Make us your home page

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 or (727) 892-2248.


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

  1. Car bomb kills 13, injures 24 in Baghdad; Islamic State claims responsibility


    BAGHDAD — A car bomb exploded outside a popular ice cream shop in central Baghdad just after midnight today, killing 13 people and wounding 24, hospital and police officials said.

  2. Leaping shark floors angler in Australia


    In The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway's protagonist battles for three days to pull in his prized catch. For Terry Selwood, it came a little more suddenly.

    A 9-foot shark lies on the deck of a fishing boat at Evans Head, Australia on Sunday. Fisherman Terry Selwood said he was left with a badly bruised and bleeding right arm where the shark struck him with a fin as it landed on him on the deck. [Lance Fountain via AP]
  3. Rays rally twice to beat Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Starting Erasmo Ramirez on Monday after he closed out Sunday's marathon win turned out, despite the Rays' best intentions and rigid insistence, to be a bad idea as he gave up four runs without getting through three innings.

    Erasmo Ramirez, starting a day after closing a 15-inning marathon, struggles against the Rangers and comes out after throwing 43 pitches in 21/3 innings.
  4. Britain investigating missed signals over Manchester bomber


    LONDON — Britain's domestic intelligence agency, MI5, is investigating its response to warnings from the public about the threat posed by Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people and wounded dozens more in an attack at a crowded Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, last week.

    People gather Monday at St. Ann’s Square in Manchester, England, to view tributes to victims of the suicide bombing that killed 22 on May 22 as a concert by Ariana Grande was concluding.
  5. Trump condemns killing of pair who tried to stop racist rant


    The mayor of Portland, Ore., on Monday urged U.S. officials and organizers to cancel a "Trump Free Speech Rally" and other similar events, saying they are inappropriate and could be dangerous after two men were stabbed to death on a train as they tried to help a pair of young women targeted by an anti-Muslim tirade.

    Coco Douglas, 8, leaves a handmade sign and rocks she painted at a memorial in Portland, Ore., on Saturday for two bystanders who were stabbed to death Friday while trying to stop a man who was yelling anti-Muslim slurs and acting aggressively toward two young women. From left are Coco's brother, Desmond Douglas; her father, Christopher Douglas; and her stepmother, Angel Sauls. [Associated Press]