After a courageous eighteen-year battle with multiple sclerosis, Tina Su Cooper of Walden, NY, passed away Monday, April 25, 2022, in Valhalla, NY, at the Westchester Medical Center. She was 78.
Tina Su, the daughter of Dr. Gouq-Jen Su and Shou-Tsung Su, was born April 3, 1944, in Kunming, China. Her family had aided the Allies during World War II and emigrated to America in 1946, shortly after the war ended.
Her father became a central member of the University of Rochester engineering faculty. Her brother, Eugene Su, and her sister, Irene Su, went on to professional success in the medical and dental fields, respectively.
Tina was her high school valedictorian, yearbook editor, class president, and recipient of a scholarship to Cornell University, where she graduated in 1966 with an A.B. with honors in Asian Studies. She graduated from Harvard University in 1968 with an M.S. with honors in Asian Studies, and she went on to work on the editorial staff for the Encyclopedia Britannica, in Chicago, IL. There she married Kwen-sheng Chiang, and they had two sons, Theodore Chiang and Philip Chiang, both of whom earned advanced degrees themselves.
After her divorce from Professor Chiang in 1984, she married Douglas Winslow Cooper, whom she had known at Cornell. Their story is told in Ting and I: A Memoir of Love, Courage, and Devotion. Their 37-year marriage overcame the challenges of interracial marriage and her progressive disability from multiple sclerosis. During the last eighteen years of her life, Tina persevered despite being quadriplegic and ventilator-dependent, having around-the-clock nursing (courtesy of IBM); respiratory infection and pulmonary failure eventually took her life.
Survivors include her husband, Douglas Cooper; her sons, Theodore and Philip Chiang; her sister, Irene So; her brother, Eugene Su; her daughter-in-law, Lisa Stuppler; and her grandson, Leo Cooper Chiang.
Our loss is Heaven's gain.