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Saturday, July 04, 2015

Philip Ahn Obituary

Ahn, Philip Chung Hyun Philip passed on to a better place late Sunday night; he was 78. Philip was born June 7, 1928, in Pyongyang, Korea. His family moved south to Seoul in the late 1940's to escape the Russian occupation. He graduated from the Seoul National University with a degree in pharmacy. During the Korean War, his fluency in English, Japanese and Korean was an invaluable asset to the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, the American military command and the Republic of Korea's army from which he received a battlefield commission as a first lieutenant. Colonel Wilson Powell sponsored him to study in the United States, and in 1957 he graduated from Macalester College with a degree in chemistry. He married another ‘57 Mac grad, the former Betty Engel, on April 30, 1960. After more than 30 years as a researcher and scientist at the University of Minnesota, Philip retired on June 15, 1992; a day proclaimed "Philip Ahn Day" in Minnesota by former Governor Arne Carlson. He was also WCCO's Good Neighbor that day. Retirement didn't keep Philip from working; he started a second career as an escort interpreter for the U.S. Department of State where he logged more than 50 trips interpreting for visiting Korean officials and dignitaries. He received a commendation for his work from the State Department last year. A civic leader, he was a member of numerous boards, notably the International Institute of Minnesota and Planned Parenthood of Minnesota. Philip's real passion was his family. He will be dearly missed by his beloved wife of 46 years, Betty; sons, Paul Ahn, Peter (Susan) Ahn, and Chip (Barb) Ahn; grandchildren, Alison and Kevin Ahn (Peter) and Makenzie and Marshall Ahn (Chip); brothers, Samuel (Jung Bo) Ahn of Virginia and Daniel (Susie) Ahn of Pennsylvania, and sister, Soon Ja Ahn of Daegu, South Korea, and numerous nieces and nephews. He will also be missed by thousands of friends world-wide. Visitation and reception Wednesday (TODAY) from 10:00 AM-1:00 PM with funeral service beginning at 1:00 PM at WESTMINSTER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, 1200 Marquette Avenue, Minneapolis. Memorials to Macalester College or the International Institute of Minnesota preferred in lieu of flowers. Arrangements with Holcomb-Henry-Boom Funeral Home 651-482-7606
This obituary was originally published in the Star Tribune.
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Published online on 11/21/2006 courtesy of Star Tribune.