Dr. Tung "T.D." Dju Lin
May 10, 1933 – June 1, 2020
Dr. Tung Dju Lin, known as T.D., a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and follower of Christ, died June 1, one day before his wife, Su Yu Lin, of complications from coronavirus at their home in Wilmette. He was 87.
T.D. surrendered his life to Jesus in the early 1970’s, a result of Su’s fervent prayers for him. From this point on he viewed life through a more spiritual lens. Through his shared faith with Su, they found a focus in life that opened his awareness of blessings beyond what he imagined. He enjoyed serving, witnessing, and living according to his faith.
T.D. was born May 10, 1933, and he was raised in Luodong, a city in Yilan County in Taiwan. He was the youngest of twelve siblings. His parents died when he was about twelve, and an older brother became a father figure to him. His older brother pushed him to work hard, emphasized education, and was instrumental in getting him to travel abroad to study. T.D. would later use that story to illustrate to his four children why they should adopt the same approach and excel academically.
T.D. was an intellect at heart who came from humble beginnings, immigrated alone from Taiwan to the United States, and worked his way from busboy to world-renowned civil engineer. He received his BS in civil engineering from Chung Yuan Christian University in Taiwan. When he first arrived in Chicago in 1960 to pursue his graduate education, he worked as a porter at the Palmer House hotel. His graduate studies began at Illinois Institute of Technology and continued at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he received his master’s degree in structural engineering in 1962. While in Tennessee he took a job as an engineer for the Tennessee Highway Department in Newport, Tennessee. He later acquired his Ph.D. in engineering mechanics from Oklahoma State University in 1968.
Prior to his immigration to the United States, T.D. met Su and maintained a long-distance courtship. During his post-graduate years in Tennessee, he arranged for her to join him in Tennessee, and they were married on February 12, 1964. The couple moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma, where Tim and Christina were born. After a short stint in Corpus Christi, Texas, the growing family moved to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, so T.D. could work for PressCon Steel. A year or so later, he found a position in the Chicago area, a more permanent job with stability. It was during this time that David and Michael were born. While at Portland Cement Association (PCA)/Construction Technology Laboratories he continued to advance in various positions until his retirement in 1991.
A theme in T.D.’s life was thinking outside the box and exploring ideas in unexpected ways. During his years at PCA, NASA awarded T.D. forty grams of lunar soil to test the feasibility of building a concrete lunar base using materials from the moon. This was one of his most notable achievements because he was the first civilian to be granted permission to use this sample brought back from the Apollo 16 mission.
T.D. became a well-published research scientist writing hundreds of papers providing significant contributions to the field of civil engineering His research paved the way for a full professorship for him at National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan from 1991 to 1995 and a research professor position at National Cheng Kung University from 2001 to 2009. Under his own consulting company, Lintek International Inc., he expanded his global influence of innovative technology related to civil engineering.
Through his challenges and experiences, he developed a desire to help inspire and pave the way for others to come to the U.S. Always generous with his time and knowledge, T.D. was a lifelong mentor to many.
T.D. and Su lived in the same house in Wilmette for close to fifty years. He single-handedly designed and built a large three-season room where many fond memories were created.
He would often encourage his children to rise early and make the most of the day. Time was valuable to him. He believed hard work brought more opportunities. He always wanted his children to be self-sufficient and he taught them many important life skills.
He enjoyed traveling with Su and some of their favorite trips were to Vienna, Ottawa, Hokkaido, Geneva, Paris, and Madrid. They often visited their son David in San Francisco for months at time.
In his retirement, T.D. found joy in gardening and working outdoors. He loved walking and driving around to different places, always looking for new routes to keep the journey fresh. He found value in the journey and not just the destination. His favorite song was “Whatever Will Be, Will Be” by Doris Day. It mirrored his outlook on life: “Whatever will be, will be … according to God’s plan.” He served at Evangelical Trinity Church (ETC) and Winnetka Japanese Church, gladly offering help in any way possible as a servant leader.
He loved vanilla and butter pecan ice cream, pecan pie, peanut brittle, and wasabi. His favorite restaurant was Ginza, the place he enjoyed taking all the grandchildren.
T.D. and Su’s partnership in life weathered many ups and downs, and they tirelessly and lovingly advocated for one another, taking turns carrying the other along life’s path. Their bond was a gift to witness and learn from.
Survivors include four children: Timothy (May) Lin, Christina (Mark) Giacomin, David (Mimi) Lin, and Michael (Grace) Lin; and ten grandchildren: Jefferson Lin, Julia, Jessica, A.J., and Jake Giacomin, Phoebe, Allison, and Joseph Lin, and Matthew and Oliver Lin. T.D. was preceded in death by his parents, Huoo Lin and A Taur Yang, and all of his brothers and sisters.
Due to the coronavirus, T.D. will be remembered with a memorial service at a later date. Interment will be private at Memorial Park Cemetery in Skokie, IL.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Winnetka Japanese Church 305 Ridge Rd., Wilmette, IL 60091 or Evangelical Trinity Church, 9800 Crawford Ave., Skokie, IL 60076. Please indicate “T.D. Lin” in the memo of your donation.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Dr. Tung "T.D." Dju Lin
June 29, 2020
Dear bother TD,
I will never forget the way you spoke as a real scholar and gentleman.
In one particularly hot summer, you went to ETC church taking care of the garden and planted flowers. When you could not carry heavy soils, you knelt down and asked God to give you enough strength to finish the job.
In the days of Su’s suffering health problems, you went to church praying for her every morning.
You and Su are unforgettable role models for us and we will miss your encouragement, faith, friendship, and leadership everyday.
We will follow your loving and faithful steps in Jesus and remember both of you forever.
From ETC family
Tony &Lan Tsai
June 29, 2020
Ten years ago my wife and I were in a weekly Bible study with TD and Su . .One week we studied John 8,the passage where a woman who was caught in adultery was brought before Jesus. As those around Jesus pushed for the crowd to stone her, He wrote in the dirt. In John 8:7 "When they kept on questioning him,he straightened up and said to them:Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her". We learned that night not to judge or condemn others. Two weeks later, TD brought 12 rocks to Bible study. Remembering the passage they had studied before,he asked that if anyone wanted to ,they could each take a stone home to remind them what Jesus had taught in John 8. Ten years later the stone I brought home is still on my desk.It has greatly blessed me and is inspirational .That is one of my memories of TD and Su. that they loved God and His Word passionately.
June 17, 2020
Professor TD Lin graduated from the Civil Engineering Department of Chung Yuan Christian University in 1959 with first place in academic performance. He came back to Taiwan in 1994 and worked as a visiting professor at Chung Yuan Christian University. He guided the engineering materials research team of Civil Engineering Department and provided constructive feedback on the development of our department. I was a professor in Civil Engineering department and the general manager of the school at that time and I became acquainted with Professor Lin. His research was outstanding in the academic field. Also, he was always kind and willing to help people. He had a lot of contributions on research and was commended by the outstanding alumni of the school in 1994.
Today, I would like to express my sincere condolences for the loss of a distinguished alumnus and a good senior in the Department of Civil Engineering. He will be truly missed.
June 15, 2020
My name is Shoma NISHIYAMA, from Japan.
I stayed as a guest with them in summer 2010 to study English, as My father Minehiro worked with Dr. T.D.Lin. They were more than kind and the time I spent there are precious memories for me, I will never forget it.
I am truly sorry to hear the news of their passing.
Please accept my heartfelt condolences.
June 12, 2020
I am so sorry to hear about the pass away of Dr./Prof. TD Lin.
Prof. TD Lin who came back to Taiwan and helped to establish of Fire Protection and Safety Research Center, National Cheng Kung University during 1998 to 2005. One picture I found showing he brought me to UK to visit Dr. Alamdari at BRE/LPC with Prof Sullivan during 2004.
One time he shared to me the reason why the water of Michigan lake always flows out but not flows in from rivers. He mentioned that this lake is so big that all passing cloud will rain on the lake. This like God to pay sympathy to all people, but he doesn't lose his strength, instead, more strength He gain. Prof. TD Lin was brilliant and tried to learn many languages of local native races in Taiwan. He did have a lot of friendship during his stay in Taiwan. He is a really respectful elder and always kind to help us.
It was an honor and a privilege to know him. At this moment, I pay my deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy to the Lin Family.
June 11, 2020
I was so incredibly sorry and saddened to learn of T.D.'s passing. I worked with T.D. for many years at PCA/CTL. He was so excited to receive lunar material to study and test. He had a brilliant mind and was way ahead of his time when it came to construction on the moon and on Mars. Always a smile on his face, T.D. was a natural teacher and possessed a great sense of humor. It was an honor and a privilege to know him, work with him and call him my friend. My deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy go out to the Lin Family. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
June 11, 2020
I worked with TD for many years. I am so saddened about him leaving us! So very kind, intelligent and respectful. I pray God blesses the Lin family with some comfort during this sad time. I am so sorry for your losses. So sad.
June 10, 2020
One of the nicest man I ever knew
June 6, 2020
Deepest condolences to the Lin Family,
It was an honor to work at the same company with Mr. TD Lin for many years. He was a brilliant, encouraging, engaging man. Every interaction with TD left you with a warm feeling in your heart, a brighter outlook on solving a problem at work, and the real time awareness that working with him was a blessing.
June 5, 2020
Our hearts go out to you for your loss. I worked with TD after he retired from PCA. For almost 30 years we shared a keen interest in space exploration and construction on the moon and Mars. I will look back fondly on his visits to my lab to discuss his latest ideas and proposals. He was a kind man with boundless enthusiasm, generous with his time and knowledge. He will be missed.