1926 - 2021
• • •
Dr. Frances Min Chang died peacefully on January 10, 2021 of natural causes at the age of 94. Frances will be remembered for her vibrancy, profound kindness, and generosity of time and attention to family and friends.
Frances was born and raised in Seoul, Korea. Throughout her childhood, Korea was under Japanese occupation, so her native language and culture were learned in the secret rooms of her family’s home. She attended the all-girls Kyunghee High School and proudly represented her Korean schoolmates at the national tennis championship in Japan.
Following her graduation in 1950 from Seoul Women’s Medical Training Institute, the first women’s medical school in Korea, Frances was visiting her uncle in Formosa (Taiwan) when the Korean War broke out. After several months spent in limbo, she travelled to the U.S. for pediatric residency training at St. Catherine’s Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. It was there she met her future husband, Paul Chang, another Korean émigré, who came to the U.S. in 1947 after his studies in Germany were interrupted by World War II.
Frances and Paul married and lived in Los Angeles, CA, where Frances completed her second pediatric residency training at Loma Linda Hospital. They then moved to McLean, VA, where, after a short stint in private practice, Frances worked at the Food and Drug Administration for over two decades reviewing new antibiotic treatments. She accompanied her husband during many of his visiting professorships abroad, experiencing life in Spain, the Soviet Union, and Romania.
Their home warmly welcomed many visitors, from extended family to a wide range of friends, including many members of the growing Korean community in the DC area. After her retirement from the FDA, Frances provided pro bono pediatric services in Arlington, VA, played tennis and pickleball, spent more time in Korea with family, and continued to travel widely.
In 2002, Frances and her husband moved to Riderwood Village retirement community, where she continued to live with her sister after Paul passed in 2008. She died peacefully in hospice care at her daughter’s home in San Francisco. She is survived by her sister, Leonie Ha Dalton; two daughters, Teresa Chang and Sophia Chang; and four grandchildren, Sarina Lowe, Marisa Lowe, Matthew Furst and Chloe Furst.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus, Rockville, MD, on Friday, January 29th, followed by Interment at Gate of Heaven Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Global Children’s Foundation (www.globalchildren.org).
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