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Share a special moment from Chung's life.

Scholarship Establishment Opportunity for Dr. Chung Yu

Shared by Virginia Yu on February 23, 2021
Update February 23, 2021: 

You can now contribute to the establish of a scholarship for electrical and computer engineering students at N.C. A&T State University. Please download the instructions here.

Comrades in life's journey

Shared by chok yu on February 22, 2021
Chung was my twin brother and we practically grew up together. Our many harrowing experiences during the earlier years taught us to become comrades in the struggle to survive and succeed. It started when we were told by our mother to travel from the city of Shantou to Hong Kong after our grade schooling. We were accompanied by our father's good friend (a total stranger to us) who was on a business trip. We reached the border town of Shenzhen and had to cross the bridge over the Lowu river. We were told to cross on our own but were stopped by the British policeman standing guard there. Our companion had already crossed, so we were left stranded with no money or any belongings. At the tender age of about 10, we didn't know what to do so we ended up staring at each other and breaking into tears. Our companion finally reappeared and signaled to us to cross the river on the backs of two men. They were stripped to the waist and waded across the river. Another unforgettable experience was when we decided to travel to Canada for our college education. Our father was against it since he was uneducated and wanted us to go into the business world. We made a promise to him that he only had to fund us for the first year out of a five year engineering program. The ocean voyage across the Pacific was yet another harrowing experience. Our little cabin was deep in the belly of the American President Liner. It consisted of two bunk beds and Chung and I occupied the top bunks. There was no window or natural light so when the light was switched off, it was pitch black. We were both terribly sea sick and survived mostly on a box of Graham crackers. We missed almost all the meal calls. Through the entire voyage, we never spoke a word to our two Chinese room-mates. The boat finally arrived in San Francisco after 15 grueling days. We then took the train to Vancouver, stayed there for 4 days, then took the CPR train across Canada to Toronto, stayed there for 2 weeks since it was still early for school. The final leg was again by train to Mcgill University in Montreal. We knew we only had funds for the first year, so we made a decision to try to win the merit scholarship that foreign students could qualify which paid for the tuition. We were so focused that we isolated ourselves from other Chinese students and any extracurricular activities and only commuted between the library and our small apartment room everyday. We were lucky that we did well in the exams and both of us won the scholarship. We were overjoyed. Then came the question of how to cover the rest of our expenses and it was through summer jobs. We worked as busboys, washed windows and mopped floors, worked in the pastry section of grocery store and the auto parts warehouse outside of Montreal. Unloading and loading auto parts was exhausting work but we worked till late in the day for extra money. Our pay was $1 an hour, half of regular pay. We worked the entire summer and returned to school only days before it started. In the last two years of our school, we did get more professional summer jobs. We both got job offers before we graduated and went to work without attending our graduation. The diplomas were mailed to us instead. After a couple of years of working, Chung decided to pursue graduate school in the US while I landed on a job in the US. It so happened that my work was outside Cleveland, Ohio and his school was Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio. So, we stayed in touch. I used to drive on weekends (typically football weekends) to Columbus to spend time with him and take him to downtown for a good Chinese lunch. I then stayed overnight in his room. He only had a bed, a desk and a transistor radio. He was living on a small stipend and had little money to spare. We would go to an empty room in the building and use a coat hanger to jimmy open the door. We then dragged a mattress from there to his room for me to sleep on. He told me that the building was a firetrap and that residents (other grad students) were told to keep a rope in the room. In case of fire, they were to tie the rope to a chair and then jump off the window. It was laughable yet true. We stayed up and talked all night. During Christmas holidays, he would take the greyhound bus and visit me. I had a spare room ready for him. He stayed in Columbus for 7 years. I was transferred to Virginia after 5 years. We drifted apart after he and I got married. We were connected again after I retired early and he retired and moved to Flushing, New York. We were not only brothers but also comrades in life's journey! I shall treasure our days together until my dying day!

traveling

Shared by rachel kacenelenbogen on February 9, 2021
Mr and Mrs Yu enjoyed traveling. In two occasions they shared with me pictures taken by them in China and Spain Chung was very nice and sweet giving me explanations of their trips. He will answer kindly to any question asked. Rest in peace

Chung’s Retirement Life

Shared by Meilin Yu on February 12, 2021
  • We moved from Greensboro, North Carolina to Flushing, New York in June 2013. Two years after we settled into our routine, Chung wanted to take a course we both could enjoy. I let him decide since I was not interested in doing anything at that time. He chose an art drawing class at a senior center located in Forest Hill, New York. In October 2015, we started our weekly one-hour commute to Forest Hill to take the course. Our teacher-Virginia started us with still life. After two years of drawing apple,  orange, flower and vase, she switched us to do portrait. The hardest part of painting a portrait is to catch the expression of that person and the eyes are the essential part of expression. I could hardly make two eyes line up properly, much less catching any expression so I always chose a profile to work on. Chung did not have any problem at all and could finish a portrait in 2-3 class visits. However , he sucked at landscape painting. It usually took him 8-10 weeks to finish one. There was an autumn scene, after 3 months of struggling, he gave up and left it unfinished. Before we joined the senior center art class, he only did one drawing in his life- an architectural drawing which was required in his undergraduate study in Electrical Engineering.  He did not do a very good job in that drawing ( he got a C). He told me many years later that at that time he was very worried that C grade might drag down his over all point average thus hurt his chance of getting a scholarship so much needed to continue his study at McGill Univ.( his father just passed away and could not give him any financial support). Luckily he got through and even graduated with distinction. Judging from his performance in landscape paintings in the senior center art class, I can see why the professor at the McGill Univ. gave him a C! We continued going to the art classes till the center was closed due to pandemic in March, 2020.

In early 2018, I decided to translate ‘ The Sutra of Hui Neng ‘ into English. His English writing skill is much better than mine so I always asked him to check my writings and he could always make my writings more palatable to the Western readers. It took 18 months to finish. We self-published it and also uploaded it onto academia.edu in Nov. 2019. At that time, we have already decided to attend my 50th year graduation celebration hosted by my alma mater-National Taiwan Univ. in Taipei, Taiwan. We  also booked airline tickets and hotels to visit places in China like Guilin, Guiyang and Lijiang. Of course, like everyone else, we had to cancel all the trips due to COVID-19 pandemic. With nothing to do, we started translating ‘ The Art of War’ by Sun Zhu. It is a relatively short book so we finished it and uploaded it onto academia.edu in August 2020. Shortly after that, he picked up where he left off on English translation of Chinese ancient poems. The goal was to translate 200 poems but he passed away suddenly on the night of Feb. 2, He had already translated 131 and was working on the 132th poem, a poem by Cao Xue Qin , from his famous book ‘ Dreams of the Red Chamber, published in 1784 AD. I am in the process of piling up the 131 translated poems into a book titled ‘ Chinese Poems in English’ and will uploaded it onto academia.edusometime in April. The photo with pine tree scene was chosen by him about a week before he passed.

From 2016 till he passed away, we visited our daughter Ginny and her husband Tolya 2-3 times in Vienna and relatives in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Taipei and Hong Kong, attended a Yu family wedding in Toronto in 2018, visited Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors and Mogao Grottoes in China and La Sagruda Familia in Spain in 2018 and Athens in Greece in 2019. He had a good life and went peacefully. What else could a mortal want ? I just planted 5 trees and wrote these words in the message: ‘ Your name is Pine. May you be around the trees I planted for you always!

Toys Я Us

Shared by Virginia Yu on February 5, 2021
When I first learned to read, my dad would point to the name of a toy store called Toys Я Us and tell me:

"You see this letter 'Я'? They are trying to be funny by turning around the 'R,' but it's actually the letter 'ya' in Russian."


From a very young age, I was aware that not only was there a Chinese and English language. There was also a Russian language.

When my dad and his twin brother first arrived in the frozen landscape of Montreal, their "heavy" jackets that they had bought in Hong Kong were useless in true, Canadian winter. They rented rooms from a very nice Russian woman named Mrs. Burdick who later rented to their younger brothers when they arrived in Canada after Dad and Uncle Chok had moved on to the United States. During my childhood, I remember him working on Russian translations over the weekend on the floor at the foot of the bed with a technical Russian dictionary next to him, as "This Old House" and Justin Wilson's Cajun cooking show played on PBS (the public television channel) in the background. 

During the height of the Cold War in the United States, my dad always expressed his appreciation and enthusiasm for Russians and the language. Incidentally, he also really enjoyed country and bluegrass music and Peking Opera. His open-mindedness shaped my ideas about multiculturalism and influenced my life and path. 

I majored in German. I currently live in Vienna, Austria. I studied Chinese, but it's quite difficult. ;) I learned Russian while working at the United Nations, believing that if my dad could do it, then why not me as well. My husband and my in-laws are all Russian speakers.  

安息,
мир праху его,
Rest in peace,

Ginny

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