Zongxian "Peter" Chen
Zongxian "Peter" Chen, 90, of Iowa City, died on Friday, May 1, 2020, at Windmill Manor in Coralville.
Peter donated his body to the University of Iowa Deeded Body Program. No services are planned at this time. At a later date, burial will be in Oak Hill Cemetery in Coralville. In lieu of flowers and plants, memorials may be directed to the Chinese Church of Iowa City or the Chinese School of Iowa City. Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service in Iowa City is handling arrangements.
Zongxian was born June 24, 1929, in Zhangjiakou, China, to Yingji Chen and Yufang Hu. He grew up in China, where he earned his bachelor's degree in English from Beijing Normal University. Peter later married Yueling Li in Tianjin, China, on Jan. 17, 1975. The couple moved to Iowa City in 1989 and enjoyed 35 memorable years together before she died in 2010.
Peter founded the Chinese School of Iowa City located in North Liberty, where he was a dedicated teacher and principal for 17 years and later received an Award of Excellence in teaching cultural diversity from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He also was a longtime Christian of the Chinese Church of Iowa City. Peter had worked for the Department of Physics at the University of Iowa as a custodian and for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics as a custodian for 17 years, retiring at 78 years old.
His dedication to helping the Chinese community of Iowa City was seen by all, and he will be missed by many.
While in Iowa City, he married Yuqin Sun on March 26, 2019.
He is survived by his wife, Yuqin Sun of Iowa City; two daughters, Xiaofang "Kathy" Chen of Miami and Shen (Zhang) of Los Angeles; two stepdaughters, Wei "Willa" Bian of Pennsylvania and Xiaohe Chen of China; five grandchildren, Jinzhao Sheng, Ningning, Andy Su, Liang Cui and Jiuzhou Cao; and three siblings, all of China.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his ex-wife, Yueling Li; one sister; and one son.