Seh Ieh Chou, of Natick, “Shikigi” as he was known to close family, passed away peacefully at home with family surrounding him on March 19, 2019 at the age of 87. Survived by his wife of 56 years, Fen T. Chou, he was the devoted father of Peggy Chou and Jenny Chou and her husband Chris Smith, all of Newton. Beloved grandfather of Ethan and Lydia Smith of Newton. He was known and loved for his humorous family history stories, and his fondness of good food and wine, and classical music.
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He was born in Chingshui, Taiwan and landed a coveted spot at Taiwan University, class of 1955, in Taipei where he studied Civil Engineering. In 1959, at the age of 27, when global travel was still rare, Shikigi left Taiwan and came to the United States for graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin where he earned his PhD in 1965. Subsequently, he settled in Lincoln, Nebraska where he was a professor of Engineering Mechanics at the University of Nebraska Lincoln for over 40 years. He was a lifelong Cornhusker but always preached that academics were more important than football.
After retirement at age 72, Shikigi’s love of travel and his excellent health led him and Fen globetrotting for the next decade. Together with their friends, they visited almost every part of the world by air, sea and land, except for Africa and Antarctica. Shikigi was often the ringleader, organizing and enticing others to join him on the next trip. He was still stubbornly planning his next trip long after he was unable to travel. In a cruel twist of fate, he was diagnosed three years ago with a neurodegenerative condition that robbed him of his mobility and ability to speak, eat and drink. While the decline in his health was difficult, he suffered for only a short time before he passed away.
A celebration of life is planned for early April. In lieu of flowers, contributions are welcomed to: ALS Association of MA 685 Canton St; Norwood, MA 02062 or the University of Nebraska Foundation 1010 Lincoln Mall #300; Lincoln, NE 68506