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Chunhua Zhang

March 11, 1977 - May 15, 2021


  1. REPLY
    JinRong says

    The first time I met Chunhua was in 2003, when she became a graduate student in a lab next to mine. Because of that, Chunhua has been calling me Xu Laoshi all the time regardless of my repeated requests to call me JinRong. Although I am not her ‘teacher’, it is a great pleasure to watch Chunhua’s successes and growth from a PhD student to an assistant professor ready for tenure and promotion.
    Chunhua and I traveled together to China in December, 2019, to visit NWAFU. She gave an impressive seminar on her favorite small molecules as cellulose synthase inhibitors. Sadly, that was her last time to give a scientific presentation in person. It is unbelievable that life can be so unfair and illogical.
    Chunhua, I will always remember your smile, your warm greetings, your enthusiasm for your research, and your love for life and your family. May you rest easy in grace and love.

  2. REPLY
    Xuemei Chen says

    Your smiles will be forever cherished!

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    Linda S Lee says

    Chunhua ‘s smile and pleasant demeanor will be remembered by all of us who spent numerous times with her in the Lilly basement hallways and kitchen. It is hard to understand some of life’s tragedies. Our prayers for her family and the students who she advised as they navigate life without her physical presence. May the Holy Spirit comfort and guide them. Our condolences to the family, students, and loved ones. Linda Lee and the Lilly Lee Lab

  4. REPLY
    Natasha Raikhel says

    To Dear Chunhua, a very special person:
    “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
    – Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Natasha Raikhel

  5. REPLY
    Chris Staiger says

    Dear Chunhua,
    Thanks so much for gracing our lives with your friendship, collaborations, and collegiality. Your science will be remembered for a long time, but more importantly the impact from your approach to life–strong, thoughtful, supportive and caring–will be remembered forever. You left us way too soon; however, inspired by you, we will carry on and honor your memory.
    Rest In Peace, Dear Chunhua.
    Chris S.

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    Eileen Mallery says

    Chunhua was a colleague and friend of mine for many years and will be dearly missed. I will always remember her strong work ethic, warmth, friendliness, and kindness. My condolences to her family. May she rest in peace.

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    Wei Guo says

    It’s hard to say something, I lost my mom and other four family members during my Ph.D., I can understand what it means to a family. The very first time I met Chunhua was back in 2015, when I was a first-year grad student looking for rotation labs. Being the very first student, I could still remember that time when I worked in her lab for about 3 months. She’s an enthusiastic, passionate, and caring person. After leaving the lab in April, 2016, I still kept in touch with her for advice. Time flies, her lab has grown from a single PI team to a group full of talented people with track-record of excellence and success…and now I just got my PhD. Last time I saw her and her kids was at CoRec in winter, 2019, I didn’t expect that was the last time…Rest in the beauty of Paradise.

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    Cecilia Rodriguez-Furlan says

    Chunhua, a wonderful scientist, a great colleague, and an invaluable person. I´m very sad about the early departure but happy to have shared my time with a wonderful person. My sincere condolences to family and friends.

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    Ying Wang says

    It is so sadden to lose such a great person and excellent scientist. You smiles will be always remembered. May you rest in peace. My deepest sympathies to the family.

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    Susan Stan says

    Mrs. Stan and the whole class wish your entire family our deepest condolences. I know Chunhua’s memory will live on through all of you. I can tell that you established many traditions . Keep those traditions alive in her honor. Please let us know if there is ANYTHING the school can do to help.

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    Ling Li says

    Chunhua will be deeply missed.

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    Christopher J Gilpin says

    Very sad news to hear of Chunhua’s passing. We will remember her and her interactions with the Life Sciences Electron microscopy facility with fondness.

  13. REPLY
    Dan Szymanski says

    Dear Chunhua, Junli, and your entire family,

    I’m so sorry for what happened. There is just a deep sadness. I’m just thankful for the time we did have. I will miss you and will never forget.

  14. REPLY
    JC Jang says

    I am so sorry to hear this. Chunhua and I met only once, but I learn her work and professionalism later via many opportunities. She will be greatly missed.

  15. REPLY
    Li-Jun Ma says

    Dear Chunhua,
    We crossed the road very briefly when you hosted my visit at Purdue. Your smile and that extraordinary ability to multitask stayed with me. Very sorry for your sudden departure. May peace and freedom accompany you.
    Thinking of you and your family.

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Chunhua Zhang, 44, West Lafayette, IN passed away in her home at 11 Am on May 15, 2021.  She was born on March 11, 1977 to Zhifeng Zhang and Guihai Zang in Songyuan, Jilin, China.  Chunhua married Junli Liu on December 20, 2004 in Beijing, China. Chunhua worked as a professor at Purdue until her passing.

Chunhua is survived by her husband Junli Liu, children Henry T., Shouyee T, Henchy T., and Christopher T. Liu. Also surviving is mother Zhifeng Zhang.

Services are to be held at the Greater Lafayette Chinese Alliance Church which is located at 3501 W 250 N, West Lafayette, IN 47906. Visitation will start at 10:30 on Monday, May 24 2021. A procession to the graveside service at Tippecanoe Memory Gardens (1718 W 350 N, West Lafayette, IN) will immediately follow at 11:30.

The service will be webcast using Zoom starting at 10:30 am on May 24, 2021. To access the live stream, go to Zoom.us then click “Join Meeting”. The phone number is 396-070-5618 with the password ‘3501’.

Tippecanoe Funeral and Cremation Services is assisting with the arrangements.