This short prose is dedicated to the Late

Dr. Sun Hwon Chu, 1984

Chattanooga, Tennessee

My philosophy of investigation is that when searching for the great unknown something, we should not take a position, we should not take a stance and say, from this board I dive into the deep.

Rather, I believe we should see ourselves alone in an endless ocean of possibilities. As we struggle to find our way home we come upon many islands of thought. Some offer us nourishment from the natural gardens of their land; others offer only sand beaches. And yet, even from such barren beaches we may yet still find a pearl of thought buried beneath the sand. Constant as the rising sun of each morning we dream and wonder what lies just beyond the horizon.

As the sun works its way across the sky we behold the light by its contrasting shadows. One sees the light of the shadow, another sees only its darkness. One sees what can be done, another sees what can't be done. Differing are the contrasting shadows of life, differing are the ways we each set course for the distant horizon. Differing are the vessels we choose for our journey.

Faith is a river which flows certain to the sea. And we each in our life must choose the vessel to carry us to this sea. For some it is a vessel of our own making. For others we share the helm of a great ship. But unless we have an inner sense of direction, we soon become lost, we loose sight of our purpose and fail to see the aids to navigation, the landmarks in life.

These living landmarks in life are God's children on earth whom we see standing on the shore. Young and old these living landmarks offer not only direction but hope. For certain are the vicissitudes in life, turbulent waters, sudden turns and bends along the way. And unless we are receptive to the call of he who cries the sound of alarm - it is we who will be broken by the hidden barriers that constantly loom just beneath the surface of our path.

Thus, clearly is the way to safe passage revealed to us by the cries of others we hear along the way. And unless we are receptive to the call of he who cries the sound of alarm - It is we who stumble and fall, it is we who will cry out and not be heard, it is we who will experience life's sorrows in lonely silence. It has ever been true that we are saved by the call. That whether this call be from us or to us, we are yet still save by the call.

As the light of the galaxies illuminate endless paths to new hope, we each give and receive new hope and new directions to mutually illuminate new paths to new understanding.

It is only when we have lost everything that we find out what really counts,life, family, friends.

Only when the rubble of material want is swept out to sea do we then find for ourselves those pearls of lasting value,life, family, friends.

I take a solo voyage into the distant galaxy. A one-way journey to somewhere yet to be discovered. And if perchance I come upon a missing link, a connecting thread in the universe, I will not relay the information back home to planet earth.

Rather, I will follow the link, the connecting thread to its origin. And there I suspect I will find a new earth, a new life and a new beginning.

Nenad (Cuic) Downing, 1984
Chattanooga, Tennessee

This prose was written several days after Sensei Chu (5th Dan, Tae Kwan Do) had a tragic accident while driving in ice storm in Kansas. The accident left him quadriplegic. Yet this did not keep him from giving up on life. Some years later, after much study and effort - he received his Ph.D in Counseling from The University of Arkansas. He continued then for many years to practice as a licensed counselor in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He continued to live in Chattanooga, though retired from practice. I was deeply affected by his accident. I knew no other way to express my grief.

Sun Hwan Chu obituary born dec 7, 1942 died dec 17, 2021

With additional comments from Nenad (Cuic) Downing, Yo-Dan (4th Degree Black Belt, Tae Kwan Do (Hand and Foot Way).

Sun Hwan Chu was born in Japanese occupied Korea, that part that is now North Korea, and was given his birthdate of December 7, 1942 by an immigration officer in San Francisco. Sun Hwan Chu passed away peacefully on December 17, 2021 in his own bed, surrounded by family, just the way he wanted.

He survived the Korean War as an eleven year old child, and also a car accident that left him quadriplegic as a forty-two year old man.

Adopted by an American Army officer whose life he, Chu, had saved, he came to the United States and attended the private and prestigious boys college preparatory school, The McCallie School , at age fifteen. He did quite well in school.

Following his high school years he went on to college and earned degree in Economics.

He met and married a Lookout Mountain girl during the civil rights movement in Chattanooga.

He was laid off after 20 years at TVA, as were hundreds of others at the time, where he worked as a nuclear fuel economist (six of them as a quadriplegic).

Then what did he do with his life? A quadriplegic. He returned to school and earned a masters and a doctoral degree. Ph.D, so that he could open his own practice as a rehabilitative therapist.

He was the quintessential survivor, set a high bar for overcoming obstacles, and had a wicked sense of humor that carried him through.

He leaves behind his loving wife Melinda Lawrence Chu, four children (Hwan, Michael, Brison and Samara), and nine grandchildren. There will be a private family service, but the family would like to thank each person who enriched his life while he was alive. He had so many friends from all walks of life, and loved all of you."
Published December 21, 2021

I want to add also that he was a truly great friend to me. We shared a common experience. We had both been refugees, the product of war. He knew lonliness as I knew lonliness. I sensed in him the pain of his past. He had lost both his parents who had lived in North Korea.  He knew what it meant to be alone and to experience great loss. And he seemed to understand why I did not particularly like to be around people, preferring my books and to study.

I introduced Sun Hwan Chu to my friend, Prentice Fulton, M.D. Prentice was one of the medical doctors at TVA and we had become good friends enjoying our conversations. Sun Hwan and Prentice hit is off really big. Prentice also said to me one day, "Chu, he is really smart!" And I will add what is to me even more important. He was kind, kind to me and to most everyone he got to know.

And I will close by saying that in my years in the U.S.A. I have always found friendship with people from other lands and Americans, particularly military, who have visited for lenthly times during their service - other lands, other places. I have had two really good American friends, both of whom had served in marines in Vietnam during the war there, Japan and Okinawa. And I think the reason is that when you visit other lands, particularly for months at a time, mix and mingle with the people of those lands - you come to discover that people from other places have different customs, different beliefs, different values. And this experience causes you to be not so quick to judge others who seem or are different from you or what you expect people should be. I think you learn tolerance from such experiences. In Sun Hwan Chu there was this great tolerance for others in him. And I think it true to say that is why he was loved so much by those who got to know him.



Sun Hwan Chu was also extraordinarily intelligent. I remember how Ruth, my foster mother who had worked with refugees in Europe, particuarly in Germany following that war - remarked one day after Sun Hwan, who had visited us - which he often did - remarked, Mr. Chu is very very smart. And indeed he was. We often had long talks, particularly on philosophy of which he knew much. 

And at that time I was into reading the works of Mao Tse-tung and he saw the books, three volumes which had come from Peking on my book shelves. And he said to me, "I see you are reading Mao." I replied, "Yes, I want to learn what he has to say." Chu then replied, "I agree,"  That is to say, "I agree - it is good to learn what others have to say, and what they may have to offer us" Even though he had directly suffered from the Korean War - he kept things in perspective, much better in fact than I did at the time.

And another thing which has puzzled me was that he knew all about me - that I had attended Eastern Military Academy on Long Island shortly after arriving in U.S.A., and even knew who the headmaster was at that school; and had known much of my situation in both Germany and Australia about Radja. I never pressed him about how come he knew these things. He was very reserved and always thought before he spoke,