Le Thi Thu Cuc 1

Hong Cuc Thi Nguyen speaks to lớn attendees at a 2016 Celebrating Community Project ceremony after a bust was unveiled in her honor. Nguyen died this week of complications of COVID-19. 

Ian Richardson, Sioux City Journal

SIOUX CITY -- Hong Cuc Thi Nguyen, a longtime figure in Sioux City"s Asian communities, died Wednesday of complications of COVID-19 at MercyOne Siouxl& Medical Center. She was 87. 

Tuyen Tran, who had been friends with Nguyen for many years, said she had been in fragile health for some time prior khổng lồ her death. She had observed social distancing recommendations & avoided unnecessary social interactions, but nonetheless contracted the virut. 

"She knew, with her age và with her condition, she knew if she caught the vi khuẩn, she"d be gone," Tran said. Nguyen began experiencing symptoms of the virut earlier this week. 

Nguyen was born April 11, 1933 and grew up in Bentre, a community about 50 miles south of Saigon. During her teen years at Gialong - LeMyre de Villers High School in Saigon, she started training for a career as a teacher at the elementary cấp độ.

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"In my country, the teacher is not only respected by the student, she is respected as a member of the community," Nguyen told the Journal in 2005, when she was 72 years old. She earned a bachelor"s degree in literature from the University of Saigon in 1966.

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Around that same time, Nguyen worked at the Ministry of Education & the Southeast Asian Ministries of South Vietnam. Her first visit lớn the United States was in 1973, when she worked on her master"s degree in education from Ball State University (BSU), Muncie, Indiamãng cầu. She then returned to lớn Vietphái mạnh và was awarded a doctorate degree.


When Saigon fell khổng lồ the Communists in 1975, Nguyen was in Malaysia working for the Southeast Ministries of Education, focusing on innovative ways to lớn teach science and math.

Nguyen applied khổng lồ immigrate to the U.S. as a refugee. She was told the government"s first priority would be the Boat People refugees, which she was not one of. 

In May of 1981, Nguyen was notified that she would be able lớn immigrate to the U.S., và shortly thereafter she arrived in Boulder, Colorabởi vì. She then went to work at the Bilingual Center at the University of Iowa until 1987. She came to lớn Sioux City in 1991. 

In Sioux City she worked with agencies including the Mary J. Treglia Community House and Lutheran Social Services. Among muốn a variety of other activities, Nguyen provided translating services and acted as a mentor, social worker, teacher and notary public.