Chong Hui Saklar
March 4, 1948 – November 4, 2018
Chong is survived by her husband, Mike; sons, Michael and Thomas; daughter Jennifer; granddaughters: Isabella, Stella and Phaydra; grandson, William; and a host of other family and friends.
VISITATION: Thursday, Nov. 8th from 6pm to 8pm at the West Center Chapel. FUNERAL: Friday, Nov. 9th at 10 am at Korean Presbyterian Church of Omaha, 14015 “Q” St. Internment: Evergreen Memorial Park. Memorials may be directed to the family.
Chong, Your Home Is In Our Heart
Chong Hui Saklar was born in Seoul, Korea, on March 4, 1948 to her Father Han Ki Hak and Mother Pyun Ok Chin. Her Grandfather selected her name which represents a crystal. Chong’s earliest childhood memory was riding on top of a train with puffs of black smoke streaming into her face when her family fled to Busan at the outbreak of the Korean War. While in Busan, Chong liked to go to the beach and crack open sea urchins to enjoy their succulent taste. One day at the beach, she heard a loud noise behind her. She cried and ran home to her Grandmother, leaving a sandal behind in the sand. Her Grandmother took her back to the beach to discover it was merely a goat that had scared her. The family moved back to Seoul in 1954 and discovered a grapevine had grown throughout their house, which was located where the Sejong Hotel now stands. Their buried belongings were all looted and life was war-torn. Her parents, grandparents, uncles/aunts, cousins and siblings, all lived together. Chong played with her friends at a nearby orphanage, helped wash clothes at a stream, and had numerous pets. She harvested greens for her rabbit each morning and had a naughty cat that shredded the family’s paper door. Her mother sold homemade foods at a market and her father sold insurance and was the assistant pastor at their church. At school, Chong loved to sing and tell jokes that kept everyone smiling. Chong graduated in 1966 and held several jobs as a clerk and a tailor shop. In 1969 Chong met her future husband Mike while measuring him for a suit. Mike ended up buying nearly a dozen suits. Chong and Mike married and their first son, Michael, was born in Seoul. Chong moved to the US in June 1970 and quickly adapted to her new home. She loved to share Korean customs, clothing and food with all her new relatives. Chong introduced everyone to “kimchi”, “ramen noodles”, and chopsticks. Chong and Mike had a second son, Thomas, who was born in Omaha in 1974. In 1976, she became a naturalized US citizen. Soon after, Chong began to experience health problems. In 1978 when her Father passed away, she took a second trip to Korea to be with family. In 1980, Chong’s wish came true when she had her daughter, Jennifer. In the meantime, her health continued to seriously deteriorate. In 1990, Chong had the first of many strokes. By age 45 she had three new strokes, a heart attack and began dialysis in 1993. Her Sister and Mother came to visit her a number of times. One highlight was taking her sister on a Colorado vacation, which included dialysis treatment in the Rocky Mountains. In the 90s, she had numerous surgeries including a life-saving kidney transplant in 1997. Although disabled, Chong relished caring for her granddaughter Isabella. She had three more grandchildren Stella, Phaydra and William. She taught her children how to prepare mandu, eggrolls and bulgogi. Chong’s specialties were banana nut and rye breads, Swedish pancakes, and numerous Christmas and Greek cookies. She loved watching her kids play sports and music. Chong visited Korea with Mike and children several times; the last in 2014. Her Mother passed away the following January at the age of 104. Recently, Chong had numerous additional surgeries, bone breaks and diseases. In 2017, she went back on dialysis and became wheelchair bound. 2018 was a very difficult year for her but she kept her head high, kept faith in God, and shared her love of family and friends. Chong was placed on life support November 1st and passed on November 4th with family at her side. She was blessed to have left her earthly home with peace and dignity. Chong’s infinite charm and love will delight us forever!