Fang-Yu Chang (née Cheng) 鄭 芳 郁 passed away on March 25th, 2021 following a peaceful hospice after a stroke. She had celebrated her milestone 80th birthday the month before on February 21st.
An RN specialized in geriatric care, she worked the night-shift at several nursing homes around central New Jersey, including Merwick Care Center in Princeton. The name tag on her white uniform, under the glow of a full moon, read simply “Fang”. She and her husband Hsiang-Sheng “Harry” Chang 張 湘 生 raised their only son Tanwin 張 丹 文 in Edison Township during a period when she also honed her skills as an oil painter. After retiring early, Fang moved with her husband and their cat Maume 張 猫 咪 to the Los Angeles area where she spent 20 years studying Acupuncture and Dance, eating and cooking great food with friends and relatives, and traveling to far off places such as London and Alaska.
Fang was born in the fourth largest city in Taiwan. She was the eldest child of the prominent pediatrician Chitai Cheng 鄭 啓 泰 and his wife Thaishia Young 楊 彩 霞, a pharmacist. “Gone with the Wind” was her favorite film. She placed top in marksmanship during her mandatory military service, attended nursing school, and was briefly a high-school teacher in her home city, Chiayi. In her twenties Fang relocated to Taipei to embark on a nursing career but changed professions to cultivate her love for literature and operated a small bookshop devoted to foreign language books. She did this for several years and then in 1967 accepted Harry’s marriage proposal and eloped with him to New York City. This without the blessing of her father who preferred an alternate suitor, or perhaps, any of the other suitors.
Fang was a women of contrasts, embodying beauty, fashion, grace and artistic sensibility yet simultaneously exhibiting a soft-spoken resourcefulness and no-fuss practicality. She was a maverick who found contentment by riding shotgun.
In her final years Fang moved to Boston, MA to live with her son, his wife Jennifer 安 曉 珍, and their son Leo 張 力 友. Here she resumed her study of piano and the Japanese language, and enjoyed the energy and affections of her only grandchild.
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