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Dorothy K. Cheng

1934 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Dorothy K. Cheng Obituary
Dorothy K. Cheng

AGE: 81 • Hockessin

Dorothy Cheng, 81 of Hockessin, passed away peacefully at home on February 13, 2016.

She was born on September 29, 1934 to John Eun-Min and Magdalene Book-Sil Kim in Beijing, China. Her Korean parents went to Beijing to seek refuge from the occupation of Korea by Japan. Her father, John, moved to Beijing to enroll at Beijing University, where he graduated with a degree in Commerce and settled into life there with his wife, Magdalene Lee. Her parents emigrated to the U.S. and lived for many years in Elsmere; they were devoted parishioners at Corpus Christi church until their passing.

Dorothy's family faced many challenging circumstances during her childhood in China and Korea related to political strife. Thankfully, Dorothy's father found a sanctuary in classical music and introduced her as a child to the classical ensembles and concerts being performed in Beijing. She developed a life-long love of music, which Dorothy and her husband, Mike shared in some of the great cities of the world; Philadelphia, New York City, Taipei, Beijing, Vienna, Berlin, and Prague. Dorothy also played the violin and piano her whole life, and took great pleasure in the last few years playing with a trio of friends at her home.

Dorothy was awarded a full scholarship to the College of St. Teresa in Winona, Minnesota in 1953; it was here she first met her future husband, Michael S.P. Cheng, who was enrolled at a nearby college. They were married Feb. 2, 1959 at Holy Trinity Church in New York City, and settled there, Mike graduated from NYU and their three children were born.

Dorothy was a singularly talented woman, she embodied many characteristics of her strong Catholic faith; humbleness, grace, an abiding love of her family and friends, a dogged perseverance, and a desire to help others. Dorothy enjoyed her life's work with non-profit organizations, she started out in the 1960's working as a social worker for migrant farm workers, and later was Center Director of two full time Head Start Day Care sites in downtown Wilmington, she also worked for Elwyn Institute serving the disabled, then ended her full-time career, as the Principal of an international preschool in Taipei. Dorothy was an amateur musician, a skilled gardener, baker, seamstress, avid book reader, and crafter; she was always active, engaged and never idle. Her family is eternally grateful for the loving care that she provided.

Dorothy is survived by her loving husband, Michael (S.P.); her three children; Francis (Julie Garber); Christine Lim (David); and Clement ( Susan White). Dorothy cherished her grandchildren: Paul Cheng; Peter Cheng; Kelsey Cheng; Cecelia Lim; Lia Cheng; Simone Lim; Justin Cheng, Savannah Garber and Eric Garber. She is also survived by her siblings, Francesca Kye (Hoon), Helen Chung (Jin) and Peter Kim (Imelda) and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, John and Magdalene Kim, Dorothy was predeceased by her brother, George Kim.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00am on Friday, February 19, 2016 at St. Mary of the Assumption Church, 7200 Lancaster Pike, Hockessin, DE 19707, where family and friends may visit beginning at 10:00am. Interment will be held privately at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, Dorothy's family suggests making contributions to St. Mary of the Assumption Church at the address listed above.

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Published in The News Journal on Feb. 18, 2016
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