep sorrow soon.

With deepest sympathy to you and all your family.

Raymond sent for my Mom and Dad

Raymond & Yongkai Hu says:

Today we heard that you had lost your mother, our aunt Rhoda. We know the the suddenness of it must have been a dreadful shock, and we just can’t tell you how saddened we are by the news, and how deeply we feel for you in your sorrow.

Raymond and I hope that time will quickly soften the blow, and leave you only cherished memories.

With deepest sympathy to you and all your family.


Raymond and Yongkai

Christina Kuo Graham says:

Ditto on everything my sisters, Linda Kuo and Lori Dillon, expressed and more.

Whenever Uncle Wen and Auntie Rhoda would invite us over to their home, my two sisters and I would look at each other and say, “Yeah!”

Auntie Rhoda always epitomized to me a beautiful blend of strength and gentleness. To raise six kids who excelled in everything and to help them achieve their dreams given all their diverse gifts and talents… that spoke volumes to me. Every time she would open the front door upon our arrival, we would be greeted with a tranquil spirit and beautiful smile (just like in her picture above).

An event I will never forget, that embodies who Auntie Rhoda and Uncle Wen are occurred last year, when despite their fragile health, they flew all the way to Champaign-Urbana, IL to visit their long time friends. My father had 4th stage cancer at the time and was quite weak but when he discovered the Chows were coming, he saved his energy to attend the special dinner. My mother told me that there was a brief moment when Uncle Wen and Auntie Rhoda looked over to my dad and despite the frailty of their condition, so much was said in the kindness of their eyes. Mom said dad smiled back because he knew what they were saying from the heart.

I was told near the end of the dinner, Jim, Chris and Greg kneeled or sat by my dad and gave him wonderful words of encouragement like, “You can beat it (the cancer) Uncle Ben!” Mom said dad came home inspired.

When my father passed away a year ago, most of the Chows came to his Memorial Service. They made time and drove hours. In the midst of our sorrow, their presence was so uplifting. Makes me want to cry just writing about it.

Auntie Rhoda’s greatest legacy is her family and her vibrant spirit lives through each one of them as they continue to make the eternal difference in this world.

A sunset on earth is merely a sunrise in heaven. Auntie Rhoda is now making her yummy baozis with Daddy in heaven. We SO look forward to the time when heaven comes down to earth and the great Homecoming celebration will begin.

Mom and all of us send our prayers and love.


Priscilla and George Yu says:

We will always remember Rhoda from the time we arrived in Illinois. She was so kind and hospitable to us in introducing us to her friends. Her heart was big and kind. I remember when my Mother retired in Champaign, Rhoda quickly invited her to meet her friend. Rhoda was a role model as a wife and mother. She was a strong woman and held on to independent viewpoints. We will always cherish her kindness, love, and friendship. She will be deeply missed.

Blessings and Love,

Priscilla and George Yu

Jeff Denniston says:

I didn’t know Mrs. Rhoda Chow personally but I know her son Chris. Children are so often a reflection of the character of their parents, so I can say that Rhoda must have been a wonderful and honorable mother when reflected in the life of her son. My heartfelt sympathies to the Chow family as you grieve.

Marilyn & Carl Holland says:

Wonderful Chow Family who were our neighbors: As we think of all the great memories, the one that stands out -above those already listed- is your mother’s egg rolls that she shared with us each Christmas. We continue to rate her’s at the top of our list. Our thoughts, prayers, and love to each of you. Marilyn and Carl Holland

The Patterson Family says:

Dear Chow Family,
We are so sorry to hear of your loss. We know you will miss her terribly. Our heartfelt sympathies to each of you. You will be in our thoughts and prayers.
The Patterson Family

Lisa Yeh says:

On behalf of my mother and family, we heard with great sadness of the passing of Auntie Rhoda and we extend our sympathy to the Chow family.

I have many fond memories of times spent together with Uncle Chow, Auntie Rhoda, Marie, Jim, Jan, Angela, Chris, and Greg. Auntie Rhoda was always so welcoming, I loved going over to her home for games of cards, delicious food, and fun times. She always had a friendly smile and warm welcoming manner. My mother enjoyed the weekend Mahjong get-togethers.

Our heartfelt condolences to all the Chow family at this sad time. May happy memories from the past help carry you through.

May Auntie Rhoda rest in peace.

Nan Ouyang says:

I first met my Aunt when my Uncle and Aunt visited China in 1979 after 30 years. I came to US in that same year in December; I did not speak much English at the time and I met 6 of my cousins for the first time. Auntie was like my mother to me. She is so sweet and kind. She treated me like one of her own children. Without her, there will be no Nan today. She thought me so much that made me who I am today. After my mom passed away 2009, she called me and comforted me. She is an angel and heaven is lucky to have her.

Our prayers and condolences go to Chow’s family.

Ouyang’s family: Zhineng, Wendy, Nan, Feng
Hua’s family: Chih Yang, Jonathan, David

Tom and Donna Farrington says:

Dear Minda and Jim

So sorry to hear about your Mom.

After almost 30 of our lives being intertwined, this is a loss for us for well. We knew of her mostly through you and your stories of family life. She is now in Heaven with the Father and we will remain connected through the Holy Spirit. How wonderful our lives have been and will be for all knowing one another!

What a blessing she has been to have lived a good life, to have brought forth a wonderful family, and to have been a example to many. While her passing is a loss, her example has been such a gain in the lives of so many. There will not be nor has there been a Thanksgiving that will go by where we wont have your Mom in out thoughts. Her turkey recipe lives on in the kitchens of many !

In Christ and with sympathy,

Tom and Donna

Jim and Paula Stark says:

Hi Jim

Minda called last night and told us that your mom died yesterday afternoon. On behalf of Paula and myself, please accept our sincerest condolences. Losing a parent is difficult because of the rush of emotions that overwhelm you. Although there is a sense of relief that they are no longer suffering, sadness seems to overwhelm as the memories of your mom keep playing in your head. I think we also get jolted with the realization of our own mortality. We believe and we pray in the hope that our lives continue on in a better, happier place.

I will connect in person with you when we get back from Europe.

God Bless, Jim and Paula

Ken and Sharon Wolgemuth says:

Dear Jim, I was so sad to hear of your dear mother’s transition through the pearly gates. Sad for you, but thankful for her at the same time. I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that our prayers will be with you during this time of grieving. Thank you Minda for your call yesterday about Jim’s mom. I am so glad we had opportunity to meet her at Becky and Aaron’s wedding. She was a wonderful lady and I know will be missed. Our prayers are with you all. God bless you and comfort you and your extended families.

Sharon and Ken

Monette Droppa says:

My heart and prayers go to the Chow family during this difficult time. I will always remember Mrs. Chow’s kindness and hospitality when we came to Champaign for Jim and Minda’s wedding and especially seeing her being a loving grandma to Chrissie, Becky, Caroline and Kelsey.

Much love to you all….Monette

Beatrice Y. Fung says:

My husband John and I had the greatest fortune to meet Rhoda and Wen-lung many years ago. They welcome us into their lives and hearts and we became close friends. Rhoda was unfailingly kind, generous, loving and dignified. Her capacity to give and forgive was beyond measure. The six children Wen and Rhoda raised are equally wonderful and so accomplished, that
I even joked with her once that they should have six more kids to make this world a better place.

She was a dear friend, a great role model. We will miss her more than words can express.

Love to the whole Chow family,

Beatrice and John

Chuanpu Hu says:

It was deeply saddening to hear the pass away of Aunt Rhoda. I will always cherish the fond memories of her, dating back from over 30 years ago and when I visited the family in 1980 and later. She was strong and yet kind, optimistic and loving, and nice to spend time with. May she rest well in heaven.

Sincere condolences to the Chow family,

Clara Chao says:

I am really sorry for the passing of your mother. We all loved her, she was a great person. She will be missed and I will always remember her dearly.


Mary LaRose says:

Mrs Chow will be missed…but she will be held in your hearts. At times in the years to come you will think of a funny thing she said or a special meal she made and remember her so fondly. I can still see her teaching my Christopher how to play chess. Very patiently she instructed him on how each piece could move. She encouraged and praised him. She then pronounced, “smart boy!” I was lucky to get to go to the Chow home in Champaign and see that family enjoying each other and partake in some wonderful Chinese meals. Mothers are our first teachers and she made her mark! Well done Mrs. Chow.

Please know that we are all thinking of you.

Much love,
Mary, Bob and Margaret

Tiffany Vara says:

Dear Jan,

Thank you so much for letting us know about your mom’s passing.

After reading her obituary, I can only hope to live the way she did, and have my children write such beautiful words about me after I leave. “Grace, character, resilience, integrity….” Wow. You were blessed to have such a mother – but you already knew that.

I hope that you all will find strength and joy in each other in these difficult days of transition for all of you.

Much love,
Tiffany Vara and family

Victoria Fung says:

I was deeply saddened to hear of Aunt Rhoda’s passing. My memories from childhood are still so vivid, especially the fun-filled gatherings at the Chows’ home in Champaign, IL. I recall the big house, the spectacular parties and the delicious food she cooked.

Aunt Rhoda was an amazing woman: tough when she had to be, but always warm, generous and compassionate. Alongside Uncle Wen, she was perhaps the single most important compass in the lives of her six children, leading by example with integrity and grace. It’s no surprise that the Chow kids have all grown up to be outstanding individuals.

To the Chow family: Please accept my heartfelt condolences. I know she meant the world to you. I know her love has left an indelible imprint on you all that will continue to influence for the better every act, thought and decision you make. Her love endures.

Much love,
Victoria Fung

Mary Miller says:

Hi Minda, Jim, & family,

We are so sorry to learn of Grandma Chow’s passing and your loss, especially for Jim’s dad. Please be assured of our prayers for God’s strength and comfort in the days ahead. Thank you also for the email of earlier in June, sharing details & photo of the girls’ graduations. Life is a mix of joys & grief but we can rest in His promise of being the same yesterday, today, & forever….

With our prayers & love,
Mary for Marr
[email protected]

James Beberman says:

Dear Chow Family,

On behalf of the Beberman family, I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your mom, a truly wonderful woman. I have so many fond memories of her from my days growing up in Champaign. I remember her being very welcoming when I would stop by the house, often times unannounced. It seems every time I came over to watch an Illini game she would quickly put together a batch of her famous “bear meat” nuggets for us to enjoy, I think because she knew how much I liked them. Those were the best. I have never since eaten a Chinese dumpling that could match up to those that she made.

Many times she and Uncle Wen told me I was like another son to them, which was very kind. Auntie Rhoda was to me very much like a second mother to me during those days. Her spirit and warm hospitality is very evident in her six children.

Bonnie Liu says:

Dear Chow Family:
Our sincere sympathies to you on the passing of Auntie Rhoda. It is with great fondness we recall the times we spent at the Chow’s home in Champaign… we were all much younger then, and how carefree life was! What a wonderful community to have been a part of, with Auntie Rhoda and Uncle Wen-lung at the heart of it all.

It’s been many years since we last saw each other but we know your family is so close and supportive of one another, which is such a blessing at times like this. Auntie Rhoda surely must have been so proud of the great kids she had… and all those grandkids, too!

Please know we’re thinking of you,
Bonnie & family

Ellison Family says:

Dear Chow Family:

We are so sorry for you loss. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Tim, Jennifer, Elizabeth, and Rachel Ellison

John and Frances Spriet says:

Dear Chow family,
As our family has grown up in school and church, we know how close you all are and the deep relationship you have with your parents. Although she will be missed deeply in this life, it is comforting to know you will see each other again where no tears, pain or sorrow will exist and we will see our Almighty God. A very comforting book Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo gives a small glimpse of the great reunion we will have one day. Love, the Spriet Family

Crystal Ying Zhou Schmitt says:

We are so sorry to hear the passing of Auntie Rhonda. Our heartfelt condolences to uncle Wen and the whole family. Even though I only had chance to meet Auntie Rhonda in person several times, her kindness and warmth were so lasting that I can still vividly remember her greetings and smiles. We will miss her so much!

Crystal Schmitt, along with Larry, Angela and Linda Schmitt

Elizabeth Liu says:

I met Rhoda in 1949 when we were both college students from China,and latter became room-mates at our part time job at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati,Ohio. After all these years that I have known her,she is a strong will woman with great courage to face any difficulties of cultural differences to solve problems with futuristic view. In the mean time, she offered human,understanding,and loving support.

With these attributes she raised six children—-two M.D.s,two PHDs and two masters. She is a pillar behind her 61 years husband WenLung.She is a great lady and will be missed by all.

May God bless her soul and her loving family. Love, Elizabeth Liu.

Yan Yong says:

Under the support of my uncle and aunt, I came to the US in 1982. Since then, they had treated me as their own child and played the parents’ role at every important stage of my life in the US. Auntie was a great mother and great aunt, who not only raised six wonderful children, but also gave unconditional loves to her nephews and nieces, most of them coming from Uncle’s side.

I had frequent interactions with Auntie during the 17 years she and Uncle lived in South Florida. I had always admired her courage and strength when dealing with difficult situations. One particular example was at the time Auntie was diagnosed with cancer. My wife and I went to their house immediately after hearing the news. Still in shock, we did not know what to say to comfort her. Instead, Auntie broke the awkward atmosphere by saying that the cancer did not matter to her because she already had almost 70 years of good life. She then even proposed that the four of us play cards. Her upbeat spirit actually comforted all of us. Later, we were all happy to see her beating the odds and enjoying the next 20 years.

I feel so lucky to have known such a great person like Auntie, who made a difference in my life. I will forever cherish her memory with fondness.

Yan, Yiling and Valeda

Eric Yang says:

I’ll never forget Auntie Rhoda’s warm smile and welcoming air. She is in some of my earliest memories which are also some of my fondest. I still remember carpooling with Auntie Rhoda and Greg to swim lessons over at Centennial High. What fun we had. I spent a lot of time at the Chow home throughout my formative years and I owe a little something to Auntie Rhoda, Uncle Chow and the Chow kids. You are all in my thoughts. Love, Eric.

Julie Lutzel Klockenga says:

To the Chow Family,
I am so sorry to hear the loss of Rhoda. I have so many wonderful memories of living next door to you for many years. I also can remember the wonderful smells at dinner time. She shared with my mom many wonderful recipes that I now cook for my family. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

Jing Hua says:

We are saddened to hear about the loss of our sister-in-law, Rhoda. As we all see in our own eyes, Rhoda was a great mom and wonderful wife. She made great efforts to raise and educate their six children, and each of them has turned out to be an excellent and well-accomplished individual. With her devotion, dedication and full support, my brother has achieved a great deal in his brilliant professor career and enjoyed a very happy family life.

Our sister-in-law Rhoda was sweet, generous, thoughtful and warm-hearted. Without her and my brother’s assistance, I would not be living here in America. We are fortunate to have such a loving and caring person in our family.
Nowadays, many sweet memories of our family reunions and our visits to their home come flooding back again and again. Every time we got together, we were happy, relaxed and enjoyed being around our sister-in-law. We will miss her and remember her always.

The heartfelt condolences from:
Yuan Xiang, Jing Hua, Jin, Ping and their families

Hu Zhou says:

It was a big shock to all of us to learn that we lost our Aunty.
Aunty had been a special member in our family in my very early memory. The scenario of her first visit to China with Uncle in 1979 still often comes to my view. Since then I have known that Aunty is a person I can talk with and would like to talk with. A few years later I came to US to enter graduate school. Aunty’s concerns, advices, and encouragements were with me over the next 32 years, when I was facing choices, frustrated, under pressure, and in progress.
Every time when my
mother saw the photos of Uncle and Aunty, she always praises the devotion of Aunty, her supports to her husband and children, and many of our relatives and family friends. Although to manage a family of 6 children and had each of them well educated with only the salary from Uncle would be impossible without her frugal housekeeping, Aunty was very generous to other people. Together with Uncle, Aunty contributed a number of top scientific and medical doctors to the world, realized the dreams of many other families. Aunty’s wisdom demonstrated from her philosophy and her way of dealing with life, in big decisions and in everyday activities. She is highly respected in our family, and among her friends, from all the aspects.
Aunty is a figure of always kind, warm, confident, and reliable. She had clear memory of all the family members of her nephews and nieces, including our spouses and children. She knew what each of them is doing and what his/her last accomplishments are. My wife and both my children received a lot of love from Aunty and love Aunty greatly.
Aunty is the center of harmonics of our family. Losing her is a great sorrow for us. But her smile and love will stay in our heart forever.

Alex Fung says:

My most vivid memory of Auntie Rhoda is that she was the most gracious hostess. Whether we were at the house in Windsor Park, or a restaurant, she would always come over and ask me (no matter what age I was), “Did your mommy and daddy feed you? Would you like something to eat?” She always took care of everyone, no matter how many people were around — and that basement sure did hold A LOT of people. Rest in peace, Auntie. You will be missed by all.

Harris and Betty Chien says:

Our sincere condolence to you and family. We share your loss and we will miss her.

Her capacity of love and generosity touched many. We are so blessed to be in the path of her life. I understand that the funeral service is private to honor her wishes of simplicity. This was her style of humility, always considerate and loving of others.

May good memories of her keep you in peace and knowing that she is in a better place and we will see her in our heavenly father’s home one day.

Take care during this period of mourning. We will keep in touch.

Randy Yang says:

I was saddened by Rhoda’s passing. She has been a great friend, kind, generous and wise. I will always cherish the happy memories we shared in our 52 years’ friendship. My thoughts are with all of you! Hope time and happy memories will lessen your pain and sorrow.

With deepest sympathy,

Placid Ferreira says:

Dear Professor Chow,

On behalf of the Department of Mechanical Science of Engineering, please accept my deepest sympathy in regards to the passing of Mrs. Chow. She was a friend and supporter of the department and the University of Illinois. I am very sorry for your loss. Our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.

With deepest sympathy,

Placid Ferreira
Head, Mechanical Science of Engineering,
University of Illinois

Jing Hwa & Yuan Luo says:


We really miss you and think about you alot. Don’t be too sad, take care of yourself and if you need to go see a doctor, go see a doctor. I think that Rhoda would hope the same for you. We started with ten of us brothers and sisters. Now there are only you, Jing Yu, and me – three of us left behind. We’re old and feeble. Living until this age isn’t easy.

We really miss the time spent with you and Rhoda and your home was like my home. How we ended up in the US right now is because of you and Rhoda, your help, your love and generosity.

Thank you. All your kids take good care of you and Chris and Linda can come to see you very often. They are all a blessing to you.

Julie Chen says:

Dear Wen and Family,

Still remember vividly Rhoda’s first phone call to us within one week of our arrival in Champaign-Urbana in August 1969. She said “I’m Rhoda, and I remember meeting your (now) husband in 1952 at the University of Illinois.” She invited us to the first feast dinner in your home of many, many more until much later you moved to Florida. We all are very sad we lost Rhoda. May God comfort us all.

Kong-Ling Yang says:

Our deepest sympathy. We will remember Rhoda and all the nice times with her.

The Yeh Family says:

Dear Uncle Chow, Marie, Jim, Jan, Angela, Chris, Greg and all of your extended families,

It is with great sadness that we heard about the passing of Auntie Rhoda. She was and continues to be a part of every life she touched, including that of the whole Yeh family. We recall with gladness in our hearts the many happy memories of growing up together in Champaign. We offer our thoughts and prayers to all of you at this time of sorrow.

The Yeh Family

Michael Fung says:

Dear Uncle Wen,

I was sorry to hear that Aunt Rhoda passed away. I have many happy memories of the times my sister and I spent in your homes. Aunt Rhoda always went out of her way to make us feel like we belonged there. She was patient, but firm when we misbehaved.

I hope these happy reflections might help lift your sadness.


Jing Xiong and Family says:

Dear Uncle and Family:
Words fall short of expressing my sorrow, I still remember the days when Aunt was in Wuhan in Year 1998. And I still use the kitchenware she gave to cook everyday, I miss her so much. Just know that my arms are wrapped around you

Thomas J. Dougherty says:

Please accept my condolences to your family during this time. May God Bless your family and the soul of your beloved family member Wen Chow.

Lee Aalund says:

I am so sorry to learn of your mom’s passing. I can still remember her trying to teach us mah jong around the table at your house after a big Thanksgiving meal. What an amazing woman with so many amazing children! My thoughts are with you.

Annette Richetelli says:

Dear Chow family, I had the pleasure of being a caregiver for Rhoda’s husband Wen. Rhoda was a lovely woman and I have been thinking of the Chow’s since they moved from their son Greg’s home to Texas. I am deeply saddened to find that Rhoda is no longer with us. RIP, Annette

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