Jeffrey Chuan Chu

  • Born: July 14, 1919
  • Died: June 6, 2011
  • Location: Lincoln, Massachusetts

Concord Funeral Home

Director - Glenn D. Burlamachi, CFSP
74 Belknap St.
Concord, MA 01742
Tel. (978) 369-3388

Tribute & Message From The Family

Jeffrey Chuan Chu, beloved husband of Loretta Yung Chu, passed away at his home in Lincoln, MA on June 6, 2011, at the age of 91.

Known as Chuan to family and friends, he was born into a family of scholars in Tienjin, China. He received his BS from the University of Minnesota and his MS from the Moore School at the University of Pennsylvania. Chuan was a core member of the engineering team that designed the first electronic computer, ENIAC, in 1946.

As a Senior Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, he helped design several improved versions of large-scale computers, until the 1950’s when he became Chief Engineer at Univac for the LARC project, one of the earliest all-transistor computers. He continued to be a leading figure in the computer and electronics industry as microchip technology allowed computing devices to become smaller and more personal, becoming Director of Engineering and Vice President of Honeywell Information Systems, Senior Vice President at Wang Laboratories, and Chairman and CEO of Sanders Technology (Santec). He also served as Senior Advisor at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) and at Data Resources, Inc. (DRI). Most recently, he held the position of Senior Advisor and was a member of the Board at BTU International.

In the 1970’s, Chuan returned to China for the first time in nearly 40 years and discovered the cause that would become his passionate mission for the rest of his life. He became an active participant in the effort to modernize China. Meeting with Deng Xiao Ping and serving on various State boards, he brought his technological expertise and knowledge of Western business practices to China, and advised American companies seeking to do business in China. As a lifelong scholar himself, it was his greatest pleasure to serve as visiting professor at several universities in China. He personally established a scholarship for Chinese students to study English at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and he facilitated the establishment of a partnership between Jiao Tong University and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Inspired by his years of living in the U.S., Chuan promoted the idea of public service as being an essential ingredient of a successful modern society. It was his self-appointed mission to inspire individuals to help those less fortunate, and to serve a cause beyond themselves. He advocated this ideal in his many public speeches in China, and he established a Campus Civility Award for public service at Jiao Tong University. However, he taught best by his own example. A man of tremendous vigor and vision, he spent his long public life in service to both his countries.

Chuan is survived by his wife Loretta of Lincoln, MA; his brother Zhu Chuan-yi of Beijing, China; his sister Zhu Chuan-yi of Tianjin, China; his daughter Lynnet and husband Noel McDermott of Santa Cruz, CA; daughter Bambi and husband Michael Rae of Naples, Italy; daughter Deidre and husband Fanul (Bodhi) Kocica of Miami Beach, FL; and stepson Van Tsai and his wife Paula of Hanover, NH. He leaves 8 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. He was pre-deceased by four sisters, Zhu Tao-le, Zhu Shang-rou, Zhu Chuan-xun, and Zhu Chuan-rong, and by his granddaughter Lauren Tsai.

Donations in memory of Jeffrey Chuan Chu may be made to the Wharton-Penn China Center Fund by contacting Jeffrey Sheehan,

Arrangements under the care of Glenn D. Burlamachi, CONCORD FUNERAL HOME, Concord.

Proud to be family owned, operated and occupied since 1936.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Mrs. Bambi Rae is a legacy left behind by the Late Jeffrey Chuan Chu. Never had the opportunity to meet the Late Chuan but my encounter with the Raes, particularly Bambi in Naples where I was studying Development Economics (1985-86 & 188-89) bears testimony that he has indeed left a legacy of christian love and brotherhood colour or creed not withstanding!!!

Posted by Bennett Yaw Quist-Awumee - Accra, MD - A friend of the Raes - Naples   September 02, 2011


In Memory of Jeffrey Chuan Chu

By Jin Wei
on behalf of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and
Shanghai Jiao Tong University Foundation of America
July 16, 2011

Four score and twelve years ago, his parents brought forth upon this planet a new life -- Jeffrey Chuan Chu, born in China, but dedicated to the world progress.

Now, we get together here to celebrate the memorable life of Jeffrey Chuan Chu.

In 1940, Chuan came to the US to complete his education. Later on, he became a core member in the team that designed the first computer ENIAC. Chuan's work was recognized by the Governing Board of IEEE, hailing him as a computer pioneer and visionary inspiring countless computer professionals with his leadership.

From late 1970s, for over 30 years, Chuan became a passionate advocate of China's opening and modernization. He advised the Chinese leadership, served on various State advisory boards, and served as visiting professor at top Chinese universities, including Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

At Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Chuan orchestrated the establishment of its School of Management and helped their partnership with Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He also endowed a scholarship to encourage Chinese students to learn English, and established a Campus Civility Award to encourage public service.

Always forward-looking, Chuan had long realized that China and the U.S. together could play a more important role in the world. He hoped that this would bring forth the best of both cultures, and he did his utmost to encourage it.

Though Chuan has left, his shining spirit will long inspire us. Chuan' passing away is just like a star sets below the horizon. Though we can no longer see him, we know he is still there with us somewhere in the universe. He will one day re-rise on a new horizon, and again shed his light to guide our life.

Posted by Jin Wei - Friend   July 17, 2011

We are very proud of Jeffrey Chuan Chu's many contributions to science and humanity including his efforts to foster cooperation between China and America.

He will be in our thoughts and prayers forever.

Tianjin Yao Hua School, China

, .


Posted by Yan Ping Xu    July 16, 2011

Memories of our Father

Parents are the backbones of our biographies. As I was growing up, I knew that Father was one of the most important influences on my life. He seemed to me a tower of strength, whose careful hands shaped much of what I would become. .And I'm sure my sisters, Bambi and Dashi, would agree that along with those personal qualities that we each bring with us, the ones that your parents impress on you significantly determine who you are.

Father was a dedicated parent. Despite a strong commitment to his career in the exciting new field of computer technology (including teaching at night school, studying for his doctorate) he always insisted that the family do things together. He was committed to creating a sense of the family unity, promoting our special talents and abilities and giving us the best education.

I don't know if you are familiar with the book and TV series, Father Knows Best. That father was our father--a loving concerned parent who was compelled by his vision of what would be the best for his children. Although we were encouraged to respect each other's differences, our individual differences were admired. We never heard him say, "Why can't you be like your sister?" Rather, by encouraging and promoting our natural talents, he built up our self-confidence to pursue those specific interests. Embedded in his parenting, was a determination and unerring decisiveness, the ability to focus on a problem to find it's solution, a curiosity for the new and for the adventure

We were included in his own enthusiasms and hobbies. Father imagined himself an intrepid deer hunter. Equipped with bow and arrow, every year he would set off into the woods on the track of venison, but usually considered himself lucky even to catch a distant glimpse of a deer. His only moment of triumph was when he shot a large crow in our back yard. He proudly displayed it transfixed with his home made arrow thru its chest, for the admiration of family and neighbors.

Some other hobbies were fencing, rifle-shooting, tennis and camping. As soon as I was strong enough to shoulder his .22 rifle, I was taken to the shooting range and promised that rifle when I became old enough to own one. He became enamored with saber fencing and encouraged Bambi and me to pursue fencing at school.. Any sport we were interested in, whether it was field hockey, ice skating, lacrosse, tennis, he encouraged

All three of us were taught by Father to drive. The one thing, aside from learning how to use a stick shift, was not to be one of those helpless ladies standing by the side of the road with a flat. It was obligatory to know how to change a tire as well as change the oil. We enjoyed sharing with him his passion for sports cars. We were the envy of our friends tooling around in his alfa romeo or triumph. He liked the image of the independent, capable woman.
But of all the passions, the one he cherished for so many years until it was crushed by a heavy snow load from the roof, was his canoe. For Father was an incurable romantic and, like Calvin's father in Calvin and Hobbes, he conjured up images of wonderful camping trips in the wilderness of deep forests. But he was emphatically not a camper in practice. He liked his comforts. Yet, in order to enjoy being with us, he would gladly put up with a half warmed-up can of baked beans for supper and sleepless nights with frog belches for a lullaby and scampering mice as room mates. Dashi can recount some of their misadventures together.

Like many parents he was sentimental about his children. For years, an Indian pot Bambi made for him in grade school was kept on his desk. He would repeat stories about the daughter who stayed awake with him during the all night drives from Illinois to NY in the 50's, or who offered to make him a cup of tea. How many parents would choose to take a nap next to their daughter while she practiced her violin? Whenever in later life Bambi got out her instrument, her mother-in -law, who also loved her, would leave the music room, firmly closing the door behind her.

He treasured our achievements for what they were, not what they should or might have been. He was very protective of his daughters and certainly presented a formidable front to any suitor. We used to joke afterwards that each successful suitor had to perform one of the labors of Hercules before being admitted to the family circle. Like Penelope of Ulysses, I was required to finish a hooked rug project before I was married, which or course I never completed. However I never forgot that request and a few years later after evenings together of hooking, my husband and I were able to give him that rug as a Christmas gift.

But most of all he held scholarship sacred as the key to a successful and fulfilled life. There was never a question of "if" we would go to college. He effectively communicated that college was obligatory. We grew up with this concept and accepted it without question. And that conviction of the value of a higher education continued in his later years. I don't know how many students he helped to go to the university either here or in China through recommendations, sponsorships or helping them find scholarships.

As essential as he felt scholarship to be, we never felt that he expected more from us that we could give. He inspired us to have goals and to strive for them. The process was important, more so than the end result.

In short he gave us the security of a family. Of the values he taught us, the one we treasure above all is: that no matter what mistakes we might make, we would always be his beloved daughters. This firm foundation of Love is our inheritance from him and one that we have brought to our own families.

An outstanding quality Father had was his vision.. Although he could live fully in the moment, there was a sense of what the future could hold, of how he could affect it. Along with this was a wonderful curiosity about so many things, so that his mind was open to all possibilities.

And so we have said our farewells to a man who was not only a gentleman, a scholar and a friend, but a man who so influenced who we are, a man who was a devoted and loving father.

July 2011

Posted by Memories of our Father    July 12, 2011

Jeffrey -
We are of an age and were blessed by common friends.
My sincere condolances to the family and us all for our loss.
Dr. John

Posted by John Heibel - Santa Cruz, CA   June 21, 2011


Hi , my condolences to the family of this great scientist.


Posted by Mario de Sá Vera - Moutain View, CA   June 17, 2011

Dear Loretta,
I have written emails to you via Chuan's email address, so you may not have received them. I am so sorry about Chuan's passing. He was so stoic to bear the dialysis for so long. It is good that he no longer suffers.
He was always like a big brother to me. When I was studying at Bryn Mawr, and David visited me there, Chuan would loan us a car to use. One evening, it began to snow and there was Chuan putting chains on the tires.
He mourned my parents' passing as he said they were his last links to the "old" China. Chuan was just a boy when my parents married, but he was at the wedding. He was my last link to my parents.
David and I and our sons send you and your family our deepest condolences on Chuan's passing. Although distance and age have kept us apart, I shall miss him greatly. He was so kind, so brilliant. He did so much for both China and the U.S. In sympathy, Anna and David Pai


Posted by Anna Pai - Davidson, NC - Distant Cousin   June 12, 2011

Dear Mrs. Chu,

It was such a pleasure getting to know Mr. Chu and you. I will always treasure our time together and our trips around Greater Boston. Mr. Chu was a very proud yet humble man who always had a smile for me despite his pain and tribulation going through dialysis.

He was a man of great accomplishment during his lifetime, giving more to the world than most could only imagine. He was a man of peace and dignity. May God bless his soul. May God bless you for the dedication, support and love you bestowed upon him.

My deepest sympathy to you and your family


Tom O'Leary

Posted by Tom O'Leary - Weston, MA - Transportation Service Provider   June 11, 2011

Dear Loretta and Family,

We shared several trips with Chuan and Loretta: Tauck's Germany and Tauck's Spain. Our trips were much enriched because of their presence!

He was a quiet, gentle, thoughtful, and articulate man. He was modest about his accomplishments, and it was only after getting to know him a bit better, that we understood the work he was doing in China. We had great admiration for him, and we extend our sympathies to the family.

David and Ann Jensen

Posted by Ann Jensen - San Leandro, CA - Friend   June 09, 2011