Dorothy Chiu Au, 1917-2011

Dorothy Chiu Au, 1917-2011

Dorothy Chiu Au, 1917-2011. This picture was taken on her 90th birthday.

This is the post that I knew one day would have to be written. I just didn’t know it would be today. I had already made plans to fly to California to be with our son, Stephen, as he was to undergo gall bladder surgery. This morning, though, I received a call from my brother, Rick, who said my mother had fallen and was unconscious, and that they had taken her to the hospital. A short time later, she suffered an unrecoverable, massive stroke, and died peacefully about 7:45 pm, slightly before my arrival in California, with my brothers Jim and Rick, and sister Margo at her bedside. She would have been 94 in August.

I wrote a posting about my mother last summer on the occasion of her 93rd birthday. She was my first music teacher and won a piano in a competition, which she donated to her school. She went on to medical school and was a practicing pediatrician for nearly 60 years in the San Fernando Valley. Among her famous patients were the Jackson Five when they were young (yes! Michael Jackson!) and she didn’t retire until the age of 83. After retirement she resumed playing the piano, and practiced over an hour a day. She also took up the harp which caught her interest when she watched an infomercial on TV.

Kathy's mother sat in the front row of the B-Minor Mass on both nights.

Kathy's mother sat in the front row of the B-Minor Mass on both nights.

She had a wonderfully rich life and knew people from all over the world through her many travels. She, with my father, made over 20 visits to Hawaii and after he died in 1999, made over a dozen cross-country trips to visit her children and grandchildren. She always enjoyed coming to LCH and hearing me play the organ. She even traveled to the Holy Land at age 91 and to Oberammergau at age 92. We will be eternally grateful that she was able to visit Honolulu in May for Carl’s final concert performances of the Bach B minor Mass. She sat in the front row both nights and just could not get over how Carl could be jumping on the podium for 2 hours and not be tired! We had a wonderful family time with her and Rick during that visit, something we will always treasure. In my subsequent phone calls she ALWAYS mentioned how grateful she was to have been there for Carl’s last concert.

My sister Doris wrote this song on the occasion of my mother’s 90th birthday.

A Life Well Lived

She’s a bright one and likes to play
A little bit naughty, she get her own way
She wins a piano, then gives it away
This is a life well lived.

She’s a daughter, a sister, wife and mother
Faithful to pray and to give
Scholar, believer, musician, physician,
This is a life well lived.

In Med School, she meets the love of her life
Becomes a doctor, and then a good wife
She raises five children, the joy of her life
This is a life well lived.

She heals the sick, gives her years to the poor
Cares for the needy on a distant shore
She’s given abundance, and she gives away more,
This is a life well lived.

And someday when your song is done,
Well done my good and faithful one
Yours is a life well lived, Yes
Yours is a life well lived.

About Katherine Crosier

In addition to playing the organ I am interested in documenting life's special moments through journaling, scrapbooking, photography and slideshow production. My family just groans.
This entry was posted in Carl Crosier, J. S. Bach and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Dorothy Chiu Au, 1917-2011

  1. Leigh Ann Braley says:

    What a lovely tribute, Kathy – and what an outstanding woman! You and your family are in Richard’s and my thoughts and prayers.

    • Mary Fastenau says:

      Kathy – My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. It was great to see your mom at the Carl’s last concert. She was an amazing woman. Mary

  2. Tim Carney says:

    A beautiful tribute to your mom, Kathy. A long life, well-lived and well-loved. Who could ask for anything more?

  3. May Louie says:

    You have honored your mom with your tribute! She was an amazing woman! My thoughts and prayers for you and your family!

  4. Chuck Huxel and Nan Wond says:

    Dear Kathy, Thanks for sharing with us such a loving remembrance of your Mom. We shall keep it in our hearts. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

  5. Randy & Jeanne Castello says:

    Kathy, your mom’s life is a great lesson for the rest of us. Every day is a special gift. We never stop learning. We never stop doing. We never stop loving and giving!

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  8. Charles Hester says:

    When I was very young I remeber being in the hospital confined to an oxygen tent. My mother told me years later that the doctors treating at the time couldn’t figure out why I was so ill. As the story goes Dr. Chiu who had never treated me before came in to check on me and in short period of time figured out what the problem was. My mother told me that Dr. Chiu was the only doctor in the hospital who able to diagnose the my illness and provide the treatment that I needed.

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