Nai Yong Chang

Obituary
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  • "I used to play tennis with Nai at Bay RD. He was always..."
    - Richard Katz
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    - cindy fontaine
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Nai Yong Chang died on January 17, 2019 at The Soldiers' Home in Holyoke. He was born January 7, 1933 in Shanghai, China. His father, Chang Chingkiang, (also known as Zhang Renjie) was a successful businessman and Nationalist party leader. His mother, Yi Ming (Chu) Chang, co-founded the Buddhist Association of the United States. Nai was the youngest of their children.

The Chang family made its way to New York in 1939, settling in the Riverdale section of the Bronx during a time when Chinese immigration to the United States had been sharply restricted. Nai attended the Ethical Culture Fieldston School and, later, Riverdale Country Day School. As a child, he loved drawing animals and showed unusual artistic ability.

He also loved tennis and soccer, and co-captained his high school soccer team. At Trinity College he majored in mathematics, receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in 1955. In the same year, he was naturalized as a United States citizen and enlisted in the Army.

After college, he met Wei-Wen Pu on a boat ride in New York; they married in 1964. After taking evening art classes at Cooper Union, he found work as a designer at Harry N. Abrams, a prominent publisher of art books, and remained at that company from 1965 to 1981 as art director and, eventually, vice president. He was known for his exceptionally beautiful book layouts, dust jackets, calligraphy, and font design. He received industry-wide recognition for his work on MOON (1972), The Art of Walt Disney (1973), Gnomes (1977), and others.

In 1981, he co-founded the Stewart, Tabori, and Chang publishing company. During his time there, STC produced memorable titles like Glorious Food, Grandmother Remembers, Love: a Celebration in Art and Literature, and Galaxies. After his retirement, Nai moved to Massachusetts to be with his daughters. For twenty years he would struggle with Alzheimer's; nevertheless, he continued to play tennis, draw and paint, and play with his three grandchildren. At every age, he made friends wherever he went because of his sweet, calm disposition.

He is survived by his daughters, Tse-Sheng Elizabeth Chang and Tse-Feng Susan Chang; his grandchildren, Ilya Hong-Jiang Yudkovsky, Noah Chang te Velde, and Zoe Chang te Velde; and two of his sisters, Nai Lee Smith and Nai Shun Chang.

Services will be held at Douglass Funeral Home in Amherst on January 26th. (11 am public visitation, 12 pm service). In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial contributions to the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke or the of America.

Memorial register at www.douglassfuneral.com

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Douglass Funeral Home
87 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01002
(413) 253-3407
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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Jan. 21, 2019
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