Dr. Victoria Feng Ku, 87, passed away on July 4, 2017 in Allen, Texas where she lived near her son, Albert and his wife, Barbara.
She was born in 1930 in Nanjing, China to Feng Ruofei and Zhuang Zitian.
Dr. Ku was an Associate Professor Emeritus in the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences at the University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM) where she served for 33 years before her retirement in 1997.
Victoria Feng married Timothy Ku in St. Mary’s Church at Barat College of the Sacred Heart in Lake Forest, Illinois in 1950, where she also obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. Dr. Ku subsequently received her Master of Science in Chemistry and later her Ph.D; both from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
Dr. Ku began her career after Barat College in a laboratory at the Michigan Department of Health while her husband completed work on his doctorate in forestry at Michigan State. When the family moved to Brunswick, Georgia in the mid-1950s and Tim commenced his career that involved a lot of travel as a consulting forester for T.S. Coile, Inc., Vicki took a laboratory technician job at Hercules Inc., formerly Hercules Powder Company.
The Ku family moved to Monticello in 1959 and they became an integral part of the community and UAM. Prior to commencing graduate education at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Vicki commuted daily to St. Mary’s Catholic Hospital in Dermott to be a laboratory technician, drawing and analyzing early morning blood draws for that Benedictine hospital’s patients throughout Chicot County.
While at UAM, Dr. Ku taught all levels of chemistry to forestry, nursing, pre-pharmacy, pre-medical and veterinary school-bound students. Starting with the Introduction to Chemistry course she also taught the intermediate chemistry courses including Analytical Chemistry and advanced subjects including the medical school gateway course, Organic Chemistry with long laboratory hours, followed by Physical Chemistry and Advanced Organic Chemistry.
In the community, Vicki Ku was known to set memorable bridge tables with games going long into the evening with a mix of couples from both the business community and the college. Lasting friendships were made that continued even after people moved away, retired or changed interests to golf and tennis. Later, Vicki undertook an entirely new interest in painting in watercolor, oil and pen and ink. Numerous examples of her work have been preserved and an online catalog is currently underway.
The Ku family is lifelong members of the St. Mark’s and St. Luke’s Parishes community of Monticello and Warren.
When Vicki’s niece, Yvonne, arrived on the scene from Communist China, deprived of a college education because of the strictures of that country’s Cultural Revolution, there was no shyer person. But, with her commitment to study and ready help at hand from both her aunt and her uncle, Yvonne is working today in the field of biochemistry in Cleveland after earning her own doctorate in the field of biochemistry from Baylor University. Yvonne and her husband Ying Cha’s son Anthony is a junior in biomedical engineering at the Case School of Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
Vicki was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years Timothy who passed away in July 2013, and a younger sister, Dr. Feng Qian (Foster City, California). Vicki leaves an older sister Dr. Feng Keyan (Shanghai) and two younger brothers Feng Kehui (Hubei) and Dr. Feng Ziguang (Nanjing).
She is survived by two sons, Larry, Albert (Barbara Stimac), Vicki’s niece, Yvonne Shao (Ying Cha) UAM 1985 and their son Anthony.
In the Feng family, Vicki Ku is survived by three nieces, four nephews, two great nieces and six great nephews.
Funeral arrangements are as follows: Funeral Mass, open to all, will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 15, at St. Marks Catholic Church in Monticello with a Rosary Service starting at 9:30 a.m. Visitation will be from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Friday night at Stephenson-Dearman Funeral Home.
Memorials may be made to:
Dr. Victoria F. Ku UAM Memorial
University of Arkansas at Monticello Foundation
memo: Victoria Ku Memorial
Attn.: Office of Advancement
PO Box 3520
Monticello, Arkansas 71656