Ta Quang Khoi, age 97, passed away peacefully in his home on June 13, 2018, surrounded by his family. He was a resident of The Elmwood House Senior Home in Arlington, Virginia, having moved there in 2004.
Known to many friends as “Giao Su Khoi” (professor Khoi) for his lifetime work and contribution to Vietnamese literature, he will be remembered for his wordplay, corny jokes, unbridled optimism, and heartfelt interest in others. He loved playing Chinese Chess and Vietnamese Parcheesi and didn't mind winning no matter who he was playing, including his children when they were young. When he discovered the power of the internet, he chatted regularly with his friends by email until the last few days of his long life. He also had a penchant for chain emails, many of which were funny and esoteric.
Khoi loved to cite poems by famous Vietnamese poets and some of his own, such as those he penned in memory of his late wife who passed away many decades ago in Saigon, Vietnam.
Khoi was born in Nam Dinh, Vietnam in 1920. He was educated in Hanoi and migrated to Saigon in 1954 where he established a name for himself in the Vietnamese literature circles. He taught Vietnamese literature and history for a few years in the early 1970s at Nguyen Trai High School while moonlighting as a journalist and writer to supplement his meager teacher’s income. He was a prolific writer and published many books; some of his works are now in the Library of Congress, Washington, DC. He was quickly promoted to be the school’s principal and later a school superintendent in 1974. He held that prestigious position until the Fall of Saigon in April 1975.
In 1961, Khoi married Pham Thi Tong after 11 years of courting. Their union produced four boys and one girl: Chi (deceased) of Alhambra, CA; Tuan (Thanh) of Rockville, Maryland; Hoan (Christine) of Pasadena, Texas; Mai (Phong) of Arnold, Maryland; and Hong (George) of Takoma Park, Maryland.
Khoi also leaves eight grandchildren: Ethan Ta, Christina Walling, Leanna Nguyen, Colby Nguyen, Brandon Nguyen, Alexa Nguyen, Lexi Nguyen, and Andre Nguyen. He also has an adopted son Nhon Tran.
A memorial service was held on Sunday, June 17, 2018, at the Everly Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 6161 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, Va. https://www.everlycommunityfuneralcare.com/
Donations may be made in honor of Khoi Ta to Giac Son Buddhist Temple, 11801 Laurel Bowie Rd, Laurel, MD 20708.