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Acacia Memorial Park & Funeral Home

14951 Bothell Way Ne, Seattle, WA

OBITUARY

Lola Hwa-Ching La Chang

April 4, 1927August 2, 2019
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Hwa-Ching (Lola) La was born in Shanghai in 1926. She was the fourth of seven siblings who lived to adulthood, among five brothers and a younger sister. Several generations of the family lived in the home of Hwa-Ching’s grandfather, who had an antique and jewelry business. The grandfather’s oldest son, Tze-Ho La, was Hwa-Ching’s father, and her mother was Shiu-Ying Ha.

A cook lived with the family, and Hwa-Ching recalled 15 children eating at the “kids’ table.” The cook would sometimes save a roast duck leg for Hwa-Ching. To her final days, her eyes would light up when she saw roasted duck in a Chinese market.

During Hwa-Ching’s childhood, foot binding was still practiced in China, as small feet were considered a feature of feminine beauty. The women in Hwa-Ching’s family had bound feet. However Hwa-Ching’s mother prevailed over family tradition and kept Hwa-Ching and her sister from having their feet bound.

The family fell on hard times after the death of Hwa-Ching’s grandfather and father. Her mother gradually sold off the family’s jewelry to make ends meet.

Japan invaded China in the 1930’s and controlled the northern and coastal areas. To avoid the Japanese advance toward Shanghai, Hwa-Ching and her younger sister fled west. She later recalled this as a grand but dangerous adventure. She described a perilous journey, riding with other children on top of a train. They sang songs to keep each other awake and avoid falling off. Hwa-Ching and her sister hid in Buddhist temples to avoid Japanese soldiers.

In Jinhua she met up with a cousin who fed and clothed them. She learned that one of her older brothers was in Chongqing, in central China. They reunited there and were relatively safe for the remainder of the war. Her brother encouraged her to go to school. She eventually attended nursing school and graduated in 1942. After World War II she returned to Shanghai and was able to help provide for the family. She was pleased by her mother’s comment that girls can be as helpful as boys.

China’s civil war ended with the Communist victory in 1949. That year Hwa-Ching moved to Taiwan to work in nursing. There she met her future husband I-Hsin Chang, a civil engineeer. They were married on July 29, 1951.

Growing up female in a Chinese Muslim family, Hwa-Ching had not been taught the Arabic text used for prayers. For that matter, she had no formal education at all until 3rd grade. Later during the Japanese occupation, keeping halal was not practical; food was scarce and she had to eat whatever was available, including pork. She felt increasingly disconnected from Islam. In Taiwan she met missionaries who introduced her to the Catholic faith. She received instruction and was baptized as a Catholic around the time of her marriage.

Hwa-Ching and I-Hsin raised four daughters: Yawei, Sharan, Kathleen, and Ya-Pei. After eight years as a housewife, Hwa-Ching returned to her nursing career. She worked at the (US) Naval Medical Research Unit 2, assisting American doctors who studied infectious diseases in Asia. She continued until the family decided to emigrate to the US.

Leaving her family in Taiwan, Hwa-Ching arrived in Seattle in 1974 with enough funds for a car and down payment on a house. She began using her English name, Lola. She worked for a year at UW Medical Center as a research helper, followed by other short-term jobs. Her two younger daughters arrived in 1975 and attended high school in Seattle. The older daughters were already in college and arrived 1-2 years later. Finally in 1979 Lola’s husband I-Hsin moved to the US after his retirement in Taiwan.

By this time Lola had steady employment at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. From washing dishes in the kitchen, she worked her way up to head technician in the Clinical Nutrition Research Program. She retired from Fred Hutch in 1992.

Lola continued an active life, helping to raise six of her nine grandchildren who lived nearby. For many years she provided child care, sewed and knitted homemade clothing, and cooked family meals. Her home was often the center of large family gatherings, especially for combined birthday celebrations and Chinese New Year. She loved socializing and often had friends over for dinner and Mahjong. She visited relatives in China several times, and also traveled to Turkey, Cuba, Alaska, Russia, Poland, and other destinations in Europe.

Lola and I-Hsin enjoyed gardening and their yard was often filled with blooming flowers. They also raised onions, garlic, and green vegetables. Lola learned to paint and pursued it for several years, once traveling to Arizona with her class to paint desert landscapes.

As I-Hsin’s health declined, Lola helped to care for him at home until he moved to assisted living. He passed away in 2013. Lola remained in Seattle until 2015 when she moved to her second daughter’s home in Houston. She spent several years in Bill and Sharan’s excellent care and enjoyed frequent visits from her Texas grandchildren. She suffered a stroke on July 29, 2019, and she was in hospice care when she died peacefully on August 2.

Lola is survived by two brothers, Hwa-Ming La (Qingdao, China) and Hwa-Tsan La (Wuhan, China); her daughters and their spouses Yawei Chang and Thatch Harvey (Lake Forest Park), Sharan Chang and Bill Chen (Houston), Kathleen Chang (Seattle), and Ya-Pei Chang and Ray Holden (Seattle); and nine grandchildren: Allen, Michael, Megan, Evan, Alex, Derek, Stephanie, Rachel, and Casie.

A viewing is planned for Saturday August 17, 2019 at Acacia Memorial Park in Lake Forest Park, WA, followed by burial at Holyrood Catholic Cemetery in Shoreline.

喇華琴女士,1926年生於江蘇上海,排行第四(三個哥哥,兩個弟弟,一個妹妹.)幼時家富,八歲始入學. 祖父和父親相継去逝後,家道中落. 對日抗戰時,投靠大哥華琨於湖南.大哥鼓勵華琴唸書,華琴考入湖南湘雅䕶校,畢業後回到上海醫院服務並支持母親和弟妹. 華琴性情直爽,努力好學,喜愛朋友,旅遊,闖練,創造. 1949年,向好友鍾敏𤋮借錢,經服務醫院飛台灣,本欲遊玩一二日後即回上海.適逢大陸解放,只能留居台北. 1951年與張遣訓先生並結連理. 婚後,孕前,一起成為天主教徒. 華琴尤其虔誠,板橋天主教堂毛神父是我們熟悉的面孔. 兩人共育四女,小時週末上完教堂在修女院混,長大後上完教堂到范媽媽家玩. 數十年如一日. 華琴八年在家照顧幼女,有一次聽到七歲的雅薇説:我長大以後要像妳一樣. 為了希望女兒們不要限制她們自己的潛力,華琴決定返回工作崗位做女兒們的榜樣. 先在公保,後經朋友介紹,在美國海軍第二醫學研究所(NAMRU-2) 擔任公共衛生護士. 因工作,結識許多好朋友. 包括Sue阿姨,Uncle Russ, Dr. Gale, Mrs Diana Gale 和他們的四個孩子. 1965年,華琴申請移民美國,1974年核準後單身赴美奮鬥. 一年內定居西雅圖,陸續將女兒們接到西雅圖就學. 1979年,遣訓退休於農復會,到西雅圖經營小店. 華琴在 Fred Hutchinson 上班,下班後幫忙照顧小店和孫子孫女. 1992年,華琴退休,結束14年的服務於 Fred Hutchinson 癌症研究中心,與她親愛的老板(Polly) 和同事告別. 同事們送的石像和長椅在後院伴著她到最後. 退休後,華琴忙於蒔花,種菜,繪畫,旅遊,綘紉,針織,接待來訪的親友,為家人烹調佳餚. 2010年,夫婿遣訓因跌跤骨折,遷入老人之家. 華琴繼續獨居,照顧家園. 2013年,遣訓去逝. 2015年,華琴離開她40年深愛的,親手建立的西雅圖家園, 遷居德州休士頓與曉琴,子榆同住. 在休士頓,她最珍惜的是舊友和女兒們的卡片,舊友包括 Susan Jerla, Diana H. Gale, Mary Jane Francis, 王琳,朱敦 (在台灣他們的兒子,王啓元是華琴的乾兒子)和 Father Tim Clark. 2019年7月29曰因跌跤不醒送急診,照片發現腦出血. 7月30日,女兒們和孫女,孫子電話告別,7月31日下午,世康,世君,余碧安陪伴於ICU, 8月2日下午五時十分,在子榆,曉琴,世君陪伴下,闔然逝世,享壽九十三歲. 遣有:弟-華珉,弟-華𤨪; 女-雅薇,婿-Thatch; 女-曉琴,婿-子榆;女-雅茜;女-雅蓓,婿-瑞;及九孫:先偉,先培,亭蓉,世君,亭達,世康,施巧,施意,世佳. 華琴女士為人熱情誠懇,勤奮好學,女兒,女婿,孫兒,孫女多人,各有所長,貢獻社會,值得慶賀. 2019年8月17日華琴女士安葬於美國華盛頓西雅圖市天主教墓園,Holyrood Cemetery, 205 NE 205th St.,Shoreline WA 98155.

  • PALLBEARERS

  • Thatch Harvey
  • Bill Chen
  • Ray Holden
  • Allen Huang
  • Michael Huang
  • Evan Chen
  • Alex Su
  • Rachel Holden

Services

  • Visitation Saturday, August 17, 2019
  • Graveside Service Saturday, August 17, 2019
  • Reception Saturday, August 17, 2019

Memories

Lola Hwa-Ching La Chang

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Diana Gale

August 17, 2019

Lola. I love you; I miss you; I am so sorry I didn’t see you before you moved on. You are a special person in my life. You are a strong woman who raised four strong and wonderful daughters. Rest In Peace . The world is better for you having been in it.

Kathleen Chang

August 16, 2019

Mom was a hard working person, she was always on the go and made sure everything were being taking care off. She made clothes, knitted sweaters, cooked meals for grandchildren and us.
She was involved and focused on living life and made the best out of it.

She wanted all of us to have a better life and education. She initiated and brought us over to the United States. she was courageous and full of energy. She is always with us in spirit.

Rachel Holden

August 16, 2019

This week has been emotional, and today my popo passed away. Though she lived a good, long life and it was her time, the memories that come flooding back make it so much harder to swallow.

Going to her house was my summer camp. She taught me to paint and crochet, updated me on her lunchtime soap operas, pushed me on the tire swing in her backyard, let us pick cherries from her tree... She'd watch and laugh at my sister and me play in her sprinkler on hot days, count out peanuts and gummy bears to give us as snacks (though I'd often sneak more), make the best shi fan. I always looked forward to Thursday nights since that's when we'd go to her house for dinner, up until she was too old to keep cooking for us. The love she and gonggong had, and the sacrifices they made for their family were incredible...From your life from China to Taiwan, and Taiwan to the states, seeking a better life for you and your family. Popo, look what you've created, what an amazing woman you were. I hope you're reunited with Gonggong and resting peacefully. Wo ai ni.

Bill .

August 13, 2019

I did some research on dementia patients wanting to "go home"... often it’s a place and time when they were happier and enjoyed where they were. When mom first arrived in Houston and sometime after that, she would recall a time when she was in the 湖南 (Hunan) nursing school and had an outing with 崔文真 (Cui Wenzhen) and they found an orange tree ...they climbed up and ate some sweet oranges. Later they pulled from the ground, roots of 地瓜 (sweet potato). They were small and white on the inside, juicy and sweet. She repeated that story with so much happiness hundreds of times but then at some point stopped. I think it was fading in her memory. I think that place and time was one "home" she would rather be - life with energy, fun and adventures. When she was unconscious in the hospital, I was wondering if in her mind she finally went home to wherever she wanted to be.

Ya-Pei .

August 13, 2019

(Ya-Pei) Mom bought me a guitar. She attended all my awards ceremonies and graduations in high school, MIT and UW dental school, and our daughters’ birthdays, religious ceremonies, and other important events. She was an amazing and strong woman, a loving mother and grandma, and a fabulous cook and host for parties. She was full of life and fun and love.

Yawei .

August 13, 2019

Mom was confident and in charge of everything - what to have for dinner, where to go for vacation, how we could have a better life in the US. She wanted her daughters to have a good education but also to stay close as a family.

She was always full of ideas and had a sense of adventure. She loved having friends over for dinner and playing Mahjong. We all remember how she played last Thanksgiving in Houston!

She loved all of her daughters, sons-in-law and grandkids, and would defend them in front of others. Allen was mistreated and probably bullied in first grade (at Leschi). Mom wouldn’t have any of that and I remember her confronting teachers and administrators when we went to pick him up. We moved him to OLL the next year.

Mom set high standards for us girls. We all knew we had to work hard in school, play piano, help with cooking (I remember I did a lot of chopping and dishes), shine shoes weekly, clean house, etc. I feel she taught us well.

Sharan .

August 13, 2019

In Taiwan the family would spend most of our one-day weekend (Sunday) at an abbey, attending mass and other activities. Religious summer camps and retreats were regular events for us. Father Mao visited us before Mom emigrated. My first goal in elementary school was to become a nun.

Mom wanted to learn to play piano when she was young, but she never had an opportunity. Later she provided her daughters with a piano and lessons.

She took us on many outings when we were young, to the zoo, beaches, parks, swimming pools. I remember sometimes wishing I could stay home and finish my homework.

She wasn’t a complainer or lecturer, she was a doer, and didn’t like to depend on others. I appreciate how she taught us to be independent, and introduced us to Catholicism. She was the best mom.

FROM THE FAMILY

Lola in 2018 Wearing Scarf Made By Granddaughter Casie.

FROM THE FAMILY

She Wanted the Uniform

FROM THE FAMILY

Nursing School Graduates Class of 1945.

FROM THE FAMILY

Lola in 2018 Wearing Scarf Made By Granddaughter Casie.

FROM THE FAMILY

She Wanted the Uniform

FROM THE FAMILY

Nursing School Graduates Class of 1945.

FROM THE FAMILY

Lola as a Teenager.

FROM THE FAMILY

Lola Coming of Age.

FROM THE FAMILY

Lola with Boyfriend I-Hsin.

FROM THE FAMILY

Wedding Day July 29, 1951

FROM THE FAMILY

First Page of Marriage

FROM THE FAMILY

With Sharan, Kathleen and Ya Pei

FROM THE FAMILY

Family Portrait