Young Whan Kihl

Young Whan Kihl

October 13, 1932 - December 14, 2014

Young Whan Kihl

October 13, 1932 - December 14, 2014


Professor Young W. Kihl, age 82, of Laguna Woods, California, passed away at Orangegrove Rehabilitation Hospital on December 14, 2014.

Young Whan Kihl was born in Korea on October 13, 1932. He graduated from Young San High School in Seoul, Korea. After migrating to the United States and becoming a US citizen, he received a BA in Political Science and Economics from Grinnell College and a Ph.D. in International Politics and Organizations, Comparative Politics (Asia) and Political Behavior from New York University.

Professor Kihl was passionate about political science. He specialized in North South Korean relations and wrote many well-respected books on the topic.

Professor Kihl was predeceased by his beloved wife Mary in 2007. He is survived by his children, Ann and Christopher, and his sisters Young Won Ha and Young Yun Lee.

A memorial service will be held at O’Connor Mortuary, 25301 Alicia Pkwy, Laguna Hills, CA 92653 on Monday, December 22 at 1:00 P.M.

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12 responses to Young Whan Kihl

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  1. Young Whan Kihl –my brother in law
    My earliest memory of Young dates back to Juniata College days where my sister, Mary and I were both undergraduate students. Mary was one of Young’s students and apparently , as I was later informed, he was attracted to her by her enthusiastic smile and response in class. He wanted to ask her out on a date but knew that a professor asking a student was against protocol. So he decided to ask me to go with them to a dirve-in restaurant a few miles from campus so we could have a milkshake together. I guess Young’s plan worked since the relationship grew and they ended up getting married some few years later. At least I can say, I was there when it all began.
    I can remember well Mary and Young’s wedding day with the whole family in attendance at a church on Long Island. They were both so very happy and Young’s smile left a lasting picture on my mind. The years passed and many miles separated us but Young and Mary made every attempt possible to get together for Holidays even if it meant long hours of driving to do it. I look back now with much gratitude to Young for encouraging “family times” Among my fondest memories are the moments when Young and Mary introduced the family to their newly adopted daughter, Ann and, then, their newly adopted son, Christopher. Only great love, pride and happiness surrounded those moments as the family expanded and our embrace widened.
    In remembering Young, I would like to thank him for these lasting gifts that he has given me over our life time together:
    -Young helped our family to bridge a cultural gap that gave all of us an appreciation and better understanding of a culture that otherwise may have remained unknown to us
    -Young gave us a glimpse as to the essence of political relations and their key role in the peaceful existence of all people.
    -Young’s enthusiasm and drive toward academic achievement, and research kept all of us alert to the importance of that aspect of lie
    -Young’s generosity in making sure the family members were able to get the education they sought. He was always present to applaud achievement when it was accomplished.
    -Young truly was on a quest to understand the family and what was important to each member. His regular phone calls to me and our frequent chats on the phone after Mary’s death, kept our relationship close. Than you, Young, for your calls and the interest you showed to me.
    -Finally, Young found a way to be at important family events even after Mary’s death. He surprised us a number of times by knocking at our door or calling from the train station.

    Young, thank you for who you are and for all you meant to the family. You will be missed but thank you for the legacy that you have given us and the values we will carry on

    Love, your sister-in-law , Kathy

  2. Young and Mary lived in Ames, Iowa, for many years on my street. I have many fond memories of them and their children, especially Ann, who was a friend of my daughter. So sorry to hear of Young’s passing. Bobbi Countryman

  3. I grew up with the Kihls down the street, and although I didn’t know Young or Mary as well as their daughter, Ann, it’s amazing how many common locations we shared along our journeys. I remember fondly Young’s sabbatical year at Ehwa Women’s University which coincided with my teaching appointment at Taegu University. Ann and Shelley Hart (nee Countryman) came to visit and we spent a fun week in Seoul together. I met international recruiters from Juniata early in my career, and worked at Penn State with some former Juniata faculty. I didn’t know until reading Kathy’s post that Young and Mary had met there, or that they had married on Long Island, where I have spent many weekends visiting my best friend in East Hampton. My condolences to the family. I’m sorry for your loss.

  4. mandy says:

    I have been a fan of Ann’s dad since the moment I first met him. What a interesting life he led!! Thoughts and prayers are with you, Ann. Xoxo

  5. Shelley Hart says:

    Young was a neighbor as I grew up in Ames. I was good friends with his daughter and he always welcomed me into their home. I always enjoyed looking at the interesting art they had displayed. I will never forget traveling to South Korea with his family. He was so generous providing for our accommodations. I remember him asking if it was okay if we stayed over in Hawaii for the weekend before flying home. I’m thankful for that layover as it has been my only visit there, and the whole trip created wonderful memories. To Ann, Christopher, and all Young’s family, may you find comfort in the memories that are yours to cherish always, and strength in the companionship of those who share your loss.

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