Won Ju Choi died on March 1st, 2020 in Altamont, NY at the age of 64.
Won Ju (or simply Won to many) was born on June 13, 1955 in Taegu, Korea, the sixth of seven children and the older of two sons of Jae Hyung Choi and Young Choo Kim. He moved with his parents, youngest sister and younger brother to the United States as a sophomore in high school in 1971. Won Ju graduated from Terre Haute (IN) North Vigo High School in 1973 and then went on to graduate from Indiana University, Bloomington in 1977 as a chemistry major before entering medical school at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. While training to become a physician, he chose to respond to a higher calling to help men and women spiritually. Starting in February 1982, Won Ju began a life of service as an itinerant Christian minister in the greater suburban area of Chicago, Illinois. He willingly and joyfully worked among many dear co-workers and friends in the United States and several Asian countries including Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan. Won Ju was also privileged on occasion to serve as a visitor in South America, Asia, Mexico and the United States.
Won Ju is remembered for his willingness to go where needed and adapt to many different circumstances and cultures, typically with a keen sense of humor. Whether in English, Korean, Chinese or Iban dialects, he loved to preach the gospel, as well as the process of preparing for that responsibility. In 2017, he was diagnosed with gastric cancer while in Singapore and returned to New York for treatments. Though limited by the effects of the illness and the treatments, Won Ju was privileged to continue in the ministry for as long as his strength allowed.
Won Ju is survived by his sisters Ilsun (Woongbum) Lee of Mystic, CT, Pilju (Richard) Templeton of Annapolis, MD, Chong Eun (Young R.) Park of New Rochelle, NY, and Haeyong Kim of Los Angeles, CA and brother, Hyungju Choi of Seoul, S. Korea; and several close nieces and nephews. Won Ju is preceded in death by his parents and his sister, MiRyung Ahn and brothers-in-law, Myong-ku Ahn and Hongjun Kim.
A visitation and funeral are planned on Saturday, March 7th at the Doubletree Hotel, 100 Nott Terrace, Schenectady, NY 12308. Visitation hours are from 9-11 AM followed by the funeral service at 11 AM. The service will be officiated by Barry Barkley, Mark King and Caleb Bray. Attendees are invited by the family to a luncheon afterward at Settles Hill Banquets and Events facility, 721 Old Settles Hill Rd., Altamont, NY 12009. The family expresses deep appreciation to the many selfless, caring co-workers, friends and medical professionals who assisted in helping make Won Ju’s time in New York impactful, comfortable and restful.
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