Originally created 06/02/04

Mrs. Gladys Cheng (AUGUSTA, Ga.)



AUGUSTA, Ga.- Mrs. Gladys Cheng whose greatest loves were her God, her children, her grand and great- grandchildren, died Sunday, surrounded by friends and family from around the globe. She was 87. The funeral will be held at 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 2, 2004, at Platt's Belair Road Chapel with Rev. Terry L. Phillips Sr., officiating. Interment will be at 11 a.m., Friday, June 4, 2004, at Westover Memorial Park. She was born Gladys Li Yu-Chieh, on July 1, 1916, in Beijing, the youngest of eight children. Her father, a Christian pastor, and her mother, the daughter of pastors, died when she was about 10 years old. She spent her childhood passed along from relative to relative until 1937, when she married Ke Kuang "Robert" Cheng, a Nan Kai University graduate who worked in the family mercantile business in Tianjin. Together the couple survived the Japanese occupation of China during World War II. In 1947, during the Communist Revolution, the Chengs fled, first to Shanghai, in 1947, and then to Taiwan, in 1949, when Mrs. Cheng worked as a street vendor to help her family survive. In 1957, they moved to Singapore, where Mrs. Cheng taught Chinese in a girl's high school. In 1960, in the face of political unrest, and because of their commitment to missionary work, they fled to Malaysia, where the Chengs taught at a Methodist School. After all five of their children had immigrated to the United States to attend college, the Chengs themselves arrived in Rego Park, N.Y. in 1968. They ran a Far East gift shop for several years. It was in New York That Mrs. Cheng's husband died, in 1975. That year, Mrs. Cheng moved with her son Charles to Augusta, where the family operated the House of Cheng and Peking Chinese restaurants. In Augusta, Mrs. Cheng spent many happy years caring for her grandchildren. She was active in church and in the Chinese community, performing in a Chinese chorus during the Arts in the Heart of Augusta festivals. In her seventies, she traveled the globe, embarking on a tour of Europe. She lived on her own for several years in Beijing. "She always wanted to be independent," said her daughter, Grace Lu. "She really lived the life she wanted to live. She loved life, and she loved the world." Mrs. Cheng returned to Augusta in 1989 and spent her last years at St. John's Towers, spending each day with new friends there. In her last moments, she celebrated life. She was vibrant and happy. She Praised the God she loved so well and died, with her dearest relatives nearby. She is survived by her children, David Cheng, Bernard and Cathy Cheng, and Grace and Ray Lu, all of New York; Charles and Mouchu Cheng and Walter and May Cheng, of Augusta; by her grandchildren, Shinta, Amy, Julie, Vicki, Patty, Chin-Pin, Hsien Wie, Hsien Yi, and Allison; and by four great-grandchildren, Deborah, Lydia, Shr-Hua and Thomas. The family will receive friends at the Funeral home on Wednesday, at 6 p.m., for one hour prior to the Funeral an d following the funeral until 9 p.m. If so desired Memorials may be made to the charity of one's choice. Platt's Funeral Home 337 N. Belair Rd. Evans, GA 30809 860-6166 Sign the guestbook at AugustaChronicle.com

The Augusta Chronicle June 2, 2004