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Obituary: Houk Hak Chhour

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Houk Hak Chhour, age 90, passed away Aug. 14, 2000 at 11:45 a.m. in the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah due to complications from diabetes. He faced life's challenges with courage, integrity and faith. He enjoyed life even when times weren't so easy. Everyone who had the pleasure of meeting him enjoyed his enthusiasm, genuine kindness and friendly personality.

He was born in 1910 and raised in a small village close to Guong Tung (Canton), China where he was educated in the Chinese language and philosophies. There he met and married his beautiful wife, Eng Lim, in 1936, which was arranged by his parents according to Chinese custom. Because of the Japanese invasion of China in 1937, Houk Hak and Eng Lim had to flee China and settled in Cambodia in an attempt to raise a family and better their lives. There they were blessed with nine children. In 1975, during the Communist take over of Cambodia by Pol Pot, Houk Hak and his family were separated and sent to numerous work camps where they experienced starvation, diseases and the constant threat of death under the hands of the Communists. When Vietnam invaded Cambodia in 1979, Houk Hak was able to flee Cambodia for the refugee camps of Thailand where he was reunited with his entire family, but during this time six grandchildren had passed.

In 1981, due to the kindness of the LDS sponsorship of the Lawrence Burton family, Houk Hak and his family came to Utah where they were able to overcome poverty and his family was given the chance to experience freedom again and participate in the "American Dream".

He is survived by six sons: Meng (Phek Ching Taing), Sreng (Kim Luy Khiev), Bou (Guek Taing), Ov Leng (Kim Hour Khiev), Siv Leng (Phek Heang Taing) and Siv Meng (Jennie Chhour); two daughters: Ov Kim and Chheak Kim (Eang Eng Heng); 40 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; with one grandchild and one great-grandchild on the way. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Hak Kim and six grandchildren.

His greatest joy in life was his family, especially his children and grandchildren. He was proud of their abilities to overcome all of life's obstacles and the successes they have achieved. He will be greatly missed.

Friends and family may call Friday, 6-8 p.m. and Saturday, 7-9 a.m. at McDougal Funeral Home, 4330 So. Redwood Road. Interment, Pleasant Green Cemetery, 9200 W. 3500 S.