Biography of Ms. Esther Kuo


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Esther Kuo(楊昭枝)was born May 27, 1933 in Mau-Dau, Taiwan.  She was the second child of late Yu-Lan Hsia (謝玉蘭) and Ti Yang (楊鐵).  She grew up in a big family with seven siblings.  Her father worked for the electric company, and was adopted by a Japanese mother during the time of Japanese Occupation of Taiwan.  Therefore, the family received some benefits being related to a Japanese citizen.  Nevertheless, Esther grew up in a modest economic household.  Her mother being a devoted folk religion faithful practiced a little shamanism.  Both her parents received high respects from the town’s and village’s people.

Esther had always been crafty and helpful.  She was called “ge-bur”(雞婆) which means she was always getting too involved and unnecessary helpful.  She finished 9 years of public education and then went into professional school acquiring skills in sewing and accounting.  Esther became a skillful seamstress. 

In her late teen years, she began to go to Christian church.  Soon she converted to Christianity.  She loved singing in the choir, and she dreamed of marrying a pastor.  Active in Christian circle, she met Samuel Chong-Li Kuo(郭中立), who was attending seminary preparing to become an ordained Presbyterian minister of Taiwan.  They were married in 1960.  As a pastor’s wife, Esther played pumped organ and was fully involved in her husband’s parish ministry.  Esther had the passion for church music, especially singing and playing hymns.  She gave birth to Ruth, John, and David, while her husband moved from small church to small church.  She raised her family with meager minister’s salary.  She made all her family clothes.  She alternated clothes donated from oversea for her family.  Expectations of a minister’s family were high and sometimes harsh.  But Esther always strived to lived up to those expectations.  Sometimes she had to cover for her husband with preaching and leading prayer meetings.  Because of her family of origin’s religious background, she felt pressured to convert them.  Tirelessly, she prayed for their acceptance of Christ.

Seeking for a better life for their family, Samuel and Esther finally resolved to accept Esther’s sister’s invitation to immigrate to United States.  In 1973 she and her family immigrated to USA and settled in Poughkeepsie.  She and her husband had been owners and operators of a Chinese grocery store in Wappingers Falls, the Dorchester Motel, and the Airport Inn.

In the US, Esther became the oldest sister for her 5 siblings who have settled in the States.  Being the oldest and most helpful, she also took care of her parents who immigrated to the States. 

Esther was also very skillful in accounting and managing business.  She and Samuel made their comfortable living running motel business.  In 1998 they sold their motel business and retired.  Esther then went into stock investment as hobby. 

Esther tirelessly took care of her family.  She was always cooking for her children.  She was always praying for her family and friends and siblings.  In her free times she played piano and sing hymns.  She enjoyed traveling.  She was always eager to better herself and acquire new skills and tastes.      

Esther was an attentive and dedicated wife, mother and grandmother.  She is survived by her loving husband, Rev. Samuel Kuo; her children: Rev. Ruth Kuo(郭恩仁 and her husband Rev. Raymond Lawrence of Schenectady; John Kuo of New York City; and David Kuo of New York City; one cherished grandchild, Lauren Kuo; as well as her three sisters in Long Island and Connecticut, and two siblings in Taiwan.



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