Dec. 11, 1933 - April 1, 2014
Juey-Dzu Chang passed away on April 1, 2014. She is survived by her husband, Nai-Kwang Chang; son Ying-Fon and his wife Agnieszka and their two children; daughter Li-Hon and her husband Jeff Hildebrandt and their son; and son Min-Fon and his wife Teresa.
The oldest of nine children, Juey-Dzu was born in Taipei, Taiwan to parents Kwo-Wang and Chin-Fong Lai. An outgoing and popular girl with an eye for fashion, Juey-Dzu played center for her high school basketball team and often went to the theater with her friends to watch movies. Juey-Dzu earned her B.S. in Chemistry at National Taiwan University, and in 1962 she became the first of her family to emigrate to the U.S., where she attended Colorado State University and earned an M.S. in Nutrition.
At Colorado State she was finally able to meet her pen pal of two years, Nai-Kwang Chang and they married in 1963.
Juey-Dzu spent most of her adult life in the Denver area, where she pursued a career as a food services manager, first at Boulder Community Hospital and then, after her three children were born, at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Juey-Dzu and Nai-Kwang sponsored their siblings for immigration, blazing the trail that allowed both the Lai and Chang families to relocate to the U.S.
In 1997, Juey-Dzu was diagnosed with breast cancer and later wrote a book about her experience, 'My Battle with Breast Cancer,' which her children helped her publish and which was recognized at A Day of Caring breast cancer awareness event in Denver in 2004. She was also tapped as a model for their annual fashion show.
When her health began to decline, Juey-Dzu moved to Sacramento to live with her daughter and her family. She loved playing with her grandson every day and looked forward to visits from her family.
Juey-Dzu was a highly intelligent woman with a gift for language. She spoke Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese, and English fluently, and she enjoyed tutoring Conversational Japanese. She also taught Chinese Cooking at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. She loved reading biographies and often said that she should write a book, a desire she fulfilled by writing two memoirs. Juey-Dzu also loved walking and movies, particularly Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals. Her favorite was The Sound of Music.
Services will be held on Wednesday, April 9 at 1 p.m., at the Chinese Community Church, 5600 Gilgunn Way in Sacramento, CA.
To anyone wishing to honor Juey-Dzu's life, the family suggests a gift to the Lewy Body Dementia Association, www.lbda.org.
Published in The Sacramento Bee on Apr. 6, 2014