Obituary of Pauline Chi-Fui Chen Han
Pauline Chi-Fui Chen Han, 86, of Vernon Hills, IL, formerly of Bloomington, passed away peacefully on October 7, 2023 at The Laurel of Vernon Hills Memory Care with friends and family at her bedside.
Pauline was born on May 29, 1937 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, the oldest of eight children of Chen Hsing-An and Chen (Wei) Lien-Chu. She married Dr. Damien Chung-Mao Han on February, 8, 1958 in Taiwan. She is survived by her three children: Dr. John (Jane) Han, Bloomington, IL, Teresa (John) Hogan, Vernon Hills, IL, and Dr. Steve (Mei-Ling) Han, Rowland Heights, CA.; one brother in California, one sister in Japan, three sisters and two brothers in Taiwan (one brother, Chen Chien-jen is the former Vice President and current Premier of Taiwan); and seven grandchildren: Dr. Jason (Lauren Lilak) Han of St. Louis, Ryan (Kallie) Delveaux-Han of Minneapolis, Sean (Sandy) Hogan of Tokyo, Olivia (Kai) Yamamoto of Tokyo, Dr. Samuel Han, Evelyn Han, and Milton Han of Rowland Heights, CA.; and one great-granddaughter, Blake Delveaux-Han.
She was preceded in death by her husband and her parents.
In 1960, Pauline received her degree in Horticulture from Chung Hsing University, College of Agriculture in Taichung, Taiwan, with minors in biology and chemistry. She taught middle and high school math and science in Kaohsiung after college. In 1965, Pauline and Damien, with their young family moved to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, where Pauline continued to teach high school science while Damien worked for the Malaysian government running their malaria control program in Sabah. In 1975 they moved to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, where Pauline taught math and science at the local women’s college and Damien worked for the government, running their malaria control program. In 1977, for the children's access to better higher education, the family immigrated to the USA and settled in Evanston, Illinois. During her first few years, she worked in different jobs all the while navigating the new culture in a new country as head of the household while Damien continued his medical career in Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka for the WHO. In 1980, Pauline started a new career that would fulfill her professional goals. She was hired as an analytical chemist for Searle Pharmaceutical in Skokie, IL. Through acquisition, it later became Monsanto then Pfizer. She enjoyed this career and met many lifelong friends along the way. She was proud of being involved in the early development and stability analysis of the artificial sweetener, Aspartame (Nutrasweet).
After Pauline retired from Pfizer Pharmaceutical in 2003, the couple moved to Bloomington, IL. Pauline devoted herself to caring for Damien as his Parkinson’s disease progressed. During the years that followed, they split their time between Bloomington and their house in Temecula, California, and continued to travel to destinations including Taiwan, China, Japan, Malaysia, India, Nepal, Jerusalem (Israel), Egypt, Turkey, and Greece.
Pauline was very proud of her work, her family, and the many places she and her husband had lived and visited. She had many talents and interests. She was a devout catholic. She prayed daily with her rosary and would read every church bulletin with enthusiasm. She enjoyed growing fruit trees and raising chickens in her backyard gardens. At last count before leaving Malaysia, she had 27 papaya trees! She grew pomegranates, bananas, guava, oranges and roses in Temecula. She was an excellent seamstress and loved to cook for family and friends.
Pauline always said her greatest gift in life was her family and friends. She will be greatly missed.
A private interment service will be held at Ascension Catholic Cemetery in Libertyville, IL. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be directed to St. Mary of Vernon Catholic Church of Vernon Hills, IL. or the Alzheimer’s Association.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Pauline Chi-Fui Chen Han, please visit Tribute Store