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Richard Chu


1933 - 2012 Obituary Condolences
Richard Chu Obituary
Dr. Richard Chu

HOPEWELL JUNCTION - Dr. Richard "Dick" Chao-Fan Chu, 79, an area resident for 51 years and formerly of Taiwan, died on Saturday, September 8, 2012 at his lakehouse on Twin Lakes in Elizaville, NY.

Born in Beijing, China on May 28, 1933, he was the son of Liang-Hsi Chu and Yun Hwa Wang. He received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from National Cheng-Kung University in 1958 and his Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in 1960. He was the recipient of two Honorary Doctorate degrees; in 1992 from American University of the Caribbean and in 1996 from his alma mater, Purdue University. Dr. Chu was recognized by both National Cheng-Kung and Purdue University as a Distinguished Alumnus.

Dr. Chu joined IBM in 1960 and held a variety of both technical and managerial assignments (all in Development Lab, IBM Poughkeepsie). He was appointed in 1983 as an IBM Fellow, IBM's highest technical honor. In his distinguished career, Dr. Chu's invention achievements are documented in over 200 patents and over 150 patent disclosure publications. A prolific technical innovator in cooling technology, many of his patents and publications have been recognized outside of IBM as industry standards for the cooling of electronic equipment.

Dr. Chu has achieved numerous honors, including the ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award in 1986, election to the National Academy of Engineering in 1987 and his appointment to Academia Sinica, Republic of China in 1996. He served as the first president of the IBM Academy of Technology and was recognized by the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) as Asian American Engineer of the Year in 2006. In 2010, Dr. Chu received his 66th Invention Achievement Award, at that time a record for IBM Poughkeepsie. Dr. Chu had a lifelong passion for the academic community, as shown by his active involvement in IBM's university research program which resulted in over 80 thesis related publications. Dick retired in 2011 after 51 years of dedicated service to IBM. He remained an IBM Fellow Emeritus and still maintained a strong presence at IBM even in his retirement.

On August 24, 1963 in Newark, NJ, Dick married Theresa Lee who survives at home. He is also survived by his children and their spouses: Benjamin and Kara Chu, Benson and Mary Chu, Benedict and Adora Chu and Bonnie and David Sclafani; his grandchildren, Kelsey, Aaron, Stephen, Lucas, Dylan, Ryan, Owen, Dean, Ty and Ming Lee; and his sisters and their husbands, Cora and Shu Beam Eng, Linda and James Yuan, and Nancy Sher. Dick loved the Hudson Valley area where he lived most of his years, raised his family and formed many life-long friendships. He was a founding member and first president of the Mid-Hudson Chinese Community Association. He was loved and admired by many.

Dick loved his work, but above all things, he loved his wife and family. He was a dedicated and loyal husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, colleague, mentor and friend. Dick loved to spend time with his beloved wife, Theresa, who he lovingly referred to as "Mother" or "Mother Theresa", leading an active lifestyle together. His hobbies and passions included jogging, windsurfing, sailing, paddle boating, golfing, skiing and travelling to visit his 4 surviving children and their families. His latest passion was riding his Hydro Bike at his favorite spot, his beloved lakehouse on Twin Lakes in Elizaville, NY.

Dick Chu attended Mass at St. Columba Church, Hopewell Junction, St. Denis Church in Hopewell Junction, St. Christopher's Church in Red Hook and Mount Alvernia in Wappingers Falls.

Calling hours will be held on Friday from 4-7pm at the McHoul Funeral Home, Inc., 895 Route 82, Hopewell Junction. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday at 10am at St. Columba Church, 835 Route 82, Hopewell Junction followed by interment in Calvary Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Purdue Foundation. Please note that it is for the School of Mechanical Engineering in memory of Richard C. Chu. Memorial donations may be mailed to: 585 Purdue Mall, Mechanical Engineering Bldg., Rm. 1003B,

Attn: Laura Edwards, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2088.Memorial donations can also be accepted online via credit card at https://donate.purdue.edu/Menu.aspx. Click on the "make a one time gift" option and then fill in the automated form with the School of Mechanical Engineering as the designated area. There will be a text box where donors can indicate this is in memory of Richard C. Chu.

For driving directions, online condolences and memorial donations, please visit Dick's Book of Memories at www.mchoulfuneralhome.com.

Published in the Poughkeepsie Journal from Sept. 12 to Sept. 14, 2012
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