Friday, December 7, 2007


Last Saturday, December 1st, one of the SIS teachers was riding his motorcycle in Seoul and was hit by a bus that ran a red light and was killed. The teacher taught junior Kindergarten (4 and 5 year olds) and was 12 days shy of his 28th birthday. I didn't know him all that well, but it's been a huge shock to the whole school. One thing that was weird for me was that I had e-mails in my in-box from him that he had sent me just a couple of days before he died. For the people who knew him well, this week has been really difficult. I was really impressed by how the SIS community pulled together to mourn him and celebrate his life. It's kind of a weird thing to have someone die like this, so far away from home. To a large extent, his friends here in Seoul had become his family for the past 3 years, but then he has this whole other life in the US that most people here don't really know much about.

We all found out about his death on Sunday and on Monday, the multi-purpose room at school was turned into a place for his memorial. It's traditional in Korea to send large wreaths of white flowers to a funeral and there were over 20 huge wreaths for this teacher, mostly from parents connected to the school. There was also an alter set up with flowers, a picture of the teacher, candles, pictures, and other souvenirs people had from this teacher. The school put on a memorial service for the teacher on Thursday. Then on Sunday, we're playing a soccer game and eating Thai food in his honor.


Shea said...

Kate -- What a sad story! Whenever I hear stories like this, I'm reminded how thin the line between life and death. I'm glad the school seems to be mourning healthily. I hope you're also doing okay....

I tried emailing you at your account but it's not going through. Let me know how I can get in touch with you. Email me at

Thanks, Kate!

Stacey said...

Kate, I am John's sister, Stacey. I live in Maryland and my cousin googled him and found your site. Thank you for the picture of the memorial room, I had not seen that. We buried him today and it was a very emotional day. There were well over 100 people in attendance and we will miss him very much. Again, thank you for the picture. We wrote comments on him here: