Sathon Chhor passed away peacefully on Saturday, April 15, 2023, in Seattle, surrounded by her loving family. Sathon (pronounced Sa-thorn) was born March 5, 1946, in Siem Reap, Cambodia to mother Suy Chum and father Chhor Pin.
From a very young age, Sathon was gentle and strong-minded with a charming smile and beautiful light-brown eyes. Educated in traditional Khmer arts, she resembled a radiant Apsara, the female goddesses of water and clouds. After studying accounting in college, Sathon married Do So Han, a Ph.D. graduate of the University of Paris. They married in 1969, and together have five children. Growing up, our father would joke that our mother chased after him, which she would quickly correct and remind him that she was the prize. Sathon did not shy away from asserting her role at the head of the table or challenging male-dominant Khmer households.
After the fall of the Lon Nol regime in 1975, she and her family tried to leave Cambodia but stayed behind to care for elder relatives. They endured the atrocities of the genocidal Khmer Rouge, ever fearful that their social and educational background would be discovered. After the defeat of the Khmer Rouge, Sathon was once again able to use her skills as an accountant, and in 1985 she became Director of Kampong Thom Provincial Bank and the First Lady of Kampong Thom Province, all the while her family endured an ongoing civil war. In addition to her five children, she raised dozens of other children orphaned after the genocide with love, kindness, and compassion. All of them considered her their mother.
After her husband passed away in 1992, Sathon raised their five children by herself. She embarked on several business ventures to support her family and enjoyed traveling the world. She especially appreciated the culture and hospitality of Uzbekistan. With success in the business she built an enormous family home in Phnom Penh, so that even when her children were grown, there would always be a place to call home, and to share together. She moved to Seattle in 2008 to be closer to her daughters and beloved grandchildren, and she became the home she had imagined for her family.
Sathon Chhor is survived by her five children. Son, Socheat Han (Kuy Heng) and granddaughters Doungkhae and Doungkeo of Phnom Penh; son Dr. Phoumin Han (Dr. Chusana Han), grandson Phusanak of Edmonton, Canada and granddaughter Fasai of Jakarta; daughter, Lompilivorn Han (Alan Lipsey) and grandson Sakadanupul Sok of Seattle; Morokat Han Gentry (Matt Gentry), grandson Colin Nelson Khov and granddaughter Samantha Grace Gentry of Seattle; and son Dr. Krishna Han-Frey (Dr. Christopher Han-Frey) and furry baby Tucker of Toledo, Ohio. She is survived by brother Dr. Kilin Chhor (Sophy Chhor) of New York City, and nieces Khatya of Paris, and Attiya of New York City. Sathon was preceded in death by her parents and husband; aunts Suy Joup and Suy Seb; brothers Kinin, Kimchiev and Kilun, and sister Kimtheun.
The funeral service will be held Sunday, April 23, 2023, at the Edline-Yahn and Covington Funeral Chapel, 27221 156th Ave SE., Kent, WA 98042. Viewing is 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, Service is 2:00 – 3:00 PM, and Reception is 3:00 – 5:00 PM.
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