Richard H Chiu Biography

Chapter 7 Finishing the Family

On the day after they moved to Arnold Lane, Maryjane hurried out the door and into the street while her mother watched her from concealment. After nearly half and hour passed without any cars to challenge, Maryjane gave up and returned to the house.
Richard still needed to complete remodeling the house on Johnson Road before he could place it on the market, and now that it was empty, it was easier for him to work there, leaving the Arnold Lane house half-finished. for some time.


Finally, Pat paid her older children to help her complete the drywall and painting.
Meanwhile, Richard was awarded a number of patents for designs and processes that could be used either to improve the Navy’s ships or investigate new ways of moving over water. One of the projects he worked on was the design of a super surface effects vehicle. This was a
doughnut shaped hull with a series of fans that used air power to lift the ship above the water, or the land if the ship was intended for a landing force. He also earned a patent on a device that used surfaces covered with a series of wet mop-like devices to provide a simulated wave against
structural surfaces. One of his accomplishments involved an insight into the weakness that was causing ice breakers to fail. Previously, the ships were given ever thicker hulls to withstand the pressures of breaking through ice. Richard demonstrated that the buckling was due to a lack of structural
integrity. It would be far better to strengthen the inner beams that supported the hull and take some of the weight from the thickened hulls. He was awarded an international prize for Naval Architecture as a result of the publication of his study and bought a tuxedo for the presentation ceremony that was held at a banquet in New York City.
From 1976 to 1982 the family lived at Arnold Lane and three more children were born as the older children began to attend first junior high then high school. All five of the older children were selected to participate in the ‘Gifted’ program in Fairfax County schools, although at that time the program only extended through the junior high level.

Lucinda was born in August, 1977.

Soon after Lucinda was born, Pat’s parents visited in a camper that they drove cross-country. Lucinda was a lovely little girl but she had a super sensitive skin.  Even ordinary florescent light could make her break out in hives. Her mother devised a nylon windbreaker with the sleeves sewn
shut so that Lucinda could not scratch her face until it bled. In this
picture you can see the customary pose: Pat holding Lucinda’s hand firmly in her own to keep her from rubbing at her face.

A group portrait of the seven children, taken when Lucinda was nearly
two years old.
Back Row: Richard, Tisha and David
Front Row: Maryjane and Nancy. Meg holds Lucinda

About the time that this picture was taken, Richard Hung-hsiung began to look for another property to purchase. He found a little house on more than an acre of land on Columbia Road in Annandale. This time he did not try to remodel the house immediately, but made some necessary improvements and rented it out with plans to make some major changes in the future. The closing for the house came almost simultaneously with the birth of Eliza on June 30, 1979.


Not long after Eliza was born, Richard’s parents once again came from Taiwan and for a period of several months they lived with the family on Arnold Lane. Richard had prepared an apartment for them in the older section of the house. They had a sitting room, a bedroom, and a bathroom to themselves, but they shared the kitchen with the family, eating meals together. Perhaps it was the memory of the little daughter they had lost when they left her behind with relatives, perhaps it was because they had little else to do, but they took the baby, Eliza, to their hearts, urging her mother to wean her so that they might have the entire care of her.

Pat resisted giving up this precious fragment of time that she could spend with her little one, but for the rest of the day and night, Eliza was the particular pet of her Chinese grandparents.
After a few months the experiment in living together as a multi-generational family failed. Richard was, as usual, under great pressure to do various things and it showed in his attitude toward his family. A confrontation between three generations brought tears and protests to Ho-
yee’s face and David, who had taken up wrestling and body building, learned that he need no longer fear a physical confrontation with his father.
The elder Chius moved to California where their younger son, Mark,
lived with his wife Janell and their son Alan. Eliza was just beginning to
crawl and get into mischief, but she was once again primarily in the care
of her mother. This picture of the family was taken in the fall of 1979.

First Meg, and then David earned honors from the Merit Scholarship foundation and went off to college at BYU. Meg had skipped her senior year and David had skipped two years of high school, entering college at the age of 16 in the fall of 1981.
Samuel Chia-lin Chiu was born on October 23, 1981.

This picture, taken when Sam was about a month old, shows him with his sisters Lucinda and Eliza. Pat decided that she needed a break from the many broken appliances, plumbing, and other household items that Richard was too busy to fix.

She took her youngest children to Utah on a Greyhound bus in the middle of the winter, leaving Richard to look after the older, school-age children; Nancy, Tisha, Richard, and Maryjane. They arranged that the family would meet again at Christmas when they would be together in Utah with their college-aged children, Meg and David.
As a Christmas present for Pat’s parents and her brother and sisters, Richard and Pat arranged to have a professional photographer come to the house on Christmas day. Each of the families had a picture taken, the entire three generations was pictured, and the children of Margaret and David Heywood were pictured together. This is the Chiu family on Christmas Day, 1981.

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