Tae Byung Whang

Memorial Service

1:00 pm
Friday, March 22, 2024
Third Presbyterian Church
4 Meigs Street
Rochester, New York, United States

Obituary of Tae Byung Whang

It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Dr. Tae Byung (“Tab”) Whang  on March 14, 2024, just four days past his 94th birthday.


Tab was born in Pyongyang, Korea in 1930. He spent most of his childhood under the Japanese occupation of the Korean peninsula and spoke fluent Japanese. He was the youngest of four children.


In 1950, at the age of 20, with the threat of communism spreading across the north of Korea, Tab escaped to the south before the border closed. There, he enlisted in the South Korean Marine Corps and served in the Korean War. Tab was the only son of a minister and spent a short time in seminary, but it was during his time in the military that Tab decided he wanted to become a doctor.


In 1955, with the generous help of Dr. Ross Culpepper and his wife Olive of Charleston, WV, Tab was able to come to the United States. He graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1957 and was subsequently accepted to the University of Cincinnati Medical School. During his internship at Strong Memorial Hospital in 1963, he met Josephine Emy and they married a year later. 


Tab was an anesthesiologist for more than 30 years and worked at Strong Memorial, Rochester General and Park Ridge Hospitals. He worked tirelessly for his family, often being on call and having to leave the house in the middle of the night. But regardless of his schedule, he always found time to attend his children’s music recitals, orchestra performances and soccer games. He retired in 1999. In his retirement Tab enjoyed traveling abroad and was an avid skier, tennis player and swimmer. He also earned a black belt in Isshinryu karate. Additionally, Tab enjoyed giving back to his community by volunteering as an English teacher to many Asian immigrants.


A selfless, loving and compassionate man, Tab will be greatly missed by his wife of 60 years, Josephine; his son Theodore; his daughter Joanna Thiagarajan and her husband Krishna; his son Kenneth and his wife Anne Marie; his daughter Christina Solak and her husband Anton; his six grandchildren, Mia, Hannah, Jason, Celyn, Priyanka and William; and his three nieces and his nephew and their families living in Korea and Australia.


A memorial service for Tab will be held on Friday, March 22 at 1:00 pm at Third Presbyterian Church, 4 Meigs Street, Rochester, NY 14607. Tab and Josephine have been active members of Third Presbyterian Church since 1964, a place that has always been near and dear to their hearts. The Whang family appreciates your love and support during this difficult time and ask that donations to Third Presbyterian Church or the Rochester Korean Presbyterian Church (2363 Pinnacle Rd, Rush, NY 14543) be made in lieu of flowers.

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