Dr. Fu-Shiang Chia: 1931 – 2011 | Passages
August 30, 2011 · Updated 12:00 PM
Dr. Fu-Shiang Chia died on Aug. 22, 2011 at the age of 80, at the Lady Minto Hospital on Salt Spring Island, B.C. after an illness of several months.
He has been known and beloved in the Friday Harbor community since the 1960s, when he was a graduate student at the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Laboratories and, more recently, as a frequent researcher at the laboratories and as a member of the Advancement Board.
Born in Shandong, China in 1931, he moved to Taiwan in 1949 where he completed high school and obtained his Bachelor of Science in biology in Taiwan Normal University. After two years of military service and one year as a teaching assistant in Tunghai University, he went to Seattle to attend graduate school at the University of Washington, conducting his graduate research at the Friday Harbor Laboratories and receiving his Master of Science in 1962, and his Ph.D in zoology in 1964.
During his academic career he taught in seven universities in six countries, edited four reference books, published over 200 research papers, served on the editorial board of six international journals, supervised the completion of more than 40 master of science and doctorate degrees, and worked with over 20 visiting scientists and postdoctoral fellows.
He retired from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 1997 and, after that, he worked for three years as the director of Taipei Sea World. He taught in the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada for 24 years, during five of which he was chairman of zoology and 10 of which he was the dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.
He served on numerous national and international committees and was listed in five editions of world Who’s Who. He published six books of prose and poetry in Chinese.
In 2004, he retired with his wife Sharon to their home on Salt Spring Island. Here he undertook the trilingual translation of ancient Chinese poetry from the Shi Jing, the world’s oldest collection of lyric poetry, translating the Classical Chinese text into modern Chinese and into contemporary English. His book of translations was published in 2008, followed by a second related book in 2010.
Book signings and poetry readings from these books were held in Friday Harbor, first at the Friday Harbor laboratories in August, 2008 and, more recently, in November, 2010 at Griffin Bay Bookstore.
Dr. Chia is survived by Sharon, his wife of 48 years, their daughters Maria (Myron, Saint Albert, Alberta) and Alisa (Toronto), their four grandchildren Massey, Lara, Elise and Jeremiah, two sisters in Shandong, China, and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Dr. Fu-Shiang Chia’s memory to either the Land Conservancy of British Columbia (301-1195 Esquimault Road, Victoria, B.C. V9A 3N6) or to the University of Washington Foundation for the Fernald Fellowship Fund at the Friday Harbor Laboratories, 620 University Road, Friday Harbor, WA 98250.
A Memorial Celebration of Fu-Shiang Chia’s life will be held on Sept. 2, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Harbour House Hotel on Salt Spring Island.