In Memory of Khyson Swong





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Khyson Swong

Dr. Khyson Swong, passed away in his sleep peacefully and virtually surrounded by his beloved family and loved ones. At 96 years old, he survived two wars, WWII and the Korean War. Khyson was born in Chollado Korea, a farm village, on May 3, 1924, the only son. Khyson attended and graduated from the prestigious Yonsei University with a BS in mathematics in 1950. To further his study, he applied for and received a Fulbright Scholarship at The University of Michigan and graduated with an M.S and a PhD in Mathematics in 1963. He returned to Korea to teach at Yonsei University for 3 years and then applied for several professorship positions in Canada and the US. He chose the US, Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, Tennessee, where he taught mathematics during his tenure from 1966-1989. He loved the farm life and so his decision to move his family to Tennessee made perfect logic. While teaching full-time advanced calculus to university students, he worked on his farm to grow fresh Korean produce for his family and neighbors to enjoy. In addition to teaching, the Tennessee Economic Development contacted Dr. Swong to be an interpreter when the Nissan plant was being courted to build a plant in Smyrna, TN. He was a rare person in the area who spoke fluent Japanese. For his services, he received one of the first pickup trucks built at that plant. He kept the truck for over 35 years and has contributed to Tennessee’s development as an important auto manufacturing center. The TN Governor the Honorable Bill Lee recognized him for his role. His beloved wife, ChungSuk Swong, of 62 years predeceased him in February 2017. Although he was alone, he was not lonely as he stayed with each of his children in LA, Chicago and mostly in NJ. While he stayed, he was able to enjoy time with his grandchildren and great grandsons. Although he never returned to Korea, he did return to visit Tennessee, most recently Labor Day weekend in 2020. He was able to visit his friends, neighbors and his wife's grave. At that visit, he said he was happy and had a good life for 96 years. He is survived by three sons and one daughter, four grandchildren and two great grandsons: Dr. Chin Whan (SooJung Lee) Swong of Ottawa IL; Chin Hoe (Dr. Inkyung Yook) Swong of Alpine, NJ; Chin Goo (Sammy) Swong of Los Angeles, CA; daughter Nancy (David Saunders) Swong of Ft. Lee NJ; Four grandchildren, Dr. Kevin (Seo-Hyun Kim) Swong, Dr. Michael Swong, Sarah Swong, and Gregory Swong; and two great grand children, Elliot Swong and James Swong. In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to a scholarship fund set-up at Tennessee Tech, Khyson and Chungsuk Swong Scholarship (Tennessee Tech University Foundation PO Box 5111 Cookeville, TN 38505). It was established to help students with financial need of related disciplines (STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) achieve their educational goals.