Theresa Chu

Obituary of Theresa L. Chu

Theresa Lee Chu, 82, of Elizaville and formerly of Hopewell Junction, NY, passed away on Friday, October 11, 2019 at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie surrounded by her children. 


Born on March 29th, 1937, in Hankow, China, she was the daughter of the late Kwan Yee Lee and C.T. Yuen. Theresa married Richard Chu on August 24, 1963 in Newark, NJ. She was predeceased by Richard, who passed away on September 8, 2012.


Theresa received her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Benedictine College in 1961. After graduating, Theresa worked as a chemist for DeLaval. She took time off to raise her family, and then returned to work as the Laboratory Chemist for the Town of Poughkeepsie’s Arlington Water Treatment Plant from 1982 to 2000. Theresa had many accomplishments in her life, but her greatest pride and joy came from being a devoted wife to her beloved husband and a loving mother to her four children.


The day Theresa became an American citizen, on April 15, 1968, was a momentous occasion. Theresa was one of six sisters in the Lee Family. The family was forced to flee their childhood home of Hankow, China in 1949 to escape during the latter stages of the Chinese Communist Revolution. They spent several years in Hong Kong and Macau before eventually immigrating by boat to Sao Paolo, Brazil in 1953.


It was at this time when Cardinal Paul Yu Pin, who was a childhood friend of Theresa’s late father, helped the Lee Sisters by bringing them into the United States and placing them in various Catholic boarding schools for their high school and college education. It was years later that Theresa’s parents would be reunited with their daughters in the United States. This is one of many reasons the Lee Family held close to their faith and felt a strong commitment to be of service to the Lord.


Theresa was a longtime communicant of St. Christopher's Church, in Red Hook, NY. She also attended mass at St. Columba Church and St. Denis Church in Hopewell Junction, as well as Mount Alvernia in Wappingers Falls.


Theresa loved staying active in her community and her church. She was in regular attendance at her local senior exercise classes and helped with the area prison ministry by writing letters to inmates on death row. After her husband passed away 7 years ago, Theresa enjoyed spending the holidays in California with her children and grandchildren. Just last summer, Theresa was able to return to her homeland of China for the first time since leaving as a little girl, now accompanied by her children, grandchildren, and niece. Making that pilgrimage with her family brought Theresa great joy, and was one of the highlights of her life.


She is survived by her four children and their spouses: Benjamin and Kara Chu, Benson and Mary Chu, Benedict and Adora Chu, and Bonnie and David Sclafani; her grandchildren Kelsey, Aaron, Stephen, Lucas, Dylan, Ryan, Owen, Dean, Ty, and Ming Lee; and her sister and brother-in-law, Josephine and Ignatius Lo.


Theresa loved the Hudson Valley area where she raised her family and formed many life-long friendships. She touched many lives, formed new friendships wherever she went, and was adored by many.


The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 2pm on Saturday, October 26th, 2019 at St. Christopher's Church, Red Hook, NY. Father Patrick Buckley will officiate. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery, Poughkeepsie on a later date.


In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Theresa’s memory to St. Christopher's Church. Memorial donations may be mailed to:


St. Christopher’s Church

Attn: Lauren Kerzner

In Memory of Theresa Chu

7411 South Broadway

Red Hook, NY 12571


Memorial donations can also be accepted online via credit card at


Arrangements are under the direction of Burnett & White Funeral Homes, 7461 S. Broadway, Red Hook, NY.

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2:00 pm
Saturday, October 26, 2019
St. Christopher's Church
7411 S. Broadway
Red Hook, New York, United States
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