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Rosa Choi Kim Obituary

Brought to you by Zimmerman-Harnett Funeral Home

Rosa Choi Kim

Forest Park, IL

February 24, 1936 - December 28, 2023

Rosa Choi Kim Obituary

Rosa Hae Sook Choi Kim (married surname, "Kim"; maiden surname, "Choi"; Korean first name, "Hae Sook"; Christian baptismal name, "Rosa") was born on February 24, 1936 when Korea was a unified country. Her birthplace is now in North Korea. She departed this life on December 28, 2023, the Catholic feast day of the Holy Innocents, while being cared for in the Intensive Care Unit of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, in Chicago, Illinois. After experiencing complications from bacterial and viral pneumonia, her heart stopped and she was unable to be revived. In her family of origin, Rosa was the oldest sibling, with 3 younger sisters and no brothers. The second oldest sister in her family of origin died many years ago in North Korea. Rosa is survived by her 2 younger sisters, both of whom are in North Korea, and by 2 half-brothers in South Korea, who were both born after Rosa's father remarried following the death of Rosa's mother from typhoid.

     From no religion in her family of origin, Rosa, as an adult, converted to the Catholic faith after being evangelized by German Catholic missionaries in Korea. In 1959, she graduated with a medical degree from Seoul National University, in Seoul, South Korea. She was one of a handful of women medical students in her graduating class. During her pediatric residency at National Medical Center, in Seoul, South Korea, she received excellent pediatric training from Scandinavian doctors who, under United Nations' auspices, were helping South Korea reestablish its healthcare system after the Korean War. Because she was a foreign medical school graduate, when she immigrated to the United States, she had to repeat her post-medical school training if she wanted to practice pediatrics in the United States. She did so in New York, from 1964-1968. She was introduced to her future husband, Simon Hwan Kim, a devout Korean Catholic, in New York, and the two were married in a Catholic wedding in St. Patrick's Cathedral, in New York City. The couple settled in Illinois, giving birth in July 1969 to their only child, a son, John Ihn Kim. Shortly after his birth, Simon and Rosa moved to Oak Park, Illinois, just west of Chicago. From 1971-1973, Rosa was a Pediatric Hematology Fellow at the University of Illinois Chicago Medical Center.

     In July 1973, she became Board Certified and began a private pediatrics practice in Oak Park, later named "Pediatrics Unlimited." In July 1977 she became a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. During her over 40-year career as a pediatrician, Rosa had admitting privileges at West Suburban Hospital in Oak Park, and at Westlake Hospital (now closed), in Melrose Park. Rosa was very fortunate in that she loved her work and was encouraged to flourish in it by her husband Simon, who died in November 1999.

     For decades after the Korean War, Rosa was cut off from her sisters in North Korea and did not know whether they were alive or dead. Later, through a special program, she was able to learn their whereabouts and that the second sister had died while the younger 2 sisters were still living. As a naturalized United States citizen, she made several trips to North Korea by way of Beijing in order to meet her 2 surviving sisters in person.

     Rosa is survived by her 2 sisters and 2 half-brothers and by her son, John. In lieu of sending flowers, please make a donation in memory of Rosa Hae Sook Choi Kim to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (www.stjude.org) or make a donation to plant a tree.(https://www13.funeralwebhost.com/zmt/obituary/Rosa-Kim/1072559/memorial-tree).

 

VISITATION

Saturday, January 6,2023

10:00 am

St. Luke Parish Church

7600 Lake St

River Forest IL 60305

 

FUNERAL MASS

Saturday, January 6, 2023

11:00 am

St. Luke Parish Church

7600 Lake St

River Forest IL 60305

 

INTERMENT FOLLOWING
FUNERAL MASS

Saturday, January 6, 2023

approximately 12:45 pm

All Saints Cemetery

700 N. River Rd

Des Plaines IL 60016

 

LUNCHEON

Saturday, January 6, 2023

1:15 pm

Trezeros Kitchen + Tap

302 N Northwest Hwy

Mt. Prospect IL 60056

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Rosa Choi Kim hosted by Zimmerman-Harnett Funeral Home.

Events

Event information can be found on the Official Obituary of Rosa Choi Kim.