Helen Tarn Chang, age 67, passed away peacefully on the 16th of August 2011 at 1:29 p.m., with family by her side, while at her home in Houston, Texas, after a long-time battle with cancer. Her infectious humor and spirit affected all those who came in contact with her, and she will be sorely missed by her friends and family.
Ms. Chang was the Director of International Trade and Development for the Office of the Mayor, City of Houston, Texas, and has served in the administration of four mayors: Mayor Bob Lanier, Mayor Lee Brown, Mayor Bill White, and Mayor Annise Parker. Ms. Chang initiated numerous outbound trade missions to China, Korea, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Qatar, the Russian Federation, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates; welcomed heads of states and numerous other decision-makers; while supporting over 500 business delegations to Houston. At Ms. Chang's initiative, the City of Houston has signed over 130 international trade and bilateral cooperation agreements and memoranda. Prior to this position, Ms. Chang worked as an administrator with the Baylor College of Medicine under the legendary Dr. Ralph Feigin.
Ms. Chang has been presented with numerous awards and recognitions, including International Leaders in Achievement; International Who's Who of Professional and Business Women; Five Hundred Leaders of Influence; Leadership Texas; Who's Who Among Asian Americans; International Directory of Distinguished Leadership; advisory professor of Tongji University, visiting professor at Nankai and Dalian Universities, and the China Chamber of International Commerce. She has been featured on the cover of July 1994 issue of Asian Women Magazine as well as in The New Asian-American Woman publication. In the same year, the U.S. Information Agency selected Ms. Chang for a seven-minute television special feature, which was broadcast nationally. She has also served as an honorary commissioner of the Texas Agriculture Department, an agriculture ambassador for the Texas Senate Natural Resources Committee, and a trade consultant for the Texas Senate Agriculture Committee.
She received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from National Chung Hsing University in Taiwan, and a Masters of Business Administration from Auburn University in Alabama.
Ms. Chang was born on the 12th of November 1943 in Chongqing (Chungking), China to Lung Jim Tarn and Hsiu-Wen Chao Tarn, who have both predeceased her. She is survived by her husband, Dr. James C. Chang; son, Andrew C. Chang; daughter, Audrey M. Chang; brothers, Tony and Terry Tarn; sister, Jia-Sun Tsang; niece, Margaret Tsang; nephews: Jeffrey, Jason, and Jonathan Tarn; as well as Coco and MeiMei, her beloved Shih-Tzu dogs.
The family would also like to thank Matthew Shailer for his tireless attention and support.
Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from five o'clock in the afternoon until eight o'clock in the evening on Thursday, the 25th of August, in the Parlor of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.
The funeral service is to be conducted at half-past ten o'clock in the morning on Friday, the 26th of August, in the Jasek Chapel of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, where Rev. Charles Thompson, Executive Pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Houston, is to officiate.
In lieu of customary remembrances, contributions in Helen's Chang's memory may be directed to the Chinese Community Center, 9800 Town Park Dr., Houston, TX, 77036, Attn: Sandra Ham; or to St. John's School, 2401 Claremont Ln., Houston, TX, 77019.