In Memory of Il Yong Heo(1938 - 2018)
- Il Yong Heo
- Jung Ae Kang
- Hwan, Kyung Ja, Young Chul, Kyung Sook, Hyang Sook, Hyo Joon
- Birth Date
- April 15, 1938
- Blessing Date
- June 13, 1998
- Ascension Date
- June 17, 2018
Mr. Il Yong Heo, age 80, ascended peacefully on Sunday, June 17, 2018 in Rockville, MD. He was born in Namwon, South Korea, a city three hours Southwest of Seoul and famous as the site of a Korean folk story (Chunhyang) dating back 400 years ago.
Raised by his parents and grandparents, who were devoted Christians, Mr. Heo has nine siblings. Two have passed away; the others are in good health and living happily in Korea. Mr. Heo attended school until junior high school and then was educated by private tutors, which was the tradition at that time. During his early years, the country was under Japanese rule. To avoid persecution, the family dug a deep hole under the home and hid for months at a time.
In 1973, when he was 35 years old, Mr. Heo immigrated to the United States. He found work as an auto mechanic and lived in Rockville, Md. Within a short time, he was able to bring his wife, Jung Ae, and their six children, three sons and three daughters.
The children all grew up in Rockville and attended elementary school and Rockville High School. Mr. Heo worked as a mechanic and handyman to support his loving wife and six wonderful children. The family grew up enjoying both cultures, Korean and Western. Mr. Heo loved fishing and crabbing along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay or out fishing on a boat with his sons. The family regularly went to Sandy Point State Park at the western end of the Bay Bridge to enjoy the beaches, swimming and the fireworks display on the fourth of July. Another hobby that he enjoyed was landscaping. He would often be seen up in the trees caring and maintaining the branches even at an elderly age. Mrs. Heo, a caring homemaker, raised the kids while Mr. Heo took on home improvement jobs wherever and whenever he could.
In 1982, he was witnessed to by Mrs. Im an early KEA member who introduced him to the Unification Church. Mr. Heo was always active in the church’s Korean Evangelical Association (KEA). He and Mrs. Heo attended services regularly and supported the church by lending his unique gifts to maintain and upkeep the church buildings and home remodeling jobs for members.
Mr. Heo will fondly be remembered for his cheerful demeanor, bear hugs, and hearty greetings of “annyeonghaseyo” to everyone as soon as he entered the church. He will be remembered by his family and friends as being a kind and friendly person who enjoyed people and loved True Parents. He always had a gracious and compassionate heart and nature.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Jung Ae and their six wonderful children: Hwan, Kyung Ja, Young Chul, Kyung Sook, Hyang Sook and Hyo Joon. Loved by his eleven grandchildren, six grandsons and five granddaughters and one great-granddaughter.
Seonghwa Ceremony Report Contributed by Dr. William Selig
The Seonghwa (“Joyful Ascension”) ceremony for our elder brother, Il Yong Heo, was held on Sunday, June 24, 2018 at the NOVA Family Church in Fairfax, VA. The Heo family was joined by a capacity crowd of almost 100 friends and well-wishers.
Pastor Werner Seubert, the emcee, welcomed everyone with a brief explanation of the ceremony’s meaning. “After living 80 years in the physical world, we celebrated the beginning of Mr. Heo’s life in heaven close to our Heavenly Parent.” Mrs. Sookil Seipp offered the invocation followed by hymns and the reading of the biography. The grandchildren of Mr. Heo created a beautiful photo presentation that showed the sincere and loving heart of Mr. Heo, and Jung Ae, his wife of 60 years, and their six children. There were many poignant photos of Mr. Heo doing what he loved – construction, landscaping, and most of all, being with his family.
Kyung Sook, one of the daughters, gave a moving testimony. It was a shock to the family when their father passed away the previous Sunday, which happened to be Father’s Day. She described her father as a very devoted and hard-working provider who found great joy in helping others and keeping busy. He would often leave the house by 6 in the morning and not return until 10 at night. Always robust and physically strong, even though her father’s health had deteriorated over the past two years, as recently as a few weeks ago, he wanted to “go out in the backyard and cut down some branches,” she said. Her parents joined the Unification Church in 1982 and received the Marriage Blessing in 1998.
Mr. & Mrs. Heo also worshipped at the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Silver Spring, MD. The senior pastor, Rev. Young H. Yoon testified to Mr. Heo’s unselfish nature and how he was always ready to help others.
Dr. Chang Shik Yang, UPF regional president to Central America and the Caribbean described Mr. Heo as a “family man who lived for the sake of others.” Mr. Heo was born during a very difficult time in Korea’s history, yet he endured and was able to come to the United States, only to face the many challenges of learning a language and navigating a foreign culture. By God’s grace and sheer determination, he brought his wife and children and fulfilled the American dream, said Dr. Yang.
The Seonghwa address was given by Rev. Young Chul Jang, KEA director, who fondly recalled Mr. Heo’s hearty embrace and warm smile. Rev. Jang explained that the yellow jacket Mr. Heo often wore was a gift from True Father. Mr. Heo described that jacket as “One of my most cherished and prized possessions.” Rev. Jang recalled the story of Noah who sacrificed his life for God. As it took a long time for Noah’s family to fully understand the choices Noah had made in his life, Rev. Jang asked the Heo family to recognize that their father/grandfather did not make choices for personal gain but always out of a desire to serve and attend the will of God. “Volunteering and serving others was his purpose in life,” Rev. Jang said.
After the offering of flowers and prayers, the benediction was given by Rev. Randall Francis, cheers of Og Mansei by Mrs. Hyang Joong Reddin, and then a delicious family-style dinner with Korean cuisine was served. During the dinner, a warm and loving atmosphere could be felt as family and friends recalled Mr. Heo and his amazing life in Korea and the United States. The children and grandchildren felt pride and joy that he had touched the lives of so many. Over and over it was expressed that Mr. Heo’s acts of kindness and generosity had made the world a better place.
The Wonjeon (“Returning Home to the Palace”) ceremony was held on June 26th at the Unification Gardens section of Fort Lincoln Cemetery in Brentwood, MD followed by a reception in the Beech Room at the Washington Times building.
- 4:00 PM
- June 24, 2018
- NOVA Family Church: 9461 Silver King Ct. Fairfax, VA 22031