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Butterworth FH (Capitol Hill)
520 W RAYE ST
SEATTLE, WA 98119
(206) 282-5500

Ark Geow Chin

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Ark Geow CHIN Ark Geow Chin, born February 9, 1924 in a small village in Tai Shan, China to parents Jing Teung Chin and Yu Sung Chin passed away November 13, 2011 in the house that he built. He was 87 years old. Ark's life was a most amazing journey. He came to the U.S. at the age of 10 and worked in his father's Chinese restaurant while attending school. He graduated with honors from Weatherwax High School in Aberdeen, Washington, he went on to attend the University of Washington. His schooling was interrupted when he left to fight in WWII. Ark fought with the 100th infantry in the European theater. He was promoted to Sergeant, wounded twice and was decorated with a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. After the war he went to Hong Kong where he met and married Winifred Chung after a whirlwind courtship. Together, they settled down in Seattle, Washington. Ark returned to the UW and graduated Bachelor's degree in 1950 and a Master's degree in 1952 both in Civil Engineering, he had honors; Tau Beta Pi, Sigma X and Phi Beta Kappa. Ark was hired by the consulting engineering firm Cary & Kramer where he became President, CEO and Chairman of the Board from 1972-1989 in the firm then known as Kramer,Chin & Mayo. The firm was nationally recognized in the field of pollution control, water resources, institutional architecture, fisheries resources and aquaculture. The Seattle Aquarium was one of their prized designs. Ark was passionate about his work. He was also a visionary and an avid philanthropist. Community service was important to Ark - he felt that many people helped him along his pathway in life and he wanted to give back whenever he could. In recognition, Ark received several accolades throughout his life: Engineer of the Year by the American Council of Engineering Companies (1987), First Citizen of Seattle by the City of Seattle (1989), Engineer of the Year by the Washington Society of Professional Engineers (1990), Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award from the UW College of Engineering (1992), Spirit of America Award by the Ethnic Heritage Council (1999), Crayon Diversity Award by the Shark Blog (2003), and more. He was featured in the PBS documentary Becoming American: The Chinese Experience, and the anthology Asian Americans in the Twenty-First Century edited by Joann Lee. Ark also served on the Seattle Forward Thrust Committee, the Chong Wa Benevolent Association, and the Chinese Community Service Organization. He was Director of the Board of Trustees for the King County Visiting Nurses Services, and the Association President and Advisor of the Gee How Oak Tin Family Association. Ark spearheaded fundraising to establish the Kin On Nursing Home which serves the Asian elderly. He and Winnie also built an orphanage in China not far from the humble village where Ark was born. Ark Chin was a strong believer in education as the pathway to opportunity and success in life. Ark and Winifred's six children all have college degrees and successful careers. Ark served as a Chairman and Trustee on the Western Washington University Board of Regents from 1974-1980. He also served as a Regent for the University of Washington from 1998-2004 where he was President of the Board, 2001-2002. Ark & Winifred created scholarships at the Western Washington University and the University of Washington for students in need. Ark and Winnie loved to travel and visited all the continents except Antarctica. They loved experiencing different cultures, foods and customs. Ark loved digging for tasty razor clams and made a delicious clam chowder. He loved playing golf and played the game as only an engineer could - precisely and measured. Most important to Ark was family. He and Winnie were devoted to each other for 64 beautiful years. They had six children, 16 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild, all who love Ark dearly. Some of Ark and Winnie's favorite times were the annual summer family reunions they put together for over the past 20 years. Ark is survived and beloved by his wife Winifred; sister Chung Pui Wah; daughter Candace and her four children Hannah, Elizabeth, Susha and Weston; son Curtiss and wife Omi and their three children Yvonne, Jessie and Samantha; son Patrick and wife Patricia Lee and their two children - the younger Loren, and the elder Huxley, his wife Jina, and their son Aden; daughter Phoebe and husband David Arndt and their child Katy; son Colin and wife Sharon Chew and their two children Simone and Sierra; and son Wilson and wife Tina Young and their four children Alex, Gabriel, Jacob and Kyrlia. A memorial service to celebrate Ark's life will be held at Butterworth Arthur A. Wright Chapel, 520 West Raye Street, Seattle, WA 98119 on November 19, 2011 at 11:00am. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Kin On Nursing Home, Wing Luke Museum, or .
Published in The Seattle Times on Nov. 16, 2011
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