In Memoriam

John Shih-Hsiung Tung
Professor Emeritus of Mathematics and Statistics

John Tung, of Oxford, Ohio, passed away on February 29, 2012. He is survived by his devoted spouse Anny; four children: Terry, Charles, Henry and Alice; several grandchildren and great-children; and many colleagues and friends.

John was born on July 19, 1928 in Keelung, Taiwan. He attended Taiwan Normal University and earned an undergraduate degree there in 1950. In 1954 he married Anny, the girl next door, and began a lifetime of shared commitment for over 57 years.

He obtained his chance for academic advancement when Penn State University offered him graduate admission to the mathematics program. He left his family in Taiwan and enrolled at Penn State earning a master’s degree and a doctorate there in 1962. He specialized in the functions of several complex variables in his doctoral dissertation After graduating from Penn State John accepted a position in the Mathematics Department at Miami University in 1962. Though he loved his Taiwan home, he believed that his family would have more opportunities in the United States. With this in mind John was able to bring his family to the US early in his career at Miami. He credited then Department Chair Charles Capel and then Miami Vice President John Dolobois for their assistance in securing a way for his family to move here from Taiwan. The entire family eventually became full US citizens. At Miami he was an active department member and was always willing to do anything to assist the department. He was well known for his commitment to students. He loved teaching mathematics and was always willing to aid students outside of class. In fact he often worked with students from other classes. Students would simply stop by his office, indicate their need for assistance, and John was always thrilled to assist. He published his research work in the Pacific Journal of Mathematics during his time at Miami. John fully retired from Miami in 1993 after 31 year of dedicated service.

John’s heart was always in Taiwan. Although he was a quiet man, certainly not boastful, he could talk for hours to his colleagues and friends about his experiences growing up in Taiwan during the Japanese occupation. As an individual he was treated well by the Japanese since he spoke their language fluently and had a physical resemblance to the Japanese. He excelled in swimming and competed with his friends in swimming underwater and could hold his breath for up to five minutes.

He was a friendly person and always had a contagious smile. John was always willing to give of himself in helping others and was known for his generosity. He was especially active in the Cincinnati Taiwanese Association and spent much of his free time socializing with members of that group. He was an avid tennis player who was known for his “wicked” sideline shots.

In retirement Anny and he traveled extensively and loved visiting flower gardens throughout the US. He also enjoyed his trips returning to Taiwan. They would plan to stop in Japan where they would visit friends and go to see Mt. Fugi. John often led trips for his friends to Washington D.C. to see the cherry blossoms in the spring. Meeting with his department colleagues for lunches at McDonalds brought him great pleasure and he helped form the ROMEO group (Retired Old Men Eating Out). He struggled with heath issues his last few years and needed to curtail much of his activities.

John’s life was one of commitment to his family, friends, students and colleagues. He made important contributions to Miami University and the many students he taught there. He touched the lives of many and he will be missed. We are all better for having known him!

Respectfully submitted by John Buchanan, Fred Schuurmann, and John Skillings