Chang

February 22, 1930 ~ October 12, 2020

Born in: China
Resided in: Torrance, California

Chang C. Chen, aka Frank Chen, was the son of a gracious medical doctor and his noble wife, Chen Zai Gang, and Xia Yu Ru.  Frank was born in 1929 and spent his early years growing up in Shao Xing, China.  Frank had 3 brothers, Chen Chang Zuo, Chen Chang You, Chen Chang Song, and 2 sisters, one of which was named Chen Pei Ceng.  During Sino-Japanese War of 1937, his father served as a physician to the Chinese resistance and so the family traveled with the soldiers as they fought against the invading armies traveling through jungles, upon rivers, and sheltering in dank caves. These were difficult years for the family contending with famine, violence of war, and constant mobilization as the army was on a continual retreat into the interior of China. After the war, Frank remained on the Chinese mainland separated from his parents and finished his secondary education there.  Frank’s parents had to reach the safety of Taiwan’s shores where the Kuomintang were welcomed. Frank later rejoined his parents in Taiwan, and went on to graduate with the highest honors in electrical engineering from the National Taiwan University in 1952.

Because of his academic accomplishments, Frank earned a full scholarship to study for a masters in electrical engineering at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, Canada.  But, because Frank had little money, he had to make the journey to North America aboard a cargo ship taking months to finally reach the Bay of San Francisco. Though he did not speak or read English and knew no one across the Pacific, Frank was adventurous and brave in his quiet and humble way, and made a trip by train and bus across the U.S. to finally reach Fredericton. Frank flourished at UNB, was well respected for his hard work, humility, kindness and character by his peers and the faculty, and was affectionally known as “C Cubed” (C3) for his initials “CCC.”  After obtaining a masters from University of New Brunswick, Frank went on to attain a Ph.D. from the University of Syracuse in electrical engineering.

Frank traveled across the country again after finishing his doctoral studies in New York to teach mathematics as an associate professor at San Jose State University in 1963.  One night, Frank ventured out to a Chinese student dance at the University of California, Berkeley, and met his wife of 58 years, Bessie.  After Frank and Bessie married, rented a small apartment in Santa Monica and had a son, Eddie, a year later.  A couple years later, Frank purchased a house close to his work, and had his daughter, Debbie.  In his later years, he spent many happy times helping to care for his 3 grandsons, Christopher, Nicholas and Austin.  Frank was a devoted husband and a dedicated and loving father and grandfather.  Selfless and compassionate, there is nothing Frank would not have done to help his family and his friends.

Frank worked as an electrical engineer for over 40 years, beginning at Northrup, and ending with consultation work on a Taiwanese satellite, but the heart of  his career was spent at TRW specializing in the communication systems for U.S. government satellites. Frank loved his work and was recognized for his achievements by his employers but he disliked attention and tried to deflect accolades and praise. Frank preferred the peacefulness in nature, was devout in his Christian faith, and had an appreciation for poetry.  Frank enjoyed Chinese, English and American poets. A couple of his favorite poems are included below.

Frank was a considerate, conscientious and industrious man throughout his life solving problems inside and outside of work. There were many challenges in Frank’s life that many of us will never know, but his experiences both difficult and joyful, made Frank the wonderful human being that he was. The universe is a better place because Frank was in it, and he graced us with 91 years of his courageous and altruistic life.

Chinese translation

陳長中 回憶錄

1929年2月29日至2020年10月12日

偉人達到並保持的高峰, 不是突然一飛而擁有的

則是在他們在伙伴睡覺時, 在夜裡向上一直辛苦地工作

亨利·沃茲沃思·朗費羅

陳長中,又名Frank Chen,父親陳在釭,是一位親切的醫生,母親夏玉如,是位高尚的妻子。長中(Frank)生於1929年,早年在中國紹興成長。長中有3個兄弟,陳長佐、陳長佑、陳長松和2個姐姐,其中一位叫陳佩曾。在1937年抗日戰爭期間,長中的父親擔任抗日戰爭的醫生,因此,他們與士兵一起旅行,穿越叢林,河流和掩埋在潮濕洞穴中和侵略軍作戰。由於軍隊不斷撤退到中國內陸。對於那些飽受飢荒、戰爭暴力和顛沛流離的家庭來說,這是段艱難的歲月。戰爭結束後,長中與父母分開,留在中國大陸,並在那完成了中學教育。長中的父母則輾轉遷徙到達接納國民黨的台灣。之後長中也到台灣和父母團聚,並於1952年從國立台灣大學電機工程系以最高榮譽畢業。

由於他的學術成就,長中獲得了全額獎學金,在加拿大弗雷德里克頓的新不倫瑞克大學攻讀電機工程碩士學位。但是由於財務拮据,他只得乘坐貨船前往北美,歷時數月終於到達舊金山灣。儘管他並不說或寫英語,在太平洋彼岸也沒有親人,但是長中秉持冒險勇敢的精神,以安靜而謙遜的方式,搭乘火車和公共汽車穿越美國,到達了弗雷德里克頓。長中在加拿大弗雷德里克頓的新不倫瑞克大學蓬勃發展,因他的勤奮,謙遜,友善和品格備受同仁和教職員工的尊敬,並因其名字的首字母“CCC”而被親䁥地稱為“C Cubed”(C3)。從新不倫瑞克大學獲得碩士學位後,長中繼續在紐約錫拉丘茲大學(U. of Syracuse) 深造並獲得博士學位。

長中在紐約完成博士學位學習後,再一次橫跨美國,於1963年在聖何茜州立大學(San Jose State University)擔任副教授,教授數學。有一晚,長中冒險去加州大學伯克萊分校參加中國學生舞蹈,在那裡結識了之後結髪58年的妻子佩茜(Bessie)。長中和佩茜結婚一年後在聖莫尼卡(Santa Monica)租了一間小公寓,並育有一子惠人(Eddie)。二年後買了一間靠近他工作的房子,並育有女兒惠菁(Debbie)。在他的晚年,他度過了許多快樂的時光,幫助照顧他的三個孫子克里斯托弗,尼古拉斯和奧斯丁。長中是位忠誠的丈夫,也是一位專注而且充滿愛心的父親和祖父。無私而富有同情心的長中對他的家人和朋友沒有什麼不可以幫助的。

長中曾擔任電機工程師40多年,他的職業生涯主要集中在TRW,專門研究美國政府衛星的通信系統。他熱愛他的工作,並因其成就獲得雇主的認可。但是他不喜歡被注意,並試圖轉移榮譽和稱讚。長中喜歡大自然中的平安,信仰基督和看聖經的寧靜 ,以及他在詩韻裡找到的迷力和優雅。中國,英國和美國的詩人都很喜愛。上面列出了他最喜歡的一首詩。

長中一生都是一個體貼,認真和勤奮的人,解決工作𥚃外的問題。雖然他的一生中有許多挑戰,是我們許多人永遠都不知道的,但是他既艱辛又快樂的經歷,使長中成了一個美妙的人。因為有長中在,這個宇宙是一個更好的地方!他這91年勇敢且無私的一生增添了我們生命的光彩。

 

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