Nelson N.C. Hsu passed away peacefully on December 19, 2021 in his 88th year, with his family by his side. He joins Rosaline, his beloved wife, in eternal and peaceful rest, dancing in the sky to their favorite music. Nelson was a loving husband and father of four children and their spouses, his son, Nelson Hsu (Brenda Hsu), and his daughters, Vivian Hsu (Philip Goldberg), Diane Yung (James Yung) and Lydia Hsu (Brian Mulcahey). He was a loved and adoring grandfather to Lauren, Jordan, Kyle, Brandon, Ryan and Cara. The eldest of four siblings, he also is survived by his brother John and his sisters Jane and Nancy, and several cousins.
Family was of the utmost importance to Nelson. His gentle sweet soul and sense of humor will live on in his family. His legacy is in the lifetime lessons he shared with his children and grandchildren: deep love for and of family, the importance of an education, and the values of respect, integrity, and hard work. He exemplified the qualities of loyalty, kindness and sincerity of those born in the Year of the Dog in the Chinese Zodiac. Nelson was a member of Phi Lambda, the Chinese fraternity established in 1919 at Columbia University, and he and Rosaline had many lifelong close friends who gathered for monthly social gatherings and dinners.
Nelson leaves more than a lifetime of wonderful memories. A self-made man who did everything for his family, he also taught himself how to finish a house, fix cars, and prepare a new treat in the kitchen – as his children learned by his side. He relished the feasts with family and friends and crafted by hand a large round tabletop with a custom lazy susan for seating in a circle of love. And he shared his unabashed love of baseball and the Boston Red Sox.
Nelson was born in Shanghai, China, with his family relocating to Japan and Argentina from Old Shanghai during the communist takeover of China in 1949. He arrived by ship in Boston, by himself with a suitcase and a typewriter, to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering. He courted and married his darling sweetheart in Boston and moved to Ohio to begin his scientific research career with B.F. Goodrich. While working full-time and raising his growing family with Rosaline, he earned his Master of Science degree in Polymer Chemistry and his Doctorate degree in Polymer Science. The family moved to Connecticut when Nelson joined American Cyanamid, earning a Master’s in Business Administration at night, studying at the dining room table with his children. Nelson’s research interests included chemical processes for paper making, surfactants and latex coatings, and aerospace and industrial adhesives. He retired after more than 40 years with several patents, completing a life cycle of his research by developing chemical processes for paper recycling and deinking.
A Celebration of Life will be held in Spring 2022. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Joslin Diabetes Center Asian American Diabetes Initiative
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