Shin Ping (Michael) Cheng, 90 of Hockessin, passed away peacefully on Friday, April 14, 2023 with family by his side. He was born on Aug. 24, 1932 in Nanjing, China to General Kai-Ming Cheng and Madam (Soo-Fong Koo) Cheng. Their family left Nanjing in 1949 when the Communist government took control as the General was a member of the opposition, the Nationalist Party, and settled in Taipei, Taiwan. Gen. Cheng was appointed as Director-General of the National Defense Council as a full general, in charge of domestic intelligence.
Shin Ping spent his early years in Taipei and emigrated to the USA in 1954 as a college student at St. Mary’s College in Winona, Minnesota where he met his future wife, Dorothy Kim Cheng through his elder sister, Madeline, as they met while attending the sister school, St. Teresa’s College. They married in 1959 at the Church of the Holy Trinity in New York City while he finished his bachelor’s degree in public administration at New York University. All three of their children were born in NYC.
Shin Ping was known as Michael during this time, and after attaining a second bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from University of San Francisco, they moved to Dover, Delaware, so that he could work as an engineer at DELDOT at the suggestion of his life-long friend, James Ho. Shin Ping worked at DELDOT for 23 years before retiring to take another engineering job with Kaiser Engineering in Taipei, Taiwan developing the new subway transportation system. Dorothy worked as the director of an international preschool during their ten years living in Taipei.
He retired from Kaiser in 1999 and returned home to Hockessin and enjoyed life as a doting and loving grandfather to his grandchildren. Shin Ping was an avid reader, and would read history books and mystery novels for hours at a time. He was an amateur Chinese historian and lectured at UD’s Academy of Lifelong Learning for a few years. Dorothy and Shin Ping shared a love of classical music and ballet, and enjoyed traveling to Salzburg, Vienna, Prague, Berlin, and the Czech Republic to listen to concerts.
Shin Ping is survived by his three children: the eldest son, Francis Cheng (Julie), his daughter, Christine Lim (David), and youngest, Clem Cheng (Susan White). Shin Ping was known in Chinese as Yeh-Yeh to his nine grandchildren, Paul and Peter Cheng, Kelsey, Lia and Justin Cheng, Cecelia and Simone Lim, and Savannah and Eric Garber. He is also survived by his siblings, Madeline, Vicky, Shin Ben, and Martha; as well as many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Shin Ping was predeceased by his beloved wife, Dorothy Kim Cheng in 2016; and his siblings, Martha, Margaret, and Alex.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 am on Friday, May 5th, 2023 at St. Mary of the Assumption Church, 7200 Lancaster Pike, Hockessin, DE 19707, where family and friends may visit beginning at 10:00am. Interment at All Saints Cemetery will be held privately at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the The Music School of Delaware, 4101 Washington Street, Wilmington, DE 19802.
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The Music School of Delaware
4101 Washington Street, Wilmington DE 19802