A Life Well-Lived and Loved
HAMDEN, Conn. | Chao Wang Chiang, 94, formerly of Rapid City, SD, died peacefully Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, at Yale New Haven Hospital. He was the loving husband of the late Carole Chiang and adored father to Willie, Manny, Anne, and Cathy Chiang.
He was born on May 21, 1925, in the Chiang village of Woo Wei-Xiang, Anhui province in China to the late Chao-chuen and Chen Chiang. At age 6 years, he moved to Shanghai to join his father. He attended the prestigious Shanghai Chiao-Tung University, majoring in Mechanical Engineering. After graduation in 1948, he worked for the Taiwan Highway Bureau as an engineer. In 1952, he worked as an English teacher in the local school districts, as well as a translator for the US Army in Korea for a short stint. He was then hired by the Taiwan Public Transportation Department to lead the construction of the first and longest coastal road (300 miles) in Taiwan.
Throughout his life, C.W. was an inventor, scholar and teacher. In 1956, C.W. came to the US and graduated in 1960 from the University of Wisconsin with a PhD in Mechanical Engineering. He worked at Corning Glassworks in NY as an engineer scientist for four years. Through teaching evening classes at Elmira College, he discovered his true passion of teaching. He joined the University of Denver in 1964 as an Associate Professor and achieved promotion to Professor in 1969, with a leave in 1967 to do postdoctoral research at NASA Langley Research Center. He also worked for the Brazilian Space Agency as a visiting professor in 1970. In 1974, he was invited to serve as Departmental Head of Mechanical Engineering at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology in Rapid City. He grew the undergraduate enrollment by 50%, built a thriving graduate program, increased scholarship funding, and gained first-time program accreditation. He was a prolific researcher, creating many opportunities for students, colleagues, and himself to obtain funding and to publish and present at professional meetings. In 1976, he was awarded a federal grant to build a green solar heating/cooling system for the Mount Rushmore National Visitor Center. He enjoyed outside consulting in the summers, including for Bell Labs, John Deere and Argonne National Labs. He taught US troops as a visiting Professor for Boston University Overseas Graduate Program in England and Germany in 1983 and 1993. After retirement in 1993, he volunteered for Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) in Rapid City.
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C.W. was a devoted husband and father. He married Carole in 1960 and after graduation moved to Corning, NY, where Willie and Manny were born. From 1964 to 1973, the Chiangs lived in Denver where Anne was born, except for sabbatical years in Virginia and Brazil where Cathy was born. In 1974, C.W. and Carole moved to Rapid City, where they lived 39 years before moving to Connecticut in 2013. After retirement, C.W.’s “wanderlust” led them to travel extensively throughout China and the world and in the US to visit children and their 10 grandchildren. They celebrated their Golden Anniversary in 2010 with all their family and friends. They enjoyed playing bridge and became Bronze Life Masters. Throughout his remarkable life, C.W. did his utmost to honor family values and ethical principles of honesty, respect and commitment, always with intelligence, gentle humor and grace. He has inspired many students, colleagues and his children to work hard and to aim high. His unfailing positive attitude, generosity and kindness have enriched all those who crossed his path. His favorite advice to others was “Life is short; enjoy as much as you can.”
He is survived by his four children and their spouses: Willie & Linda, Manny & Becky, Anne & Johannes (Boeckmann), and Cathy. His grandchildren: Allyson & Christopher (Banket), Kimi, Andrew, Michelle & Giancarlo (Cuadros), Lauren, Matthew, Julius, Annika, Tucker, and Hollis. He has one living adopted sister, Wendy Fong and is predeceased by his older brother, Liang Chiang.
A funeral service will be conducted March 7 at the Newton Cemetery, 791 Walnut St., Newton Center, MA, starting at 10 a.m. Interment will follow services in Newton Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations are appreciated to the C.W. & Carole Chiang Scholarship fund at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. https://foundation.sdsmt.edu/sdsmt---foundation/cw-chiang-memorial-gifts
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