Recent Darien High grad dies in China


Zoe Chun, seen here in front of Darien High School in a recent Facebook photo, died after a brief illness while visiting her parents in China. She was 18, and about to attend Syracuse University.

Tragedy struck Darien for the second time in as many weeks when Zoe Chun, a recent Darien High School graduate, died while visiting her parents in China.

The cause of death is still unclear. Marvin Lee, Zoe’s guardian in the states and close friend of the family, said Zoe had a cough from a virus and was admitted to an ICU in Hong Kong where she later died. Zoe’s friend, Kristina Lew, created a Facebook memorial page for her late friend.

“On July 2nd we heard news that Zoe was hospitalized in Hong Kong and in the ICU after going through surgery to remove one of her lungs,” Kristina posted on Facebook. “She was sedated and in critical condition, but I still do not know all of the details as to what happened… We will always love her and she will forever remain in our memories…”

Lee said Zoe “had become a beautiful young lady who had the whole world in front of her.”

Zoe came to Darien three years ago and quickly made friends. The Facebook memorial page had 107 members by Wednesday. Zoe died on Saturday, July 14. (See obituary here) 

Ho Ming Li posted on Facebook: “No amount of words could ever describe how thankful I am for all the funny, silly, and great time you’ve given me. There’s still so much I want to tell you, so much I want to share with you and to know there will never be another chance to, simply is… painful…”

Felicia Knise posted: “Zoe, you are an amazing girl and I am so happy that we became friends these past few years. You are beautiful and loved by so many and always will be…”

Lee said Zoe “loved her family very much.”

“Zoe was a shy and sweet 15-years-old girl when she came to live our family,” Lee wrote in an email. “She loved to listen music, watch movies with friends, cook delicious food, dancing and singing, photography, playing with our dogs Charlie and Sandy, shopping, watching Broadway shows, she loved to laugh, easy to cry,  scared to watch ghost movies alone.”

“There are so many things she liked to do and wanted  to do,” Lee wrote. “She loved her family very much, she always showed me the funny video of her little sister Chloe with loving eyes. Zoe was kind and funny, a genuinely sweet and good person, her friends and teachers loved her. Like her other peers, she wasn’t sure about her career path direction, but she did want to explore more options on the graphic designing field  after graduating from Syracuse University.”

Zoe would have been a freshman this year at Syracuse. Izzy Duncan posted on Facebook: “I remember meeting you for the first time, and shortly after that talking to Kristina and saying, ‘I want to be friends with that girl.’ I’m really glad that plan worked out…”

Zoe was a member of the high school track team and Theatre 308. She also volunteered at the Stamford Boys & Girls Club.

Soyoung Lee posted: “You were the greatest friend, companion, and the brightest, most unique and special person I’ve ever met. Thanks for being there for me all the time and being a part of my life. I will miss you forever my best friend.”

Claire Linegar posted: “You were one of my best friends and it hurts me more than anything to think I cannot see you again. I don’t think it’s possible to find anyone who could make studying for calculus fun, but you always did.”

Victoria Kominek posted: “I feel so lucky that I was able to get to know you so well and it saddens me that people have been cheated of that opportunity. You were always able to put a smile on my face and make me laugh.”

Chloe Chun, Zoe’s sister, thanked people for their Facebook posts, and said that Zoe might be gone physically, but that she is still here in spirit.

“She is in our heart,” Chloe wrote.

A memorial service will be held on Monday, July 23, at 4 at the First Congregational Church of Darien, 14 Brookside Road.

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