Northwest Asian Weekly
Ark Chin, a Chinese American community leader, passed away at his home on Nov. 13. He was 87 years old.
Chin was born in a small village in Tai Shan, China, in 1924 and immigrated to the United States with his parents at the age of 10. He worked in his father’s Chinese restaurant while attending Weatherwax High School in Aberdeen, Wash.
Chin attended the University of Washington (UW) after high school, but his education was interrupted when he entered the military during World War II. Chin fought with the 100th infantry in the European theater. For his service, he was awarded two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star.
After Chin married Winifred Chung, the two settled in Seattle. Chin finished his bachelor’s degree at the UW in 1950 and earned his master’s in 1952 — both in civil engineering.
From 1972 to 1989, Chin worked at consulting engineering firm Cary & Kramer, later renamed Kramer, Chin & Mayo when he became president, CEO, and chairman of the board. The firm is known for designing the Seattle Aquarium. Chin received a host of engineering awards.
Chin was involved in volunteer work and community organizations too numerous to name, but notably, he and his wife built an orphanage in China not far from where Chin was born.
Chin also served as chair and trustee on the Western Washington University (WWU) Board of Regents from 1974 to 1980. He served as regent for the University of Washington from 1998 to 2004 and was president of the board from 2001 to 2002. Chin and his wife believed in providing education for underprivileged students and established many scholarships for UW and WWU students.
Chin was well known in Seattle’s Asian community. He is a founding member of the Chinese Nursing Home Society and Kin On Health Care Center.
Chin is survived and by his wife, Winifred; his sister, Chung Pui Wah; daughter Candace and her four children, Hannah, Elizabeth, Susha, and Weston; son Curtiss, his wife, Omi, and their three children, Yvonne, Jessie, and Samantha; son Patrick and his wife, Patricia Lee, and their two children, Loren and Huxley, as well as Huxley’s wife, Jina, and their son (Chin’s great-grandson), Aden; daughter Phoebe and her husband, David Arndt, and their child, Katy; son Colin and his wife, Sharon Chew, and their children, Simone and Sierra; and son Wilson and his wife, Tina Young, and their four children, Alex, Gabriel, Jacob, and Kyrlia. (end)
A service to celebrate Chin’s life will be held at Butterworth Arthur A. Wright Chapel, 520 West Raye Street, Seattle, on Nov. 19 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Kin On Nursing Home and the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience.