Obituary of James S. Chin
James Chin, lovingly referred to as Jim, Honey, Dad, and Uncle Jim, was an exceptional husband, father, brother, uncle, friend, and simply put, an extraordinary soul whose legacy rests in the countless lives he touched during his lifetime. What was special about Jim was his humility, his New Yorker "Can-do-it!" attitude, and his profound insights on life and giving back to others. Jim held onto the peace and fire of love ablaze in his heart until the moment he passed.
A lifelong Brooklynite, Jim was born on Labor Day, Monday, September 5, 1966, at Maimonides Hospital to Hong and Mabel Chin. Being born to the Chin and Kee families meant having to quickly learn the ropes of tough love, giving back, and frugality. As the youngest of three children, Jim would spend his early years doted upon by his mother and trying to earn a spot for himself in the Tom-Barb sibling duo. From an early age, Jim found himself surrounded by the watchful eyes of his loving sister and brother and large extended family scattered throughout the neighborhood and Pennsylvania. He lovingly recalled the nostalgia of summers spent at Uncle George’s Dairy King restaurant in the Poconos, where he perfected the soft-serve vanilla cone and spent hours at the creek with his siblings and cousins.
After a short stint with Italian language and part-time pizza making, Jim would go on to graduate from Xaverian High School and later earn his Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute in 1989. He would then go on to work at Keyspan and later for the Metropolitan Transit Authority where he cherished the lifelong relationships he made with co-workers. No matter what time he got an emergency phone call, many times after midnight, he was the one to respond and be there with his workers.
In 1995, thanks to the work of matchmakers at the sewing factory where Jim’s grandmother worked, a photo of Jim’s future wife, Stephanie, mysteriously appeared on the refrigerator door at the family house. After a successful date at Bear Mountain followed by lunch at McDonald’s, Jim and Steph realized they shared not only a love for adventure, road trips, and scenery but also that they found the “biggest hearts in the world” in each other. They tied the knot in 1997, had two children, Jonathan and Alyson, and moved into their forever home in Marine Park in the spring of 2001.
One of Jim’s greatest attributes was his undying selflessness and devotion to his family. On weekends, Jim became the on-call family repairman, plumber, mechanic, food drive delivery driver, and real estate assistant, working alongside his wife to show houses, put up signs, and spruce up the verbiage of property descriptions. In 2015 Jim and Stephanie would open their first real-estate business together in Sheepshead Bay. In 2022 he obtained his Associate Broker's License.
Somehow with all that going on, he still had time to cheer on Jon, Al, and Jas at their sporting events on weekends. And, for the little ones of the family, he was always a good sport, agreeing to dress up as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny for the holidays.
When Jim had time to relax out of town, he especially loved planning trips to the Great Smoky Mountains where he “forced” his immediate and extended family to spend a week at his Wyndham timeshare every year. He made sure to share with them the things he loved like admiring mountain landscapes, waterfalls, and running streams, and taking fishing pontoons out on the lake.
When Jim needed to relax in the city, however, he loved “trying to beat traffic” by taking detours to pizzerias in Bay Ridge after long work days. But food aside, Jim would say that his number one hobby and stress reliever was putting others first.
His loved ones will remember his humor, goofy grin, generous heart, and his profound gestures of love, gratitude, and compassion until his last hours. As both mediator and mentor, Jim had a special gift of understanding and bringing out the hidden, wonderful, and one-of-a-kind character in every person.
Jim was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in May 2021. Still, his heart was oriented toward others. Before his illness worsened, Jim fulfilled his dream of serving with the American Red Cross as a member of the Disaster Relief Service. Remarkably thereafter, he would describe the extraordinary internal peace he felt, despite enduring harsh medical interventions and the physical and emotional burdens of terminal cancer. He would attribute this peace to his recognition that others have suffered even greater tragedies and also to having “the greatest support system in the world.” The daily drop-ins from Barb and Tom with homemade rice balls, ice cream, and "better than Junior's" cheesecake in hand sustained Jim physically and emotionally and were a testament to the inseparable nature of the sibling trio. He cherished being surrounded by his closest family and friends and passed away peacefully on the morning of August 3rd, 2023.
Jim is survived by his wife Stephanie, son Jonathan, daughter Alyson, and the best brother and sister in the entire world.
Forever In Our Hearts
Visitation will be Thursday, August 10 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM and Friday, August 11 from 4:00 - 9:00 PM at Marine Park Funeral Home, Inc., 3024 Quentin Road, Brooklyn, NY.
A Prayer Service will be held on Friday at 4:30 PM - if you wish to attend virtually please follow this link: Zoom Prayer Service
A Mass of Christian burial will be held 9:30 AM on Saturday, August 12 at St. Columba R.C. Church, 2245 Kimball Street, Brooklyn, NY.
Burial to immediately follow in St. Charles Cemetery, Farmingdale.
At Marine Park Funeral Home, we do everything in our power to help you honor the memory of your deceased loved one.
3024 Quentin Rd
Brooklyn, NY 11234