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“You are in a thousand winds that blow,You are the softly falling snow.You are the gentle showers of rain,You are the fields of ripening grain.You are...Read More »
1 of 21 | Posted by: guo min - Friend

“Dear Aunt Xu, Mum's lifelong best friend,My most respectful wisely Aunt. i always remember how much loving you send to me especially after Mum left...Read More »
2 of 21 | Posted by: Qin Shi - Melbourne

“Dear Xu Mama, what an extraordinary life you led, and what wonderful legacies of strength and perseverance you leave with us. I will always remember...Read More »
3 of 21 | Posted by: Xiaoge Cai - Scarsdale, NY

“Dear Mom, The sadness you leave us is beyond words. You are the best grandma and mother-in-law! We will miss you forever! ”
4 of 21 | Posted by: Jieqi, Roger Jiang - Family

“Dear Fanghua and family, I'm so sorry for your loss! I will always remember your mother as a strong and independent woman as well as a loving mother....Read More »
5 of 21 | Posted by: Qiongwen Chen - Bellevue, WA

“Dear Zhenhua and Fanghua,I can not believe that your dear mom left us so suddenly. I was hoping that all of you could celebrate her many more...Read More »
6 of 21 | Posted by: xingli Cheng Cheng - Scarsdale, NY

“Xiangyun never had a conversation with me while I had the privilege of being part of the team of health care providers, but without words she spoke...Read More »
7 of 21 | Posted by: Jose Ferreira - Kenilworth, NJ

“Dear Fanghua, I am so sorry for your loss! Though I didn't have the opportunity to meet your mom, I know she was a courageous woman with a big loving...Read More »
8 of 21 | Posted by: Lena Luo - Friend

“Dear Mom, I still cannot believe that you left us. I with dad this moment and we're missing you so much. I still can see you and listen to your voice...Read More »
9 of 21 | Posted by: Zhenhua Jiang - New York, NY

“Very loving and charismatic with a big heart, forever remembered. ”
10 of 21 | Posted by: Joyce Huang

“Fanghua, my condolences From your mother's obituary, I saw a courageous woman who loved her family and was the pillar of her family. You are so proud...Read More »
11 of 21 | Posted by: Ashley A Friend

“Fanghua I am deeply sorry for the loss of your mother. Reading about this remarkable woman and the way she cared for her family was inspiring. It...Read More »
12 of 21 | Posted by: Ross Martin - Chapel Hill, NC

“Rest in peace, Xiangyun Xu, She was a wonderful soul and I pray that God rewards her with heaven. ”
13 of 21 | Posted by: Qing Zhang - Los Ángeles, CA

14 of 21 | Posted by: Lena Luo

“Dear Mom: So many people are moved by your life. I am lucky to be your daughter. RIP. ”
15 of 21 | Posted by: Fanghua Jiang - New York, NY

“I have just read the obituary. It provides a beautiful tribute to a remarkable lady. I am so moved by hearing more about Ms. Xu's life and all she...Read More »
16 of 21 | Posted by: John Harper - Family Friend

17 of 21 | Posted by: Ann Chen - Shanghai - Student

18 of 21 | Posted by: - Family Friend

19 of 21 | Posted by: - Family Friend

“Growing up with Fanghua, you became my extended family. You became the mother we all shared with Fanghua. Always admired you for your...Read More »
20 of 21 | Posted by: Peirong Yang - Zurich

“Please enjoy the new journey. You theory of defense by offense is amazing! ”
21 of 21 | Posted by: Xue rui Yang - San Marino, CA

Xiangyun Xu, wonderful wife, loving mother, dear grandmother and great grandmother, died on Sunday, November 7th, at the age of 88.

From her apartment at east 111st Street, Ms. Xu enjoyed her last 15 years of life where she befriended everyone whom she encountered in this diversified building as well as in the neighborhood. She was one of the few Chinese Americans mingle with residents of various ethnicities for bingo games and other social activities. Coming from a largely homogenous country like China, she overcame her initial prejudices. She said: "Prejudice comes from ignorance; every race has good people and bad people."

Ms. Xu was born as the oldest child in Sheyang County, Jiangsu Province to a local landowner family on May 17, 1933. She was considered the smartest kid in the area and extremely talented with numbers. She was able to do additions and subtractions with numbers within 100 as early as 3 years old. She loved catching fish, shrimp and crab from the nearby reed field. Her grandparents loved her as much as they would have loved a grandson (boys were perceived more desirable than girls). Life was idyllic. Due to family's financial deterioration and general political transformation in China after World War II, she missed the opportunity to attend formal schools. Nevertheless, under her mother's guidance, she continued to learn reading, basic math and many life skills. In her later 20s, she attended adult training programs in Shanghai and graduated to an equivalent primary school.

After her family lost their land in the political revolution and her father passed away, Ms. Xu had to shoulder the financial responsibilities of supporting her three younger siblings and her mother. She first moved to Suzhou to work as a babysitter and then through referral, she went to Shanghai for better job opportunities. When she worked as a maid for a university professor's home, her ability managing the household and her insatiable desire for knowledge impressed the professor's wife, who introduced her to an adult training program. The professor's wife was also the matchmaker for Ms. Xu and her future husband Mr. Shunyuan Jiang.

In 1961, Ms. Xu and Mr. Jiang married in Shanghai. As they welcomed their son and daughter to this world, they each continued supporting their siblings and aging parents back in Jiangsu Province. Ms. Xu helped her youngest sister finish school and sent money to support her mother and brother for many years. When her nephew and nieces wanted to move to bigger cities for better opportunities, she extended helping hands numerous times. She will be always fondly remembered as their dearest "Auntie".

When China went through more political and economic turmoil, Ms. Xu never once lost sight on the most important things that her children must learn: knowledge and work ethic. She encouraged both of her children to keep wonderful academic records, to apply for top schools, and to go abroad to pursue postgraduate studies. When her daughter got admitted into a US graduate school, Ms. Xu had to borrow money for the airline ticket and the initial living expenses of $500. Thereafter she took some extra sewing jobs to pay back the debt.

For Ms. Xu, the world was boundless; people's life and view never stop expanding. After her world grew from a village to Shanghai, she encouraged her children to expand their life from China to America, and then she followed her children's path to expand to America as well. With limited English, her life was never dull in her newly found home. She formed many friendships within and outside of Chinese American community; she was curious about cultural diversity; she embraced new technology and was active on social media; she was excited about her family flourishing in America. She loved this land. On February 13, 2020, at age 86, Ms. Xu passed her citizenship test and became an American citizen. She registered to vote and was eager to excise her right.

Five years ago, Ms. Xu was diagnosed with Myasthenia gravis (MG), a chronic autoimmune disorder in which antibodies destroy the communication between the nerves and muscle. She actively pursued treatment and continuously enjoyed life to its fullest. Her love and dedication to her family increased as the family continued to expand, as if she had unlimited love to give and to share. She won't spend a penny on herself, but she was the most generous "Abu" and "Nai Nai" to her grand children. She offered countless wisdom to her children and their loved ones regarding relationships, compromise and mutual understanding. Much of her advice, if not well understood at the moment, came back as invaluable. She was truly the rock of the family.

After a prolonged battle with MG and ensuing lung failure, she got a hemorrhagic shock and checked into New York Presbyterian Hospital on November 1, 2021. She passed away on Sunday, November 7, 2021.

In October 2016, Ms. Xu joined her daughter for a road trip to New England. They drove through small villages where you can see hardly anyone; they drove through metropolitan areas where you can't find a parking spot; they stayed in a house that faced the ocean; they shared a room in a small cottage of an artist. Again and again, Ms. Xu asked "Where did these people come from? How did they find this place? " She was in awe with each person she encountered; she wanted to know their stories, their ancestors' stories; she is curious about the world.

She therefore becomes a person of amazement.

Ms. Xu is survived by her husband Shunyuan Jiang; son Zhenhua Jiang, his wife Jieqi Zhou and their son Roger; daughter Fanghua Jiang, her partner Gerard DeBenedetto and their son Anzi; grandson Jason Wang and his wife Claire Jiang and their son Aiden.

A memorial service celebrating Xiangyun Xu's life will be held on Wednesday, November 17th at 4-8pm at Greenwich Village Funeral House, 199 Bleecker Street, New York, New York. All are welcome to attend.

Xiangyun Xu