Joseph Hsien Ying Niu
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Joseph Hsien Ying Niu
  • April 22, 1932 - May 26, 2017
  • Houston, Texas

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Joseph Hsien Ying Niu, 85, passed away in Houston, Texas at 4:45pm on May 26, 2017. He was born in Nanjing, China in April 1932 and lived a long, full life that traversed the world.
Like millions of Chinese at the time, he and his family first bore the brunt of the Japanese Invasion of China, and then was displaced by the Chinese civil war to Taiwan in the 1940s. By 1955, he had moved to Hong Kong and graduated from Hong Kong University. By the grace of his uncle, former Chinese Ambassador to the United States, and his aunt, once called Eleanor Roosevelt's "Greatest Friend in the East," Joseph and his brother Stanley ventured to America to attend post-graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Joseph received his PhD in Chemistry there in 1962. He would continue his studies a decade later, receiving an MBA from the University of Michigan in 1972.
Joseph's career was in the chemicals industry, where his work with multinational corporations gave him the opportunity to travel the world, providing a life and a wealth of experiences for his family. He met his wife in Detroit while with BASF, and in 1981 the newlyweds moved to Houston, where they had their first and only son, Jeremy, in 1983. In 1987, his work with GAF Corporation relocated him first to New Jersey, and then eastwards to Singapore in 1990. He returned to Houston in 1998 and worked there until retirement.
During the 20-odd years since he retired, Joseph became extremely passionate about supporting underprivileged and disabled children in China. He devoted much of his time, including his final hours, to ensuring that the dozens of children he supported received the medical care and educational funding they needed.
An active person - Joseph enjoyed any sport that involved a racket, but had a special passion for tennis and ping pong. Even in his 80s, he kept a habit of taking hours-long rambles throughout towns and cities across the world. Joseph's frequent journeys across the world were made possible by his son Jeremy, who began arranging all his father's travels since beginning a career in key management positions across renowned hotel groups such as Hyatt International. Jeremy was the greatest pride of Joseph's life.
Joseph endured much hardship in the early years of his life, but rose above to became a strong, ethical role model that impacted the hearts of countless other people. He had only one biological son, but many who consider him a father. His love and dedication to his family will be treasured forever.