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1937 Ron 2024

Ron Chen

January 10, 1937 — March 22, 2024

Natchitoches

Ron Chen, a Taiwanese entrepreneur, educator, and advocate for social justice passed away on March 22, 2024 at the age of 87. Born in Puzi, Chiayi County, Taiwan in 1937, Ron leaves behind a legacy of activism, academia, and entrepreneurship. He will be remembered for his strong sense of purpose, passion for giving back to others, longstanding commitment to teaching, and love for his family and the United States of America.

Ron embarked on a global journey that led him to become a cherished professor of political science at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Along with his wife of 55 years, Fu-mei Chen, Ron also founded the Brass House, which was a retailer and wholesaler of brassware and giftware; together they created and produced many Southern inspired gifts which were sold in the French Quarter of New Orleans. 

Ron had noteworthy global influence as a dedicated political activist for Taiwanese independence and as a leader of the movement in the United States, serving as the Overseas Liaison Officer of the World United Formosans for Independence which opposed the Chaing Kai-shek regime and endorsed Taiwanization.  In addition to his role as Associate Editor of the newspaper The Independent Formosan, he translated George Kerr’s book, Formosa Betrayed, (1973). This Chinese translation became a banned book, is currently a bestseller, and is one of the most influential nonfiction books in Taiwan. As a follow up to this book, he also authored “What I know about the April 24th Incident” (2015), and "The Inside Story of the April 24th Assassination Attempt Made Public Again" (2018), which discusses the attempted assassination of Chiang Ching-kuo, Chiang Kai-shek's son and heir, in New York City. Ron was a leader of various student groups and spoke on radio and television shows. He was a confidant of Taiwan’s former President Lee Teng-Hui, who oversaw the end of Martial law in Taiwan, the full democratization of Taiwan.  President Lee Teng-Hui advocated the Taiwanese localization movement and led an ambitious foreign policy agenda to gain allies around the world.

Ron is survived by his wife, Fu-mei Chen, and his children, Sonya van der Meer, Peter van der Meer, Tonya Chen Mezrich, Ben Mezrich, Oliver Chen, John Bult, Patricia Chen and his four grandchildren, Penelope, Tristan, Asher and Arya.

As a leader of revolutions, captivator of students with his stories, or spreader of joy with unique creations, Ron Chen proved that passion, humor, leadership, and a touch of eccentricity can drive lives forward. His contributions will forever be treasured across his diverse network of friends across multiple communities.

We warmly invite you to join us at one of the upcoming celebrations of his life: April 13, 2024 at 11 a.m. at the Olive C. Church, 4105 David Drive, Metairie, LA; April 14, 2024 at 2:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 114 Bienville St., Natchitoches, LA. Later in April Ron Chen will be laid to rest in Newton, MA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the World United Formosans for Independence (WUFI, PO Box 1239, Belmont, CA 94002-6239. In memory of Ron Chen.)

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ron Chen, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Sunday, April 14, 2024

2:30 - 3:30 pm (Central time)

First Presbyterian Church of Natchitoches

114 Bienville St, Natchitoches, LA 71457

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