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Won-Yung Hyun Oh (현 원영)
October 22, 1928 ~ May 9, 2023 (age 94) 94 Years Old
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Won-Yung Hyun Oh (현 원영), a Sleepy Hollow resident for over 52 years, passed away at age 94 on May 9, 2023. She was born October 22, 1928 in Seoul, Korea, the youngest of 4 daughters to Seok-Choo Hyun and Eun-Dong Park. She graduated from Kyunggi Girls’ High School in 1945 and Seoul National University College of Education with a history major in 1950. During the Korean War, she taught high school history and also met her future husband, Jang Ok Oh, whom she followed to the United States to further her education in 1953. She and Jang married in Erie, PA, in 1955 when she also received a B.A. from Villa Maria College, followed by an M.A. from Butler University in 1957, and a Ph.D. from University of Washington in 1963.
She and Jang had two sons, Dennis in 1963 and Peter in 1968, and she devoted herself to raising her family. Following Peter’s death in 1970, she sought comfort in the Bible and for the rest of her life was blessed with strength and joy from her religious faith and fellowship.
Won-Yung had a lifelong love of language. A beloved teacher at College of Marin, she taught a popular Japanese language class for 15 years. She also discovered a passion for Korean literature and, in particular, Sijo poetry. As with all things she undertook, she brought an intelligent creativity, indefatiguable work ethic, and an aspiration to the highest standards. Her literary accomplishments included co-authoring The Fallen Egg (1974), three Sijo poetry collections—Next to the Burning Sunset (2007), Longing for the Sky Above Nangnang (2010), On the Road With No Road (2016)—and an anthology of her Sijo poetry, Thoughts of a Pine Tree (2016).
Dr. Hyun’s work was recognized by the Kyunggi Girls’ High School Kyungunhoe Yongmae Award (1966), the 53rd Sijo Life New Poet Award (2003), the 603rd Sijo World New Poet Award (2006), the 1st Sihchaun Award for Sijo Literature in the overseas category (2010), the 7th Overseas Korean Literary Merit Award (2013), the 1st Jong Hoi Kim Overseas Korean Literature Award Grand Prize (2014), and the Overseas Contribution Grand Prize in Celebration of the Publication of the 100th issue of Sijo Life Literary Quarterly. She received an honorary doctorate in literature from Seoul Women’s University in 2014. She served on the Global Children’s Foundation board of directors, the San Francisco Literature Association advisory committee, and as President of the Traditional Poetry Writers Association of the World USA.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Jang. She is survived by her son, Dennis, daughter-in-law, June, and her beloved grand-daughters, Stephanie and Natalie. Memorial Services will be held at Monte’s Chapel of the Hills in San Anselmo at 2 pm, Saturday, May 27, 2023.