Soung Chu Tran
On May 31, 2015 we lost our beloved hero, husband and father, Soung Tran, unexpectedly due to heart and lung failure.
Soung was born on May 18, 1940 in Hong Kong to rubber plantation owners who moved to Vietnam from China pre WWII. Soung served 13 years in the Southern Vietnamese army battling along side US Special Forces specializing in gorilla warfare tactics. Once the war ended, Soung spent 2.5 years in hiding from the new Northern Vietnamese government regime. During those years, Soung along with a fellow friend raised enough bars of gold to purchase a large fishing boat and a small portion of a world’s map. Once he modified the fishing boat with larger components, he put his family and 185 other people (men, women and children) boarded the boat and set sail late February 1979 pointing toward Hong Kong from the southern tip of Vietnam.
Due to the lack of knowledge in wind and water currents and after several times of being pirated out at sea witnessing all sorts of atrocities; coming on to week 3, out of food for days and not much water left, Soung spotted and jumped into the ocean to flagged down a Red Cross ship that was sailing by in the distance.
With the help of the Red Cross, the United State government and the Mennonite church, a sponsorship was granted to Soung and his family. They arrived to the Roaring Fork Valley on December 13, 1979 where he has resided along with his family until his passing pursuing the American Dream. Soung’s love for the United State was unprecedented. The US was the beacon representing freedom that carried him through those 13 years tour of duty.
Despite life’s hardship, he always had a smile for people and enjoy talking to everyone he came in contact with during his daily routine.
Soung is survived by his wife, Dang Chi Tran, his son William Tran, his daughter Nee Tran Finley, son in-law Tim Finley and grandson, David Finley; as well as other relatives in California, Canada and Asia.
We will hold a private memorial celebrating of his life on the June 26, 2015. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to the Vietnam Veterans of America in his honor.
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