“The family and friends of Il Chul Park are saddened to announce the passing of an extraordinary man, devoted father, grandfather, philosopher and minister. Dr. Park passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of March 12, 2019 at the Heritage Valley Hospital, Beaver, Pa. He was 88 years of age.
Born in a small town in what is now North Korea, Dr. Park escaped to the South circa 1947 as a boy, alone. Without friends or family, he survived in war-torn Korea, taught himself English, eventually married his beloved wife, Won Sook Lee and fathered three loving children, Mi Hyun, Tai and John.
An extraordinary intellect, Dr. Park traveled to the United States at the age of 30, achieved a PhD in western philosophy from Temple University (focused on existentialist phenomenology), and taught philosophy at the Beaver campus of Penn State University for 25 years. He was repeatedly recognized as an outstanding professor and educator.
Ever consumed by the pursuit of truth, Dr. Park also achieved a degree in Theology from the Westminster Theological Seminary. After retiring from Penn State, Dr. Park was ordained as a Presbyterian minister, presided over churches in Queens, New York and Pittsburgh, broadly preached before congregations in Korea, and lectured as a guest scholar at seminaries. His inspiring sermons have been collected in a published volume.
Dr. Park is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Won Sook, his three children aforementioned and six grandchildren. A man of great charisma to match his intellect, Dr. Park touched many lives, most deeply those of his children and grandchildren who will miss his guiding wisdom and love.
A Funeral Service will be held on Friday, March 15, 2019 at 10:00 AM in the Korean Central Church of Pittsburgh, 821 S. Aiken Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15232 with the Reverend Hyun Chul Kim officiating, followed by a graveside service at 12:30 PM in Beaver Cemetery, Beaver, PA.
Arrangements entrusted to Simpson Funeral & Cremation Services, Monaca.
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