Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Epilogue | Choong Loon Chiang

Epilogue: Choong Loon Chiang found dreams in America

TAMPA — Holidays and reunions found him everywhere, snapping photos of an extended family who had moved half a world away. Back home, Choong Loon Chiang kept everyone in the loop with emailed images.

Mr. Chiang, the eldest son and unofficial leader, had been the first family member to master the computer.

He was also its master chef, rolling out wonton soup, spicy beef and General Tso's chicken to feed the masses.

"He was a joyful person," said Seng Choy, his uncle. "He was the chief coordinator for the entire family, like the anchor man."

Mr. Chiang died Friday, the result of multiple illnesses, including diabetes. He was 52.

He had worked for Manchu Wok restaurants for more than 20 years, retiring as a district manager, his family said. The chain operates 200 stores in North America, mostly in shopping malls.

Choong Loon Chiang was born in 1960 in Klang, Malaysia, to Chinese parents. His ancestry was significant because the country's policies favoring native Malaysians over subgroups such as Chinese and Indian minorities have generated controversy and resentment.

He enjoyed badminton, one of the country's most popular sports.

At 21, he followed other family members to North America. He earned a college education in Canada. Then Mr. Chiang and his Malaysian wife, Siew, moved to Tampa.

"Florida seemed like the most tropical part of the country," said Choy, 72. "It's hot and humid." Like Malaysia.

He worked his way up at Manchu Wok, traveling frequently. The family celebrated the Chinese New Year and made rice pudding for the Mid-Autumn festival. At the same time, Mr. Chiang quietly spread the gospel he had adopted as a born-again Christian.

About half of the extended family has moved to the United States. They have come to Tampa for Mr. Chiang's funeral, held on Tuesday, from all over. David, a brother, flew from Australia. Choy, who officiated, lives in Seattle.

"The important thing is to let the family know we love and care for them," said Choy. "We need to have testimony, not only while on earth but before we leave this world."

The family will gather again for a wedding in Minnesota. It looks like a daughter, Wilman, will take over as event photographer.

Andrew Meacham can be reached at ameacham@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2248.

.Biography

Choong Loon Chiang

Born: Aug. 13, 1960

Died: July 5, 2013

Survivors: wife, Siew; daughter, Wilman; son, Shawn; brothers, David, Simon and Jeffrey; sister, Josephine.

Epilogue: Choong Loon Chiang found dreams in America 07/14/13 [Last modified: Sunday, July 14, 2013 8:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pinellas licensing board asks Sen. Jack Latvala for $500,000 loan

    Local Government

    The troubled Pinellas County agency that regulates contractors wants Sen. Jack Latvala to help it get a $500,000 lifeline from the state to stay afloat.

    State Sen . Jack Latvala, R- Clearwater, is being asked to help the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board get $500,000 from the state so it can stay open beyond February.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. FHP: 55-year-old pedestrian struck, killed by car in Largo

    Accidents

    LARGO — A 55-year-old St. Petersburg man died late Saturday after he walked into the path of a car on Ulmerton Road, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  3. Study offers warning for Florida strawberry farmers from global warming

    Agriculture

    LAKELAND — Florida strawberry growers already have experienced a dress rehearsal for the impacts of climate change during the past two seasons.

     Carl Grooms shows off some of his strawberries at Fancy Farms near Plant City Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015.  Grooms, President of Fancy Farms. [JAMES BORCHUCK  |  Times]
  4. Two Interstate 275 tractor-trailer crashes cause delays in Tampa

    Accidents

    TAMPA — Two tractor-trailers driving in opposite directions on Interstate 275 crashed Sunday within a mile of each other, causing lane closures on both sides for much of the morning.

    Two tractor-trailers going opposite directions on Interstate 275 in Tampa crashed Sunday morning, closing lanes on each side, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. [Florida Highway Patrol]
  5. Read Anthony Scaramucci's old tweets. You'll understand why he deleted them

    National

    New White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci hasn't always shared the political views of the administration he now serves.

    Anthony Scaramucci, incoming White House communications director, takes questions as he speaks in the briefing room at the White House on Friday. [ Washington Post photo by by Jabin Botsford]