Let the memory of Jiun be with us forever
  • 87 years old
  • Born on January 10, 1927 in Xiamen, Fujian, China.
  • Passed away on February 20, 2014 in Fremont, California, United States.

This memorial website was created to commemorate the wonderful life of Jiun Ying Chao. Jiun was the firstborn in a family of eight children.  It was a time of great strife -- the family was constantly on the move to stay ahead of the advancing Japanese army.  At different times, the family lived in Nanjing, Hangzhou, and Tongren.  

Nevertheless, Jiun was an excellent student and went to Zhejiang University. There she met her future husband, Kwang Chu Chao (KC), who was also a student there. They both eventually moved to Taiwan and both went on to win scholarships to study in the United States. Jiun went to the University of Washington St. Louis where she received her masters degree in zoology working under the reknowned Rita Levi-Montalcini, who later won the Nobel prize.

Upon her return from the US Jiun married KC, had her first son, Howard, and taught at Taiwan University.  When she and Howard eventually joined KC who had been working in the United States, Jiun chose to dedicate her life to her family. Jiun and KC had two more sons, Albert and Bernard, and the family eventually settled down in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Jiun had many interests. She was an accomplished ballroom dancer, regularly played ping pong with her friends and was a great cook. She also loved singing and travelling. She regularly published stories about her international travels in Taiwanese newspapers.

Jiun was the gentlest of souls. Her family will always remember Jiun for her kindness and patience. No matter what the problems Jiun's love and support for her family never wavered. She was the peacemaker, the reconciler. We will miss you.

Jiun is survived by her sons, Howard and Bernard, their wives, Dana and Cara, and six younger brothers and sisters. Howard and Dana live in Menlo Park, California and have two sons, Andrew and Daniel.  Bernard and Cara live in Denver, Colorado and have a daughter, Chloe, and son, Zander.

Memorial service will be held for Jiun on Saturday, March 8, at the home of Howard and Dana Chao in Bonny Doon, near Santa Cruz.  If you are able to come, pls contact Howard Chao at howchao@gmail.com for details.  Instead of sending flowers, please consider making a donation to the Purdue Foundation in our mother's name.  We hope to start a scholarship named after both Jiun Ying and Kwang Chu Chao.

Purdue University
School of Chemical Engineering
480 Stadium Mall Drive, Room 1060B
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2100

Posted by Howard Chao on 20th February 2017
Mom, you will forever be in our hearts. When life is hard, when we are not generous, we should think of you and we will return to the even balance that you always had. Love Howard
Posted by Pen-min Lin on 20th February 2017
天上人間,別來不覺已三年。舊日普渡四對華人夫婦,一起參加社交舞俱樂部活動的情形, 記憶猶新。 常在除夕夜為我們伴奏的 Gentlemen of Note 樂隊, 主持人 Robert Slater 於一周前歸主, 享壽九十四歲。 也許你們在天上見面。 祝你與 KC在天永享安寧。 本銘
Posted by Howard Chao on 20th February 2016
Mom, we so miss you. You were gentle but strong, and always loving. We yearn to be like you. You will stay in our hearts always.
Posted by Howard Chao on 20th February 2015
Mom, I miss you so much
Posted by Sam Zhu on 2nd March 2014
輕風扶細柳,淡月隱梅花. R.I.P. Aunty Jiun, you would be greatly missed.
Posted by Daniel Lee on 27th February 2014
You and KC were such a lovely couple. You brought so much fun, inspiration and wisdom to us at each gathering. We'll remember your smile and intelligence and will miss you dearly. -- Daniel and Kee
Posted by Chia Hui Shih on 24th February 2014
Dear Howard and Bernard, It is a mixed feeling to hear the passage of your dear mother Jean. She was such a wonderful person and I had a lot of affection and admiration of her. I felt painful when I visited her a year ago to witness such a lively, witty, sweet, and friendly person succumbed to the cruel old age disease and lay in her bed unwilling to open her eyes when we told her that we were visiting her. All she said was that 'I wanted to sleep'. Your father was still alive and we had a good and somewhat 'sad' visit with him. When he was gone, my first thought was about your mother. Now she is sleeping forever. I hope that her last days were peaceful and comfortable. I am sure that in her consciousness she had prepared for the closure of her good long life. I wished this time that I had faith in God and after life so I could feel happy for her to be with her beloved husband again and to enjoy her blissful eternal life in heaven. However, even without religious faith, I still feel like to celebrate the completion of the rich and beautiful lives of your parents in the wake of the passage of your mother, my friend Jean Chao. I am also happy for them that they had good children like you to continue their legacy. Both your parents and our good old time at Purdue when we were all young and happy will remain alive vividly and warmly in my memory, Please accept my sincere condolences of your family's profound loss. An old friend of your parents since the Lafayette years, chia-hui shih
Posted by Ed Sladek on 24th February 2014
Bernard, I am sorry for your family's loss and grateful for your Mom's life. She was always kind and peaceful and indeed the greatest of cooks. I recall the burrito-sized egg rolls she'd make for you (us) before your parents went on trips abroad. Her onion pancakes are second to none (even yours) and I've been sampling onion pancakes now for over 30 years. Her survival in troubled times is yet another testament to the greatest generation. May Jiun rest in peace and continue to live in our hearts. Sincerely, Ed
Posted by Betty Su on 24th February 2014
從小印象中的大姑姑,永遠都是講話細聲細氣,甚至表哥表弟調皮時也是ㄧ樣的! 當我第一次看到她和大姑父跳舞的情景,到現在都還在我的腦海裡,他們兩人的默契和美妙的舞姿,讓我對大姑姑的印象又有一層認識.來了美國後,每次和她在電話裡聊天, 我都可以感覺得到她好愛她的家,丈夫和孩子們!雖然很捨不得她的離去, 但想到她和大姑父在天上又能翩翩起舞,保佑她的孩子和孫兒們, 只有將對她的思念放在心裡了!!
Posted by Liesl Schillinger on 24th February 2014
I'm thinking of Mrs. Chao today with love and appreciation-remembering her serene strength, and the beautiful and fun home she created for her ambitious, energetic, talented sons. I remember standing with her and Bernard at the stove at their house, at a debate club party in the '80s, as they made scallion pancakes together-and showed me how. We must have made 100 of them to fuel the ravenous debaters in games of ping-pong and Uno. Sending love and remembrance to the whole Chao family--Liesl
Posted by Jeff Gaunt on 24th February 2014
I grew up right across the street from the Chao family and was good friends with Bernard from the age of 6 years old. I spent many days over at the Chao household playing Atari and basketball and honing my ping pong skills. The basketball hoop at the old Chao house is still up although it has seen better days. My parents still live right across the street and every time I go home I am reminded of days gone by and the Chao family. I particularly remember Mrs. Chao's wontons and excellent cooking. She was always very inviting and welcoming, and I have very fond memories of spending time in their home. Best wishes to Bernard and Howard, but you can reflect and feel joy that both your parents had such long and rich lives together.

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