Hae Soo Chung was born July 29, 1937 and spent her early childhood near Pyongyang in what would become North Korea. During the Communist takeover in 1945, her family fled on foot on a harrowing journey, eventually becoming refugees in the South, including periods on Cheju Island at Korea’s southern tip. They persevered, and she thrived. Although she was an only child who lost her father during Korea’s upheaval, she was surrounded by loving cousins, aunts, and uncles, as well as her incredible mother Soon Tai Yoo. Known by her friends for her happy disposition and love of singing, she attended Yonsei University School of Nursing and became part of Korea’s first generation of professionally trained nurses. After graduation, she taught at Yonsei and received additional training at the University of Minnesota. There, she got her first taste of America and immigrated to Toronto, where she worked as a nurse at Toronto Sick Children’s Hospital. It was there that she met and married (in 1965) In Young Chung, with whom she stayed for more than 50 years until his death in 2017. Their son David was born in 1966, Soon Tai joined them from Korea in 1967, they moved in 1968 after In Young took a job at the University of Cincinnati, and their other son Paul was born in 1970. She then rejoined nursing, working at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and eventually becoming one of the first Korean-American pediatric nurse practitioners in the country. She worked there for more than two decades before going back to school, getting a Master’s Degree, and becoming a faculty member at University of Cincinnati College of Nursing. There, she transformed her Master’s dissertation into a unique collaboration between Yonsei University and University of Cincinnati, creating Korea’s first advanced practice nursing program. In the meantime, she also raised her children with enormous energy and love, took care of Soon Tai as she aged, sang in her church choir, and eventually retired to care for In Young full-time as he grew ill. All her life, she embraced the role of caregiver—as nurse, mother, daughter, teacher, grandmother, and wife. In her final months, her friends throughout Cincinnati showed her unbelievable love and support, for which she was forever grateful. She died on January 8, 2018, leaving behind David, Paul, Carrie, Annie, Samantha, and Olivia. A memorial service will take place 11AM Saturday, January 13 at Korean Madisonville United Methodist Church, 6130 Madison Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45227.
Korean Madisonville UMC
Saturday, January 13, 2018