Chow, Wen Lung

March 6, 1924 - September 20, 2013

Professor Wen Lung Chow, born March 6, 1924, passed away peacefully on the 20th of September, 2013. As a devoted husband, loving father, revered uncle and beloved grandfather, he courageously stepped out into a new world, he forged an innovative career, and he established and grew a family within the local community.

He blazed a trail.  Despite economic and political uncertainty, Wen Lung courageously left China to pursue education in the USA, inspiring and enabling relatives to follow his path.

He forged a career.  In his 50 year academic career at University of Illinois and Florida Atlantic University, he developed novel analytical and numerical methods to address complex fluid and gas dynamics problems, delivered practical and valuable solutions to the aerospace industry (including the US Space Shuttle program), and passed along lessons learned to interested colleagues and students of all ages.

He influenced a community.  With his beloved Rhoda, wife of nearly 61 years (who preceded him in death by 3 months), they built a loving home to provide for physical and emotional needs of their diverse children, molding and empowering them with foundational truths for how to live, while building and encouraging the local community in Champaign-Urbana.

He leaves a legacy.  In the hearts and minds of his remaining 2 sisters, 6 children, 12 grandchildren, and numerous others whom he quietly led, he will be sorely missed.

Ceremony details: A public visitation with family will be held Friday, September 27, 5-7 pm at Aria 19310 Preston Rd., Dallas, TX ph: 214.306.6700.  A private service for family will be held November 9.  A public celebratory gathering honoring both Wen and Rhoda will be held November 29, 2013, in Champaign, IL.

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, ph: 217.333.0675.

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

Wen Lung Chow’s wife, Rhoda Chow, passed on June 17, 2013. Her obituary can be viewed here:


30 replies on “Chow, Wen Lung”

Jenny Brady says:

I did not have the privilege of knowing Mr. Chow, but I have seen his legacy firsthand in his children and grandchildren. With this, I am confident that he was an amazing man who spent his time well. What a blessing it has been to see his legacy!

Nan Ouyang says:

I remember my Uncle and Aunt first trip to China after 30 years, in 1979, when he asked me if I wanted to come to the United States to learn English and continue my education. I was not sure back then and asked my parents for advice. My mother, my Uncle’s younger sister, and my Father, decided to let me go with my Uncle and Aunt. I came to US just before Christmas 1979. I met all their 6 children my cousins for the very first time. My Uncle, Aunt and all 6 cousins taught me so much and made me a part of their family. I left Champaign, IL in 1983 started to work for HP in California. We had couple of Chow’s family re-union in Canada and California with many relatives and so many great memories. Every time, when I call my Aunt and Uncle, they always asked me how my family, my husband, my 2 boys Jonathan and David were doing, because their love for everyone in the family was so deep. Uncle is united now with his lovely wife, his mother, father and 2 sisters (Yan’s mom and my mom). We will always remember him and he will be missed.

Akira Nakayama says:

Dear Chow Family,

I am feeling so sad hearing about your father, whom I respected so much not only as a great U of I professor in gas dynamics but also as a warmhearted man who guided all of us from abroad, like a real
father. Each of us learned from your father a lot by watching him work on problems so diligently and enthusiastically. I worked hard with your father only because I wanted him to say “You made it.
Good!” with a smile on his face, which I remember so vividly. I never forget your father, for I have been following his way of doing researches. I miss him so much.


Linda Kuo says:

I am so very sad, to hear the passing of your parents. They were such a fixture in my childhood, as I remember them as I see them both pictured here. Whenever I went to go play at your house, they were always warm, kind, and welcoming-traits that I aspire to emulate and teach to my daughter. Their legacy continues in their memory, and in the lives of each and every Chow. I feel grateful to have known them, and be connected to their children throughout the years.

Lori Kuo Dillon says:

It is with immense sadness that I express my heartfelt condolences to Marie, Jimmy, Jan, Angela, Chris, and Greg. Our families were close friends and I remember all the wonderful times we spent together. Your home was always filled with love and laughter. I remember Uncle Wen always had a warm smile and great sense of humor. My later father, who was an electrical engineering professor at the U of I, had tremendous respect and admiration for Uncle Wen’s accomplishments and contributions to his field. His legacy will continue to live on, not only in the students and colleagues who had the privilege of studying and working with him, but also in his wonderful children, who follow in their parents’ footsteps as role models in their communities. Their love and devotion to their father and mother is testimony to the closeness and strength of their family. God Bless Uncle Wen and Auntie Rhoda. You and your family are in our hearts and prayers. Love, Lori

Chuanpu Hu says:

I first met Uncle Wen Lung in 1979 during his visit to China. Then Uncle Wen Lung and Aunt Rhoda kindly invited me to stay with the Chow family in Champaign, IL for the summer in 1980, which gave me an eye-opening experience of the US in multiple dimensions. Uncle Wen Lung is a true scholar and I benefited from his wisdom and advice in science and in life. I also learned Black Gammon from him and enjoyed playing chess with him in his spare time. He will certainly be missed.

Christina Kuo Graham says:

Dear Marie, Jim, Jan, Angela, Chris and Greg…
There’s a saying, “It’s not the years in your life but the life in your years that count.” Your father had the blessing of having both. I’m always amazed at the generation our parents came from and how they were able to accomplish so much given such challenging beginnings. Your father is one of the sterling examples of what’s produced when you have “faith, hope and love.” It’s beautiful to see this same spirit carry on through you all. We hope to see everyone on November 29th. My mother’s and our heartfelt prayers are with the family.

Joanna Yeh says:

Dear Chow Family,

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this difficult time. We remember and cherish our shared experiences and the many times our families got together. You hold a special place in our hearts.

the Yeh family

GWuBeatrice Y. Fung says:

Beatrice Y. Fung
September 29, 2013

With deep sadness, my husband, John, and I mourn the passing of our dear friend Wen Lung Chow. He was a very accomplished man, yet he remained humble. He showed his appreciation for friends, always remembering the small gestures and kindness of others by giving back in kind several times over.
Wen was a great person who never had a harsh word for anyone. He and his loving wife, Rhoda, raised six terrific children, imbuing them all with integrity and a desire to make the world a better place.
Despite our huge sense of loss, we also feel so very fortunate to have shared with Wen and Rhoda a warm, enduring friendship that continues with the next generation.
Love to the Chow family,
Beatrice and John

Victoria Fung says:

One of the first things that comes to mind when I remember Uncle Wen was his deep voice — resonant, warm and comforting. I have such fond memories of get-togethers with the Chow family: playing games with the kids, enjoying great meals and sharing good times.

Our families were intertwined through piano lessons my mother gave to all the Chow children, the youth orchestra we were a part of, and the high school we attended at the University of Illinois.

In addition to raising high-achieving children, Uncle Wen excelled professionally, making a name for himself in the field of mechanical science and engineering, touching many lives through his research and teaching.

To the Chow family: Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the loss of both parents. It feels like the world dimmed with their passing, but is quickly brightening again through you in whom they have graced with their compassion, integrity and desire to do good.

With love and deepest sympathy,

Victoria Fung

Ruth and Michael Chen says:

We are truly saddened by the news of Wen Lung’s passing, and saddened by the loss of a wonderful couple in our lives.
When we arrived in Champaign-Urbana in 1973, we felt instantly welcomed and accepted. This was initiated by Wen Lun and Rhoda. We felt the instant warmth of the Chinese community. Nearly two decades earlier, Michael, as an undergraduate in Illinois, had the good fortune to get to know Wen Lung and Rhoda as they were starting a family and Wen Lung was finishing graduate school. When Michael came back to teach in his old department, Wen Lung had preceeded him by many years and was already well established in the department. He quickly assumed the role of a mentor in the Department and in the community like a big brother to us. We immediately got absorbed into the amazing Chinese potluck circle, with former professors and new friends, like nothing we had experienced before in our life time. It was the endless flow of those big ‘Ping Pong’ table style feasts, where old friendships were renewed and new ones were made. It was also the beginning of our lasting friendships with Randy and Bea’s families. We were there for the formative years of our children Derek and Melinda, where Aunties and Uncles had joined in to give them the nurturing that helped them become the adults they are today. Aunty Rhoda and Uncle Wen Lung often went out of their way to recognize and engage them. Wen Lung once called out to Derek after a concert by Lucy Lin to personally reach out to him… to recall the scene when Derek was only around 10 is to be touched. Melinda used to fondly refer to Rhoda as “Aunty Rhody”! She was barely 4. We are proud of the Champaign-Urbana community as our hometown. We would also like to thank the Chow children for setting good examples as a warm, united big family with a big heart and generocity, be it reflected in your family sports time or just by being yourselves over the years. Thanks also to Rhoda and Wen Lung for helping to organize the amazing Hessell Park picnics, where the sky was always blue! We fondly remember the incident when Jimmy lured little Derek to sit obediently on a grassy slope, then proceeded to untie Derek’s shoe strings and methodically cross-tied his shoes together, leaving Derek a virtual prisoner with immobile feet!
When I think of Rhoda, always with a touch of her barely revealing half-smile, you knew from those lips only warm and kind words would flow. That certain smile was always there. You knew, beyond which, in our mysterious universe, was our dearest friend and admirable human being, Rhoda.
At our ladies luncheons of years bygone in the far away idyllic campus towns of Champaign-Urbana, in the sprawling farm lands of the Illinois praires, where cars flowed freely across the twin cities, we priviledged ladies would always with great expectation sample delightful Chinese snacks and delicacies, magically spun out of each household. It was done with regularity over the years while kids were growing up and moms were stay-home moms! Yes, those were the nostalgic days of our beloved prairie towns of Champaign-Urbana.
Before the luncheon gatherings that took turns criss-crossing the towns, often one, ‘Me’, would be short of time dashing around like a chicken without a head, doing last minute preparations. I was always on the verge of numerous close calls. For time had no mercy. By the appointed hour, quick darts of glances out of the kitchen window would always calm me down. For you could always for those split seconds, see Rhoda and Bea patiently and quietly parked directly across on our dead-end Eliot Dr. in Urbana., calmly waiting in no hurry to get out of their car. They would not disrupt while no one else would arrive. Rhoda and Bea were merciful good friends. To their ever lasting credit, they would never, ever startle me by ringing the door bell ‘one second’ earlier. To do so would literally frighten me and throw me off balance! I needed every last second to prepare and garnish. Rhoda (and Bea) was that thoughtful and considerate a friend. Her calm demeaner and thoughtfulness would transcent the ways she interacted with all her friends.
Although we have focused on the personal and family aspects of Wen Lung and Rhoda, Michael would like to add that he also had had great respect for Wen Lung’s teaching and research on fluid mechanics, including his pioneering work on numerical methods.
May your families be abundantly blessed!
Ruth and Michael

Monette and Jim Droppa says:

The entire Chow family is a legacy of love and brilliance (among other great qualities!) that can be attributed to their beloved parents.

What a wonderfully written tribute. There is so much I did not know about Jim’s Dad.

We are so sorry for your loss. Much love and comfort to you all.

Ken Wolgemuth says:

Sharon joins me in expressing our sincere, heartfelt sympathy on the passing of so dear a father and patriarch of your entire Chow family. We are so thankful we met him at Becky and Aaron’s wedding. He was indeed a wonderful man and educator. We know he will be missed in the months and years to come. We will be praying for all of you in the days ahead. We are so grateful with you that so many were able to say their good byes and pay their respects to a on very special father and grandfather. May God’s grace and comfort be felt by all of you, first for the homegoing of your precious mother and now for the loss you must feel for your wonderful father. Our love and prayers, Sharon and Ken Wolgemuth

Ying-Ying Chang says:

When Shau-Jin and I arrived in Champaign-Urbana in 1969 as the faculty of University of Illinois, we did not know any Chinese professor in town. Very soon, we were invited to Chow’s family. We were welcome by Rhoda and Wen Lung as one of their family members. I will never forget Rhoda’s warm smile and Wen Lung’s openness with a big heart when we first met them. They were so generous in guiding us, the new comers. I remember in later years I have discussed with them about how to raise responsible children because we knew Chow family having 6 wonderful children with great achievement in various field. Rhoda always comforted me and asked me not to worry too much as far as how to raise children. The legacy of Rhoda and Wen Lung is their generous spirits in helping others. We miss them very much! Our condolence to the family.




Priscilla & George Yu says:

Dear Chow Family,

We are so sorry to learn of your Father’s passing. Both my husband, George, and I were dear friends of your parents. We send our deepest condolences to you and your family. Your parents will be dearly missed.

Peace, Grace & Blessings,
Priscilla & George

Placid Ferreira says:

Dear Chow Family:
I am very sorry to hear about the passing of your dad. On behalf of the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering community, I would like to express our condolences. With his teaching, research and mentorship, Professor Chow helped build this department. Many here will miss him. We are also very grateful for the scholarship he and your late mother endowed in the department.

Again, please accept my deepest sympathy on your father’s passing.

Our thoughts and prayers are will all of you as you pass through these difficult times.

Deepest Sympathy,
Placid Ferreira

Julia Chen says:

Wen and Rhoda were just amazing – just see all the condolences people sent in. In my heart, I always have my highest respect and admiration for Wen & Rhoda. They were blessed with not only six of you sons and daughters but also your spouses are so full of loving and kindness. The Chow Family is just terrific!

God Bless.

Yan Yong says:

My Uncle and aunt moved to South Florida in August 1988. My wife, Yiling, and I invited them to live with us in an apartment for more than a year. During the next 17 years, a tight bond was developed among four of us. Whenever we sat down to play a Chinese card game, called SHENGJI, Uncle teamed up with my wife, and auntie teamed up with me, so that uncle and I did not have chance to blame on our spouses. We got together frequently to play card games, enjoyed South Florida Chinese cuisine, and once even drove six hours to Tampa and stayed there for three days because we just wanted to check out a newly opened hometown Wuhan restaurant there. All my friends in Boca Raton enjoyed their company and have fond memory of them. My daughter, Valeda, who grew up around them, recently recalled her fresh memory of the happy and healthy granduncle and grandaunt. She was sad because both of them have left us. But she is happy to know that granduncle can talk to grandaunt now.

Jing-Hua and Yuan-Xiang says:

May their love go from generation to generation!

Jing-Hua and Yuan-Xiang says:

They will always be fondly remembered as wonderful brother, sister-in-law, parents, grandparents, uncle and aunt.

JingH & YuanX says:

Brother Wen was the only boy in our family. Traditionally, in old China people favored boys, but our parents treated their five kids equally. Wen never sought any special treatment or attention. He respected our parents and cared for his four sisters. We did have a very happy and peaceful life together.

In childhood, we lived in our grandparents’ big compound, with lots of uncles, aunts, and cousins. Wen was good-natured and never got into any trouble. Our parents felt blessed by his good behavior.

Wen had many acts of love for his family. I remember, one summer when the school was out, he offered to help mom take me by bike to a doctor’s clinic to get my daily shot. At that time he was at most 14 years old.

His love and care for his family was deep-rooted in his character. Our youngest sister, Jing-Zhang in Wuhan took the national entrance exam of Nan-Kai university located in Tien-jin, China. She started to panic when she did not receive her admittance notification letter. Wen happened to be working in the suburbs of Tien-jin and he didn’t give up hope. He made a special effort to the university and questioned person- in-charge. Finally they admitted their negligence and corrected their error. Without Wen’s help, Zhang’s hope of attending Nan-Kai would be shattered. Instead she started a new chapter in her life.

In 1949, Wen left China for US to pursue advanced study on his own. Nobody anticipated this separation lasted 30 long years. When Wen and Rhoda went back to China in 1979 to see us, we immediately felt his love for us still deep-rooted in his heart. He and Rhoda brought up 6 terrific kids, and Wen had great contribution in his academic field with Rhoda’s full support and dedication. Wen was a path-breaker, and his influence on his nephews and nieces was huge. He encouraged them to achieve their goals, and gave them hope and support, if needed.

Wen and Rhoda lived with a tight budget and had a big family to support. Regardless of limited financial resources, they never stopped extending their help to other people. Around the year of 1994, Wen heard the hardship of a distant relative in China; he began writing letters and sent money to her every year.

Wen and Rhoda invited sisters, Jing-Yu, Jing-Hua, Jing-Zhang, over to America, and that’s why my family is here. We had several Chow’s family gatherings. We enjoyed spending time with them and treasured the memories we shared together.

We lost Wen and Rhoda within the last 3 months. It is a big loss and we are all heart-broken. They will always be fondly remembered as wonderful brother, sister-in-law, parents, grandparents, uncle and aunt.

May their love go from generation to generation!

Crystal Schmitt says:

Aloha Chow Family.

My dad, Wen Sheng Zhou, was your dad’s cousin, even though my dad had always called your dad “Brother” by Chinese tradition. They were also classmates in college back in China. Your dad visited me several times in Hawaii and I also visited them in Florida in 2001.

We were greatly saddened by the passing of both of your parents. They were great examples for us and for a long time, they were the light in our lives. Even though I had only spent limited time with them in person, they were always in our lives and in our minds for many many years.

Myself, my mother, my brother and various family members will see you in Champaign.

Jing Xiong and Family says:

Words seem inadequate to express the sadness we feel. We still remember the time we spent together in Wuhan, he gave us many valuable suggestions on living, working and studying. Recently, he gave my son an very good opportunity to study and work, we are highly appreciating.

May God bless you and your wonderful family,
Yours In Faith,

Randy Yang says:

I am very saddened by the passing of Wen Lung.Wen lung and his wife Rhoda had been great friends of us for over 50 years.Wen Lung was humble, gererous and kind.Together with Rhoda, they raised six intelligent and accomplished children.They were my role models.I mourn his passing, but I know he is in better place with his beloved wife Rhoda now.They will always have a place in my heart.They will be sorely missed.

Randy YangBNDHcm

Hu Zhou says:

In the early morning of September 20th Nan gave me a call that Uncle just passed away. It was a shock to all of us. Although we knew that for years Uncle had been suffering because of Parkinson’s disease, and the loss of Aunty was a big impact to him, while when we learnt that he looked fine in August and could play bridge, we were still hoping he could getting better. It was my plan to visit him in Dallas in the Summer of 2014, after the AAPM annual conference in Austin.

The first time I met Uncle and Aunty was in 1979 when they visited China. They had left there for 30 years. The parents of Uncle (my grandparents), and the parents of Aunty could not wait for them to come back, had passed away during the years of bullying and humiliations.
1979 was a year that big changes were happening in China. In 1976 the country struggled out from Culture Revolution and started open to the world. In 1978 I entered Huazhong Institute of Technology. A classmate of Uncle in the Institute invited Uncle to give a seminar during the visit. It was a big event for the Institute. Although many Chinese scholars there had good English, Uncle still prepared a page full of terminologies and carefully translated them into Chinese, to make his talk smooth and easy to understand.
Uncle and Aunty left us warm memories through the visit. A photo of my mother, mother-in-law, my wife, and I was found out recently. It was the first instant photo taken in our home by Uncle.

In 1981 Uncle and Aunty visited China the second time, together with Jan and Angela. In an evening family banquet my wife and I brought our new daughter in. Jan and Angela was very excited. Each held the baby for long time. A few months later I entered University of California, San Diego for my graduate study. Uncle and Chris drove there from Los Angeles to help me move. In the Winter I flew to Illinois for Christmas. Uncle and Aunty drove to Chicago to pick me up from O’Hare Airport, then went to a dinner with Jimmy and Minda. When we arrived the Champaign home of Uncle and Aunty it had been late evening. The house was very warm. I met Marie, Gregory, Professor Luo, Aunty Sara, Jin and Nan there. Aunty was a professional cook. She could make a full table of delicious meal in a short time. While waiting for the dinner Uncle and Gregory played chess. Gregory was very good also in tennis. Aunty prepared a big Christmas party. We prepared 3 tables in the basement for the food, included a board on a pool table, a ping pong table, and a regular table, covered by table cloths. A lot of friends came for the party, enjoyed the gourmet. Uncle was proficient in bridge, and all the cousins were very interested by the game.

In the Summer of 1982 I worked in Fermilab. Yan had come to Illinois for his graduate school early that year. I used weekends to visit Champaign and had frequent communications with Uncle, Aunty, and cousins.
One day Uncle told me that he had a great breakthrough. In the field of aerodynamics it was an empirical knowledge that below the speed of sound and above, the computations must use different software packages, or obvious errors would occur. While the reason had not been clear for many years. Uncle realized that the differential equation governing the dynamics changed its form from elliptical to hyperbolic when the sound barrier is through.
In the Winter of the year Uncle invited my mother to visit US. In the Christmas I flew to Champaign in big snow. In the next year Uncle and Aunty took my mother, Yan, and I to a trip to New York City and Niagara Falls. We went to the top of World Trade Center, toured through Corning Glass Center, walked on the suspension bridge in Conner University, and took the boat down to the bottom of the Falls. After the trip Angela took me back to Chicago from Champaign with her left hands on top of her car all the way.
In 1988 Uncle changed his job from Champaign Illinois to Boca Raton Florida. Late in the year my family and I went to University of British Columbia for my post doctoral research after graduate from UCSD. In late 1989 we started applying my mother to immigrate to Canada. Uncle suggested my mother to wait in Nan’s home because the immigration process had many uncertainties. She lived in Fremont for more than an year. Uncle provided financial support to Nan to compensate my mother’s stay.

In 1992 we held a family reunion in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. Uncle and Aunty, Aunty 4 and Uncle Luo, Aunty 5 and Yan attended the reunion. Nan, Jan, Angela, and Gregory came with their families. In 1996 Aunty 5, Nan, and Hua Chiyang hosted a family reunion in Fremont. My mother and my family, Uncle and Aunty, Aunty 4 and Uncle Luo, Yan and his family, Uncle Wenbing, and Uncle Wensheng’s two children joined us. After the Fremont collection we went to Los Angeles to visit Ping. Jin and her family also visited there. My family moved to Fremont in 2000. In 2002 my mother and we conducted another family reunion in there. Grand Aunty 15 and Grand Uncle, Uncle and Aunty, Aunty 4 and Uncle Luo, Aunty 5 and Uncle Ouyang came to the city, together with Yan, Ping, Marie, Jan, Angela, Chris, Gregory, and their families. Nan and her sons contributed a lot in this reunion.

Uncle and Aunty moved to Tacoma in 2006. In 2007 my wife and I visited them on our way to British Columbia. In 2009 I started work in Oregon, which gave us more opportunities to see them. Uncle and Aunty visited my mother in Vancouver in 2009. In June of 2012 they planned to go to Vancouver to join the 90-th birthday celebration of my mother but did not make it because Gregory had a patient to take care of. In early September of 2012 my mother, my wife, and I visited them in Tacoma and stayed a night in Gregory’s home. Two weeks later when we passed Tacoma on the way to take my mother back to Vancouver, Uncle and Aunty had moved to Dallas.

Uncle is my hero. His way of looking this world greatly shaped mine. Uncle is a kind, wise, and studious senior. Together with him I always feel warm and encouraged. Uncle had many accomplishments in different areas that make all in his generation and our generation feel proud of. Uncle and Aunty were not only successful themselves but also raised and educated a whole family of elites for the society. Uncle’s voice and smiles will be with me forever.

Craig Dutton says:

Dear Chow Family,

I was a PhD student and faculty member in the ME Department for several years while your father was a faculty member there and got to know him quite well. We worked together on several Army-funded compressible flow projects. I always had the greatest respect for Wen Lung – a really smart and gentle person. I didn’t know your mother as well, but she seemed to be a very nice person as well. I was very sorry to hear of their passing.

While my wife and I would love to come to the celebration of the lives of your parents, we will be in Texas that weekend with my son for the Thanksgiving holiday. But Wen and Rhoda and all of you will be in our thoughts.

Craig Dutton

Luci Lin says:

Dear Chow Family,

During this time of year, I often think of your family. Some of my happiest childhood memories include times that our families would get together, often around the holidays. Your parents were the catalyst for those times of such warmth and joy for which I will forever be grateful.

I understand that you are together now in Champaign, sharing memories and thoughts about your parents. I know that my parents wish they could be there as well. Not only were your parents a part of their community in Champaign, but in Boca Raton as well. They have missed their friendship as well as dinners and mahjong games together.

Please convey my thoughts to everyone.

Best wishes for peace and joy during the upcoming holiday season,

Della Lin says:

Dear Marie, Jim, Jan, Angela, Chris and Greg:

I am so glad that Luci and Jan were able to connect by email.

I wish that the Lin family were there, in Champaign, for tomorrow night. Know that we are definitely there in spirit and love.

Jan and Greg: Having spent some time in Hawaii, you are familiar with the word– “ohana.” I couldn’t think of a better word to embody the essence and gracious way that your parents and your family have always created this greater sense of belonging.

Luci has said it very well, and I am at a loss to further express my sympathy, love and gratitude.

If you have not seen/read the “dash poem,” I have found it helpful in times of transition.

Both your mom and your dad–individually and together– had a spectacular dash!

With warm aloha,


Eugene Brown says:

I was one of your dad’s first graduate students. I arrived in CU after getting my undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin. I began working with him as a PhD student in 1964 and got my degree four years later – somewhat of a record in those days when the “time to degree” often stretched out to 6 or 7 years. Your dad seemed to like it that I had a timetable and stuck to it.

I remember the time that he asked my help in finding an error that he made in one of his very long algebraic calculations. In those times a lot was still done with pencil and paper rather than computers. I’m sure it was at least 10 pages of your dad’s very neat handwriting. I was so proud to find his mistake – of which there were never very many – he was remarkably sharp. Sometimes your sister Marie would stop by my office with her violin on her way home from high school and we would chat a bit while she waited for your dad. Visiting your house was always a treat. Your mom and dad were always very welcoming (an observation that many of their friends and relatives made time and time again on the website). I remember your mom made “pigs in a blanket” on one of these occasions. Not a typical Chinese dish!

A few weeks before I graduated, your dad asked me what my intentions were, and I told him that I wanted to work for Boeing in Seattle on their supersonic transport project. He was very leery of this as a career move and suggested that I would be soon out of work when that project was cancelled, and suggested that I consider getting a faculty job at Virginia Tech. That was the best advice I ever got! Three months after I graduated the SST project was indeed cancelled, and I am still here at Virginia Tech after 44 happy years. All of this I owe to your dad – the excellent preparation that he gave me as his student, and his excellent advice.

While your dad was at Florida Atlantic University, I stopped by to see him in Boca Raton and shared a delightful meal in a Chinese restaurant with him, your mom, and several of you kids. Maybe you were there. The last time I saw him was about three years ago, when I visited your mom and dad in Tacoma at Sharon and Greg’s house. He seemed to have slowed down a bit, but his mind was as sharp as ever. He was telling me what his next research project was going to be. Your mom took me aside, and said that she doubted that he would ever get to it. No matter how old you are, it’s good to have plans, and your dad certainly did.

Your dad played a very important role in my professional life. I will always be grateful to him.


Eugene F. Brown, Professor
Mechanical Engineering
112 Randolph Hall
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061
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