Richard Chu
1933 - 2012
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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 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

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Poughkeepsie Journal from Sep. 12 to Sep. 14, 2012.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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26 entries
May 19, 2019
My Chinese name is Richard was a classmate of mine at National CK university, also a colleague of mine at IBM. I was also a neighbor of his wife Theresa in my junior high years in Wuhan, China. I didn't know his passing away until just now. Very sorry to find out this way. I wish his wife and family all the best. His father was my Dean and professor of Mechanical Engineering, and we had a lot of fun together during our four university years. I am proud of him.
Dian Jen
October 12, 2012
Ben: So sorry for your loss. My condolences to you and your family. It is evident that he lived a very rich life and truly enjoy every moment and made a lasting imprint personally and professionally. He will be missed by many !
Wendy Chong
October 5, 2012
I am so sorry to hear of Dick's passing. We truly enjoyed sharing the neighborhood with you both. Your family is in our prayers.
Nancy Predatsch
October 5, 2012
Hi Ben,
Heartfelt condolences. This must be a difficult time for you and your family.

D P Prakash, IBM
D P Prakash
September 20, 2012
Mrs. Chu - we are so sorry to hear of your loss. Please know you are in our hearts and prayers.
Leo & Staff @ McGrath Law
September 18, 2012
Dick Chu was one of a kind: Always helpful, always friendly. When he - almost a year earlier than he expected - became the first elected president of the IBM Academy of Technology he rose to the occasion and showed how persuasive a leader of IBM's technical community he was.
Yde van der Meulen
September 14, 2012
You are a great leader in our community and warm & fun friend. I shall cherish your friendship and many wonderful memories at your beloved lakehouse forever.
Yenbin Chen
September 14, 2012
Ben - I am sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. Your Dad and family are in our thoughts and prayers. God bless you and your family in this difficult time.
Diane and Ron Geiger
September 13, 2012
Our thoughts and prayers and with you and your family.
Donatelli John & Sue
September 13, 2012
I have known Dick for over 40 years and it was just a few months ago that I met with Dick in a lively meeting in IBM. So it was understandable how shocked and saddened I was to learn of the passing of this great and kind man. Florence and I send our love and prayers to his loving family.
Bill Beausoleil
September 13, 2012
I will miss seeing Mr. Chu coming into HVFCU in the IBM 416 building and all his stories about life and his family. A very sweet man who will be truly missed by all. Pray for his wife and kids.
Linda Colesanti
September 13, 2012
We're all shocked and saddened to hear this news. Our condolences to you and your family. Please know you're in our thoughts.
Denise Barton & family
Denise Barton
September 13, 2012
As a friend and colleague of Dick Chu's for more than three decades, all I can say is that he was a true gentlemen and scholar, one of the best of the best in his field. He will be greatly missed by the many of us who worked alongside him at IBM, and I want to express our great sadness at his loss, and our condolences to his family and his friends.
Bernie Meyerson
September 13, 2012
So sorry for your loss. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Susan Flaherty-Grega
September 12, 2012
Dick's passing is a great loss for everyone who knew him. Dick was a wonderful person. It is difficult to accept the loss of such a dear friend. We recall a touching memory about the Chus: on our
Last night in Poughkeepsie before we moved to California, Dick and Theresa asked us to stay with them at their house. It was a kind and thoughtful gesture on their part, we even invaded the children's bunk-beds. We have treasured each time our families and children have spent together. Our friendship with the Chus has lasted for decades and will continue to grow.
Theresa, our deepest condolence to you and your entire family !
K. G. and Grace Tan
September 12, 2012
Dear Theresa and Family... Such fond memories of a wonderful, loving man. We truly enjoyed the time spent with him at Mt. Alvernia on our bingo nights and the social gatherings. God Bless You all. Nancy & Charlie Junjulas
Nancy Junjulas
September 12, 2012
So sorry for your loss
Andrew Pomerene
September 12, 2012
The Chu family: sorry to hear of the passing of Dick. We had worked together on many projects at IBM. A brilliant man and a lot of fun to work with.
Richard (Dick) Johnson
September 12, 2012
Mr. Chu was a great person. Dutchess County lost a man of integrity who loved his family and did much for Mt. Alvernia . My earliest recollections were when he and his wife brought to their young children to the Mount for Sunday mass and how he backed the st. mary's of Wappingers whalemen swim program which has long since passed. We need more men like Dick Chu. We pray for his wife and family.
Richard McHugh
September 12, 2012
Our condolences for your loss. Some of our fondest memories are our moments with Dick and Theresa. His leadership of the IBM Academy of Technology was typical: humble, persuasive, helpful. A great loss.
Edwin and Polly Lassettre
September 12, 2012
Mr. Chu was a great man and an example for all to follow. To Mrs. Chu, Benny, Bence, Benji, Bonnie, and your entire families, our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Don Murphy
September 12, 2012
I was shocked and saddened to hear the news. I've known Dick since 1964 when as young engineers we shared an office at IBM. For 20 years he was my friend, colleague and eventually my manager. We never lost touch.

Dick was very talented and a great guy whom I will miss. My sincerest condolences to Theresa and the family.
Vince Antonetti
September 12, 2012
Mrs. Chu - we are so sorry to hear of your loss. Please know you are in our hearts and prayers.
Eddie & Sue Place
September 12, 2012
My prayers and thoughts are with the family. It was a great privilege to work with Dick and learn from him. His contributions have a lasting impact.
September 12, 2012
My condolences to you and your entire family for your loss.
Diane Pope(amex)
September 11, 2012
I am so sadden to hear this news. What a wonderful, WONDERFUL man!! He so loved this family and his work. Dick was never to busy to talk; always made time to talk and offer guidance if needed; always wearing his beautiful smile -- and someone I will never forget. My prayers are with his loving wife and family at this time.
Maureen Hackett
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