Sue Chang, a longtime MarketWatch reporter and editor, died surrounded by family and friends at her home in California on Monday. She was 53.
She is survived by her mother, Soon Nam Kang, her husband, Jae Chyun, and her two children, Kyung and Jong.
Sue was a dedicated professional, colleague and friend. Born in Seoul, South Korea, she was raised by a diplomat father and a professor mother.
Due to her father’s job, the family led a globe-trotting life most of us could only dream of leading, making their home in cities such as Ankara, Turkey; Hokkaido, Japan; Houston, Texas; and Taipei, Taiwan.
Sue attended an all-girls Catholic high school in Texas and the University of California, Irvine, where she majored in English literature.
At UC Irvine, Sue won her first award: Her Korean barbecue took first place in the first-ever university-wide contest for an original recipe.
After her student visa ran out, she went back to Korea, “hoping to make dabbling look cool,” she said.
Instead, she married Jae Chyun, also from a Korean diplomatic family, and had Kyung and, two years later, Jong.
One day in Korea she came across a random ad looking for rookie reporters.
That innocuous start led her to report on some of the biggest stories of our time, including the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the historic inter-Korea summit in 2000. Sue went on to become the first Korean to be the bureau chief of a major U.S. media company in Seoul, working for Dow Jones Newswires in the early 2000s.
A few years later, she found herself at the other end of the Pacific, having joined the University of California, Berkeley’s graduate school of journalism as a visiting scholar.
After a brief stint at UC Berkeley, she joined MarketWatch in October 2007.
On the day she got her new-hire packet, Sue said she felt like she never left because she got the same email address that she had when she worked for the wires — Dow Jones had bought MarketWatch a few years previously.
Sue would continue covering world-moving news, such as the 2008 global financial crisis and the shift of global power dynamics with the emergence of China and other countries.
At MarketWatch, she leaves numerous friends. Sue had been on a medical leave for the past few months dealing with cancer.
She recently popped onto the office’s chat app, and her colleague Myra Saefong asked if she had any messages to pass along.
“Tell them I am OK and I miss everyone,” she wrote.
Typical Sue. She didn’t want anyone to worry.
Sue was a hardworking reporter and editor, and her work, available online, speaks for itself.
At MarketWatch, she was always willing to lend an ear and give advice, as a mother of two grown children and “fur baby” mama of two West Highland Terriers.
She had large photos of her “Westies” displayed proudly at her desk.
She didn’t have pictures of her children. Instead, she had a framed drawing of her family to showcase her daughter’s art skills. When she shared an actual photo of her children following her son’s college graduation in 2017, it was one of the few her co-workers had seen.
Myra told her the kids looked great. “Almost as cute as my puppies!” Sue said.
But Sue would always find subtle ways to show how absolutely proud she was of her family. One day Myra told her about how her toddler daughter, who was just learning about death, said she’d miss her mom when she died.
Sue said: “Aw. Well, crap. I’ll miss you too. So don’t.”
We miss you too, Sue. And we wish you hadn’t.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Sue’s name to the Humane Society of the U.S.