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Jimmy Yang ‘95 July 10, 1977 - June 30, 2022 Written by Jens Janssen, Class of ‘95: On June 30, our life became a little emptier while heaven became a little more fun as Jimmy Yang, Class of ’95, passed away in Los Angeles. Shock and disbelief were the 2 most common reactions when we all heard and shared the news. Jimmy was the life of the party. He was living life. Not Jimmy!
He loved sports (especially teams from Cleveland). He loved partying. He loved eating (he claimed to be a foodie but some of his recommendations were questionable!). He loved video games. He loved his family. He loved his friends.
I am blessed to have been close friends with Jimmy since our sophomore year at HKIS. We used to sit next to each other in various classes. Jimmy copied my homework - a lot - and as a result of getting the same grades, we both attended Pepperdine University where we roomed together for one year. One really gets to know the other when being roommates! Even more so after our HK adventures. He had a big heart. Eventually we were the best man at each other’s wedding. He became my daughter’s godfather - he was going to look out for her once she turned 16 and wanted to go to Lan Kwai Fong.
Jimmy was determined to leave a mark on this world. He started the rugby team at Pepperdine. After graduation, he moved to Shanghai and got into the entertainment industry, producing successful TV shows and movies. He moved back to HK several years ago, getting involved with F&B. Earlier this year, he moved back to LA and into the media industry yet again. He was also giving back to society, having started a charity to support leukemia and lymphoma patients.
Jimmy left his mark. Friends and former classmates joined the live-stream of his funeral from many places: HK, Japan, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and many others. It was a last opportunity for all of us to say goodbye.
RIP Jimmy. You will be missed.
Written by Anthony Ng ‘95: My friendship with Jimmy started off with a bang, literally. That’s the sound of my collarbone snapping in two when Jimmy lightly threw me down in gym class. Why the gym teacher paired someone twice my size to wrestle with remains a mystery. But I’m glad he did. A devoted husband, a ridiculously fun classmate and a most loyal friend. The world got a little less colourful without you Jimbo. Rest in peace brother. From left to right: Jimmy Yang, Kelvin Hah, Brian Li, Daniel Cheong, Jens Janssen and Anthony Ng. Pictured above (left): Bruce Li, Michael Lo, and Jimmy Yang Pictured above (right): Dave Berman, Hjalmar Mok, Jens Janssen, Chris Farrell, Jimmy Yang Joanne Lillian Chow (Jojo) ’97 April 19, 1979 - December 11, 2021 Joanne was a light in this world. She left us too soon, but while she was here, she showed us what it means to have faith in God’s plans, to face trials and tribulations with strength, joy, and hope, and to live a life with purpose.
Joanne was born in Hong Kong and was a loving daughter to her parents, Shirley and Watt Chow, and a caring sister to her younger brother, Dwayne Chow (Class of ’99). She loved her family and spent much time with her grandparents and cousins.
She finished primary school at St Paul’s Convent School and started 7th grade at HKIS, where she formed many lifelong friendships. She was a member of Allegro Singers and Strings and loved her Interim experiences, especially the trip to Sikkim. She received much spiritual guidance at HKIS and was baptized at the Church of All Nations when she was in High School. From then on, she devoted herself to serving and being a blessing to others.
After graduating from HKIS, Joanne attended Boston University (Class of ’01), majoring in International Studies. During her time there, she served the Cambodian immigrant community through Lowell Mission Church. She had a heart for the voiceless and those less fortunate. She also loved children and youth and understood their dreams and struggles.
Joanne loved music. In addition to being a choir singer and a classical violinist, she was also a huge K-Pop fan. She built an extensive collection of albums and limited edition memorabilia that any fan would envy. And she attended many music award shows and concerts.
In 2006, at the age of 27, Joanne was diagnosed with late-stage cancer. From then until her passing, she went through rounds of painful procedures and suffered from debilitating side effects. However, Joanne did not let her illness define nor overcome her.
She still lived her life to the fullest, with joy and humor, connecting with family and friends, eating good food, traveling and going to concerts when she could, and further studying Counseling Psychology at the Hong Kong Institute of Christian Counsellors, all the while carrying her oxygen machine.
Joanne showed us what it means to trust God in the face of adversity as she faced her long battle with cancer with strength and grace. She seldom griped or complained. She saw goodness around her and she chose to walk closer to God.
One of her dreams had been to do missionary work in Southeast Asia, to share the message of God’s love and hope. She had learned Khmer, Tagalog, Thai and Japanese and had traveled to serve the most hard-pressed people of these communities. But because her illness limited her ability to travel, she made her extended family and friends her mission field instead.
She prayed and blessed others fervently. She reached out to people in her caring and loving ways. She listened and offered comfort and encouragement. Even from the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, she would text friends and family to ask if there was anything they’d like her to pray about.
Joanne’s unique gift for connecting with people and making them feel special and loved was evident at her Memorial Service, where an unexpected number of people came to pay their respects, and on social media, where people from all over the world poured out their hearts with gratitude for the impact Joanne had made on their lives.
We will always remember Joanne’s strength, courage, resilience, faith, and love. We thank her for touching our hearts and transforming our souls. We will continue to be inspired by her.
Joanne’s parents would like to thank everyone in the HKIS community who has reached out, those who loved and supported her, and those who attended and helped with the Memorial service, in person and virtually. This includes Ben Cha from Class of 1991, Steven Chan from Class of 1995, Jason Pau, Katherine Cho, Iris Yeung, and Emi Takashi from Class of 1996, Jason Weber from Class of 1997, Justin Wong and Lawrence Lau from Class of 1998, Stephen Hui, Ronald Tsang, Patricia Ho, and Sean Yoo from Class of 1999, and the Class of 1997 who generously gifted the beautiful wreath.
To connect with Joanne’s family, please contact her cousin Ann Cha by email. email@example.com. William (Bill) Stork May 25, 1940 - November 6, 2022 HKIS Faculty 1991-2010 It is with great sadness to share that former longtime HKIS faculty member, Bill Stork, passed away on November 6, 2022 at the age of 82 in Hong Kong. Bill is survived by his partner Jasmine, and his two children, daughter Christina and son Willis William III.
Bill was an early adopter of inquiry-based learning, originally in Asian studies. When he became a full-time member of the mathematics department at HKIS he adapted this method using data explorations to provide a firm understanding of the functions of advanced algebra. He was also an early proponent for the use of technology, especially graphing calculators, allowing students to visualize the mathematics they were learning. Bill also successfully introduced mathematical modeling as a curriculum subject at the secondary level.
Bill attended Yale University where he obtained a B.A. in history and went on to a Master’s degree in History from Brown University. He was a National Science Foundation Scholar at Bowdoin College where he earned his Master’s in mathematics and did his PhD studies at the University of Southern California. Bill had planned to go on to law school but discovered after tutoring that he was destined to teach.
“Bill was a valuable, and unique member of the High School Mathematics Department, contributing many forward-thinking ideas to our work - among which was the use of graphing calculators in the mid-90s to revolutionize the way mathematics is taught and learned. I credit him with moving us toward making that change, which impacted so much of the student - and teacher - experience.” ~ Sue Harvey
Bill was featured in DragonTales in 2010 upon his retirement and you can read the full article, "The Great Storkey,'' here to learn more about Bill and how his passion for teaching and learning began. Bill Stork pictured here with HKIS students.