Youn Suk Kim, professor emeritus of economics at Kean University, died on September 27, 2019, at his home in Corolla, North Carolina. He was 85, and he had formerly lived for many years in Cresskill, New Jersey. Son of the late Jae Kyu Kim and Seon Yuh Chung, he was born in Gwangju, South Korea, on September 15, 1934.
Dr. Kim is remembered with great fondness for his warm sense of humor and big-hearted devotion to his family, including immediate and extended family members, and a wide circle of friends. He was generous with both his enthusiasm and caring concern. He took delight in the company of others and could fill a room with the sound of his booming cheery laughter. At other quieter times, he often sought to engage in focused one-on-one conversation, whether to discuss his favorite topics of politics and economics, or to offer guidance to younger people about their studies and about life.
Beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle, Dr. Kim is survived by his wife, Yong Ho Kim; three children, Herbert Kim, Nan Kim-Paik, and John Kim; five grandchildren, Elijah, Alice, Hannah, Louis, and Lisa; three siblings, Chang Kyung Lawhorn, Ki Suk Kim, and Shin Suk Kim; and five nieces and nephews, Ernest, Youngwoong, Young Joo, Young Hee, and Young Mi.
Dr. Kim’s professional endeavors revolved around education and scholarship as an economist, university professor, mentor, and author. He was of a generation that sought earnestly to cultivate their talents and abilities to help build up the country of their birth. He received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Seoul National University in 1958. He departed the following year for the United States in 1959, where he initially studied as a foreign student at LaGrange College in Valdosta, Georgia. He later went on to pursue graduate study in economics at the New School (University) for Social Research in New York City, where he earned his MA in 1967 and his PhD in 1973.
Although he had longed to return someday to Korea, he eventually decided to stay in his adopted homeland, becoming a citizen of the United States in 1977. Rather than pursue the political ambitions of his youth, he instead channeled his professional energies into becoming a scholar of international trade and economic policy, with a special focus on Korea’s relations with other Northeast Asian countries and the US. He joined the economics faculty at Kean University in Union, New Jersey, where he worked from 1974 to 2007. His career also included intervals as a visiting economics professor at Seoul National University, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, and Fairleigh Dickinson University, and as a guest columnist at the South Korean financial newspaper, Maeil Economic Daily.
The tribute at his retirement ceremony included this summary: “During his 33 years of teaching, he influenced the lives of countless students, sending many off to graduate programs and careers in business. As a faculty fellow of the Gateway Institute for Regional Development and a member of the Faculty Senate. Dr. Kim was awarded the Kean College Presidential Excellence Award in 1994. He was a genuine and renowned scholar in his field and an exemplary figure for academicians. Dr. Kim was an executive editor of Journal of Asian Economics, a member of the editorial board of Human Systems Management as well as an editor of the International Journal of Korean Studies and an associate editor of North Korean Review. In addition to [publishing more than sixty academic articles], he authored and edited six books including The US-Korea Economic Partnership; Economics of the Triad; Conflicts and Cooperation among the US, Japan, and Korea; and The IMF system and Korea’s Industries. He served as President of both the Korea-America Economic Association (1993-1994) and the Korean American University Professors Association (1997-1998). Dr. Kim also chaired the board of the International Council on Korean Studies, and he was also a member of the International Trade Task Force for the New Jersey Economic Master Plan Commission.”
In retirement, Dr. Kim relocated with his wife to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Following a long bout with cancer during his final years, he died peacefully and painlessly in his sleep at home. He lived a long, robust, and fruitful life, and he was loved by many. He will be greatly missed.
A funeral will be held at 11:00 am on Wednesday, October 2, 2019, at Colony Chapel, located at Twiford Funeral Home, 500 Budleigh Street, Manteo, NC, officiated by Rev. Jim Southern. A graveside committal will follow at Manteo Cemetery, 300 Cemetery Lane, Manteo, NC. A viewing will be held Tuesday evening from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm at the funeral home.
For those who wish to make a memorial donation, please consider supporting the Scholarship Fund of the Korean American University Professors Association. Donations in memory of Dr. Youn Suk Kim may be sent to “KAUPA,” 3436 Baraboo Lane, DeKalb, IL 60115.
Twiford Funeral Home, Manteo is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences and memories can be shared at www.TwifordFH.com.
Twiford Funeral Home (Manteo)
500 Budleigh Street, PO Box 595,
Fax: (252) 473-3392