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William Chwee
(03-11-1956 - 05-25-2013)

William Chwee, 57, died peacefully at his home in Elgin on May 25, 2013 and went joyfully into the arms of Jesus. He was tenderly cared for by his loving family, friends, and the people of Seasons Hospice as he gracefully accepted the gifts and challenges of his life, Psalm 139:13-16. For the past 14 years, he has demonstrated his courage, acceptance and obedience to God during the course of his illness, Multiple Systems Atrophy (MSA).


He was born on March 11, 1956 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to P.K. and Ngornooi (Irene) Chwee.

At the age of 21, William came to the U.S. to Jacksonville, Illinois, to attend MacMurray College where he met and fell in love with Kathy Milnamow.  He earned a degree in mathematics in 1980, followed by an engineering degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1982. William worked as a mechanical engineer in St. Louis and Chicago for 20 years. He retired in 1997.


Throughout his life, William enjoyed spending time with family and friends, cooking and eating good food, and watching action movies, especially those starring Bruce Lee.  At St. Thomas More parish, he was a guitarist, choir member, CRHP brother, and member of Men of Faith.  He also enjoyed the fellowship of the Knights of Columbus. William will be fondly remembered for his kindness, strong faith, generosity, and infectious smile and laugh.


William is survived by his loving wife of 30 years, Kathy, whom he married on August 7, 1982. Daughters: Megan, Melanie, Andrea, all of Elgin, and Allyson (Matt) Dirksen of Anthon, IA. Grandson: William Dirksen. Brother: Michael (Pauline) Chwee, Malaysia. Sister: Karen (Steven) Lew, Singapore. Parents: P.K. and Ngornooi Chwee, Malaysia. William’s “surrogate American” Parents: Eugene and Mary Schmittgens, Park Forest, IL and many Goddaughters, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

Funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 215 Thomas More Dr., Elgin.  Interment will be private. Visitation will be held on Monday, May 27, 2013 from 3:00-7:00 p.m. at the Laird Funeral Home 310 S. State St., Elgin and at the church from 10:15 a.m. until the time of the funeral mass. The Chwee family is forever grateful for the prayers of family and friends. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the National Ataxia Foundation, the St. Vincent DePaul Society or to the memorial of the family’s choice. For information, 
847-742-2100 or www.lairdfamilyfuneralservices.com.

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