Jean Choi was born in August 1945 in Seoul, Korea. As a youth he was an avid boy scout through which he developed an affinity for the outdoors and camping. He graduated from Yonsei University with a degree in Biology and served as a lieutenant in the military before moving to the United States with his family.
After polishing his English in Hawaii for six months, Jean moved to the contiguous states to attend University in the heartland where he earned master’s degrees in food science and industrial management. At University, Jean met his wife, Kimberly, whom fondly remembers dozing off as he explained refrigeration to her while driving in his beat-up, blue, fastback mustang. In the early 1980s, Jean entered the restaurant business with the purchase of three Sizzler Steakhouses and moved just outside Albuquerque, New Mexico where he and Kimberly raised their three children.
Jean was a devoted member and pillar of the Korean community in Albuquerque, serving as the Korean American Association president, and was a driving force in the establishment of the Korean Community Center.
Jean loved his family, western movies, wearing cowboy boots, Coca-Cola, the music of Ray Charles, distance running, and anything sweet. Eating was his favorite part about traveling, checked only by the limits of the human stomach. He took tremendous pride in the accomplishments of his children, and he will be dearly missed.
Jean is survived by his wife, Kimberly; his four sisters and their families; his children, Austin, Dion, Candyce and her husband, David; and his two grandchildren, Brecken and Adair.
A 30-minute virtual Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, August 2, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. MST.
Please visit the following zoom link:
Meeting ID: 886 8877 9967
For local friends and family, an outdoor open-house Memorial will be held Sunday August 2, 2020, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Jean’s home.
In order to ensure everyone’s safety, please sign-up for an arrival time and walk through the Memorial in a timely fashion.
Click on the spreadsheet link below.
Please stay at least 6 feet apart from others not in your group. Masks are required. As a COVID precaution, access to the interior of the home, including restrooms, will not be available. The home address has been distributed through the local community, but if you have questions, you may call Candyce at (505) 681-5352.
Flowers may be sent to French Funerals & Cremations, Alexandra Cole, Attn: Jean Choi, at 7121 Wyoming Blvd NE Albuquerque, NM 87109, to be delivered no later than Saturday, August 1, 2020 by 2:00 p.m.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jean Choi, please visit our floral store.