By Ruth Bayang
Northwest Asian Weekly
Edward Chow, Jr., the son of Seattle civic activist and Chinese community pioneer Ruby Chow, died at his home from pancreatic cancer on July 22.
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Secretary Ed Chow, a soldier and a public servant who touched the lives of countless veterans in Maryland,” said Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen in a statement. Chow was Maryland’s Secretary of Veterans Affairs from 2009 to 2015.
Van Hollen’s statement goes on to say, “Ed was proud of his Chinese heritage and of his service in the U.S. Army and Army Reserve. He was a tireless advocate for veterans.”
Born in New York City and raised in Seattle, Chow graduated from Seattle University. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army and served in Germany. Chow left the Army at the rank of Captain in 1967 after serving 11 years. That same year, he was awarded the Bronze Star for heroic or meritorious achievement or service during the Vietnam War.
Chow credits many of his accomplishments to the training and guidance he received from his parents, Ruby and Shu Ping Chow.
Chow was the city administrator for the City of Kent and during his tenure as Director of Emergency Services, Chow managed the response to natural and other disasters including the Mount St. Helens eruption.
Chow was active in advocating for veterans for over 30 years. He served as Washington State President of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) in the 1980s and on the VVA National Board of Directors.
Chow is survived by his life partner, Sara McVicker; son, Dr. Ward K. Chow (Cynthia) of Spokane and Seattle; daughter, Dr. Elizabeth Chow (Dr. Aaron Smuckler) of Pittsburgh; five grandsons and a granddaughter; and brothers, Shelton, Brien, and Mark of Seattle.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Donations in memory of Chow’s life of service may be made to: Charlotte Hall Veterans Trust, 29449 Charlotte Hall Road, Charlotte Hall, Maryland 20622 (charhall.org) or Georgetown University’s Ruesch Center to support pancreatic cancer research (ruesch.georgetown.edu).
Ruth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.