Farewell to Connie, Our Baby
April 15, 2002
Connie Wei-Luen was born at 11:54 am on September 5, 1989 at Whittier Presbyterian Hospital. Her birthday happens to fall on the same day as her mother's birthday and her parents' anniversary. As a 9 lb 11 oz full-hair girl, her birth gave the entire family extreme joy. Sharon, her lifetime idol, immediately embraced her as the best gift her parents could ever deliver. They remained close throughout Connie's short 12 years. Since we had lived on Mesa Robles Drive all Connie's life until moving into our new house also in Hacienda Heights, just several days ago, Mesa Robles School was not only Connie's school but also her playground. She played on the swing and roller-skated there. She also tried to be the goalkeeper there so that Sharon could practice her soccer penalty kicks. We walked up and down the street with our dog to the school all the time.

Connie followed Sharon's footstep into Mesa. While she saw Sharon as her hero and idol, she also worried that she couldn't be as good as Sharon. Sharon, as well as us, kept on encouraging her to be her own. At fifth grade, she, just like her sister, was elected the president of the student council. She was so proud and somehow began to come to her own. In recent years, she seemed to be getting better and better everyday. She had so many friends, enjoyed her life so much and had everything going for her. She was so happy.

She swam year round at Industrial Hills and Friendly Hills. She was a good pianist and was recently elected to be a member of the Southern California Honor Choir. Since she did not play soccer like her sister, she decided to pick up golfing with her dad and wanted to be on the Wilson's swimming and golf varsity teams in two years upon entering Wilson. With an awesome backstroke, she would really do wonder for Wilson's team.

She liked TV and had an amazing talent in timing the remote control to switch channels without missing a beat. She liked junk food and ice cream. She was always proud of her taste. When she was in, the house usually became very lively. She was very opinionated but always with a smiling face. She was a leader among friends but with a very good heart. She wanted to go to Berkeley and became an attorney like her aunt Jessica. She wanted to buy a big house in Pasadena for her parents after her successful career and marriage. She had high hopes of becoming yearbook editor, president of the student council and leader of the choir at Mesa. She was very organized and seemed to have her whole life planned out but for the tragic accident on April 7. She was hit by an incoming car early in the afternoon while crossing the Los Altos Drive with her friends to pick someone up for a friend's birthday party nearby and passed away at 1:45 a.m. on April 8 at the Children Hospital of Los Angeles County. She never had a chance to regain herself.

We received so many letters from her schoolmates, some we know and some we don't; some she knew and some she didn't really know. Over and over again, we were told she was nice, smart, honest and always with a smile. One 6th-grade girl wrote us upon learning Connie's death telling us that, just recently at school on her birthday, an 8th-grade girl kept on yelling at her in public for no reason. Connie came to her defense out of nowhere and then held her hand comforting her. They did not really know each other. Connie made her day. Reading her letter, we know that is Connie. Brave, honest, speaking out her mind and always willing to help.

We honestly are very surprised that Connie had in her short life touched so many people's life. She had everything going for her and now she is gone. Her untimely sudden death broke our hearts. Mrs. Olson, her and Sharon's math teacher at Mesa, once asked her dad whether there was any formula to reproduce good kids like Sharon and Connie. Seeing her lying on the small ICU bed never regaining consciousness, her grandparents, aunts, Sharon and parents were asking the same question. We are very sad to see her go. We are still trying to understand why such a perfect well-round girl is no longer with us anymore. We like all her friends, schoolmates and teachers to remember her the way she was, love her and wish her well.

A non-profit Connie Wei-Luen Kao Memorial Fund is being established in memory of her. Sharon will be the chair. Hopefully, many more good things will come out of Connie. Donations should be made to Connie Wei-Luen Kao Memorial Fund through Mesa Robles School or Shanghai Commercial Bank.

Her loving parents
Ching-Hsing Kao and Kris K. Chung
along with Sharon