Juliana Young Koo dies at 111

By CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2017-05-27 03:54

Juliana Young Koo dies at 111

Juliana Young Koo. Photo provided to

Juliana Young Koo, who became one of the first staff members at the UN protocol and liaison department in New York, has died. She was 111.

She died peacefully on May 24 at her home in New York surrounded by her family.

Koo encountered many challenges during her long life, which she faced with courage and optimism, as reflected in her motto: "Every day is a good day."

An admired beauty in Shanghai, she married a young diplomat, Clarence Kuangson Young, and moved to Europe where she embarked on the demanding life of a diplomat's wife, a role she filled with energy and style.

Her husband was imprisoned and executed at the end of World War II, and she raised her three young daughters, Gene, Shirley and Frances.

She chose to come to the United States to give her children greater opportunities. Having to support the family, she got a job as a protocol and liaison officer at the United Nations, where she worked for 13 years.

She married Wellington Koo in 1959, and they lived in The Hague, Netherlands, where he was a judge on the International Court of Justice, and they moved to New York City when he retired.

Known by friends and family as a wife and mother first, she brought together all the members of her extended family of three daughters, seven grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren and two great, great grandchildren, as well as members of the Koo family.

In addition to focusing on raising her family, she also was the focal point for her many friends, holding mahjong games and putting on lavish dinners.

A fervent believer in the value of education, she provided an excellent education for her daughters and for the children of her extended family and household.

She is survived by daughters Genevieve Young and Shirley Young. Daughter Frances died. She was married to Oscar Tang.

A memorial service will be held on June 21 from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm at the Church of the Heavenly Rest, 2 East 90th Street in Manhattan. Funeral services and interment will be private, for the family and close friends.

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