Wei-ping Wu, PhD, 89, passed away peacefully on November 9, 2020, two days after suffering a stroke.
Wei-ping Wu was born in Fuan (Fujian Province), China on August 6, 1931, the oldest of nine children, four of whom did not survive childhood. During the Chinese Communist Revolution, he went with his father to set up a new home for the family in Taiwan. However, the Communist victory happened quickly, and Wei-ping and his father were alone in Taiwan while his mother and brothers and sisters remained in Fuan.
Wei-ping graduated from National Taiwan University, perhaps Taiwan's top university. He then came to the US to join the East Asian Studies graduate program at Harvard, receiving an AM in East Asian Studies from Harvard in 1960. While at Harvard, Wei-ping met Lily Shuli Yang, and the two were married in 1961. He entered the PhD program in History at University of Pennsylvania, receiving a PhD in 1970. He had faculty positions at Wesleyan University, University of Arizona and Wittenberg University, before joining the faculty of University of Bridgeport in 1970.
Wei-ping used the United States' renormalization of relationships with China as an opportunity to reunite his parents. He and his father returned to China in 1973, the first of many visits that he would undertake over the years.
At University of Bridgeport, Wei-ping taught history classes. When the university needed someone to teach economics, Wei-ping earned a Masters in Economics from University of Connecticut (1982). In 1992, UB ended a two-year faculty strike, and Wei-ping, along with other faculty colleagues, surrendered his tenure in exchange for a year of severance pay.
In retirement, Wei-ping Wu religiously consumed The New York Times from cover to cover and travelled both domestically and internationally, with regular trips to China. He celebrated his 80th birthday with 30 relatives in Shanghai in 2011. Wei-ping also enjoyed visits from friends, Chinese relatives visiting the United States, and his sons and grandchildren.
Wei-ping was preceded in death by his parents, Wu Wenkai and Wei Yune, four siblings, his wife, Lily Shuli (Yang) Wu, and his daughter, Janet. He leaves four siblings; two sons, George (Penny Visser) of Chicago, IL and Frank (Brianna Wu) of Dedham, MA; two grandchildren, Ella and Mari Wu of Chicago, IL; and his companion of 28 years, Susan Wheeler Radel of Fairfield, CT.