- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 31, 2016

Dr. Syn Duk Choi, a dedicated mother, brilliant scholar and respected teacher, passed away peacefully Thursday surrounded by her loving family at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis. She was 95.

Born on Jan. 27, 1921, in northern Pyongan Province in Korea, Dr. Choi served as director of the Sociology Department at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Korea, twice after serving as an adviser at the U.S. Operations Mission to Korea from 1958 to 1962.

Dr. Choi, who grew up under Japan’s colonial rule, kept her Christian faith, despite facing persecution, and became a member of the Unification Church.

In 1942 Dr. Choi was married to Dr. Soo Jang Joo, M.D., and lived in her husband’s hometown in northern Korea. By 1948 her family moved to Seoul to take refuge from the communist regime in the North. Unfortunately, when the Korean War broke out in 1950, she lost her husband, who was taken captive by the North Korean Army.

As a widow with four children in a war-torn country, Dr. Choi faced overwhelming adversities alone. Even in the face of so many difficulties, Dr. Choi always overcame them with a victorious spirit guided by her dedication to her family.

In 1954 her faith led her to join the Unification Church, where she was actively engaged in various church activities, including as president of the “Sunday Club.”

Eventually, to provide for her family, she sought opportunities in America and received a fellowship from the University of Chicago, where she earned her master’s degree in social sciences in 1958. She returned to Korea to work as an education adviser at the U.S. Operations Mission to Korea from 1958 to 1962.

Dr. Choi led a successful career as a professor and a scholar. She became a tenured professor at Ewha Womans University in 1973. After studying in the U.S. at Princeton and Southern Illinois University, she received her Ph.D. from Ewha in 1975. From 1976 to 1980, and again from 1985 until 1987, she served as the director of the sociology department at Ewha and was elected president of the Korean Sociological Association in 1980 and 1981.

In 1999 she immigrated to the United States to be closer to her family. In America she actively contributed to her community and was honored by the city of Chicago and given an award by the Chicago Korean Community. In 2006 she became a U.S. citizen, and a year later was appointed an “Ambassador for Peace” by the Universal Peace Federation in Chicago.

Dr. Choi is survived by her two sons and two daughters and their families: Dr. Douglas DM Joo, former president and chairman of The Washington Times, and his wife Myung Mi Joo and their children, Hoon Hwi and his wife Yeonsil, and two sons Eungman and Eungdo; Hoon Pal and his wife Hwa Sun and their sons Eung Joon and Hoon Chul; Dong Rin Joo and his two children, Eun Young (Joo) and her husband Byungjin Yoon, and their children Yeseul and Yein and Do Hwi; Dr. and professor Soonja Juh and Ms. Soon Hee (Juh) and her husband Woo Sung Hong and their two sons, Souck Rai and his wife Keun Kyoung, and their children, Kyoung Eui and Yon Eui, and Souck Hwan and his wife Young Ju and their children, Kyoung Seo and Kyoung Yeun.

The memorial service will be held Monday at Fairfax Memorial Funeral Home, 9902 Braddock Road, Fairfax, Virginia, 22032. There will be time for greetings from 9 a.m. and services at 10 a.m.

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