Cover photo for Hwa-shu Long's Obituary

Hwa-shu Long

January 16, 1928 — June 30, 2023


Hwa-shu Long


Freeman Hwa-shu Long, 95, of Wadsworth/Waukegan passed away peacefully June 30, 2023 at home surrounded by his loving family. 

"Hwa-shu" as he was known is survived by his dear wife of 18 years, Tina Johansson-Long, stepdaughter Nina Swiech, son Victor (Judy) Long of San Francisco, CA, many brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his first wife Emma Fu Hwei-chun and daughter Mary, who died shortly after birth.

Hwa-shu was born January 16, 1928 to Feng Shuzhen and Long Zong fan in Nanjing, China. He was "number one son" and the eldest of 10 children.

He is a former resident of Skokie/Evanston where he lived for more than 40 years. Hwa-shu was a longtime newspaper reporter receiving a number of accolades. As a staff writer for the Chicago Daily News he covered the 1968 Chicago riots. He was business writer for the Lake County News-Sun (currently owned by the Chicago Tribune) for thirty years. He was publisher and owner along with his wife, of an online newspaper - theYOUjournal featuring stories from the North Shore to Kenosha. He was also a freelance real estate reporter for the New York Times and wrote for various periodicals. Prior to moving to Chicago Hwa-shu worked for the Xinhua News Agency in New York,  NY and was staff writer for The Daily Record of Wooster, OH.

Hwa-shu was forever busy. "His wheels were always turning," said his wife. The couple grew a business investing in real estate spanning several states. Hwa-shu was also an entrepreneur who owned and operated a small grocery store in Morton Grove  featuring imported foods, as well as a Bresler's 33 Flavors ice cream shop in Winnetka. He was inventor of the no-handshake button "I Bow" which he sold online nearly 20 years before Covid. Its wearers promoted " elegant and healthy way of greeting people" by replacing the shake with a bow.

He graduated from National Taiwan University and the University of Missouri where he earned a Master of Arts degree in Journalism. 

While living in Taiwan, he was recruited by the U.S. Army and worked in Japan as an interpreter during the Korean War. 

As a child, Hwa-shu enjoyed an idyllic lifestyle, often accompanying his grandfather to the Peking Opera. Then at age nine the Nanjing Massacre erupted forcing many to flee including his own family. While on their way out of town, a Japanese fighter plane swooped so low, Hwa-shu said he could make out the pilot's face.  The Imperial Japanese Navy pilot strafed, missing the Long family but sadly killing the family in front of them.

Several years after President Richard Nixon visited Communist China and Chairman Mao Zedong, softening relations between the two countries, Hwa-shu traveled there to visit his family for the first time in nearly three decades. Since then, he went back numerous times and took his wife a total of six times.

During his lifetime, Hwa-shu met and spoke with many high officials including United States presidents, senators and Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf. He was often greeted personally with handshakes by Chicago's late Mayor Richard J. Daley.

Hwa-shu was an excellent cook often preparing authentic Chinese meals for friends and family. He even taught his wife to cook Chinese.

He said his secret to a long life included eating peanuts, which he loved. He also enjoyed anything chocolate, especially at breakfast.  And he would drink both tea and coffee, but enjoyed an entire pot of the former each day, yet he surprisingly slept well at night.

Hwa-shu was an avid reader subscribing to three daily newspapers. He enjoyed gardening and had many potted fig trees, as well as large vegetable gardens he planted in his three garden boxes each year. His yard is filled with fruit trees, one he planted for every year of his marriage.

He was a giving individual who didn't hesitate to open his checkbook for any cause that came his way. With colleagues and anyone who asked, he was happy to give fatherly advice and share his own experiences.
Former co-workers and employees fondly recall Hwa-shu being generous, often taking them out to lunch and bringing treats to the office, as well as remembering them at Christmas and of course Chinese New Year.


Arrangements entrusted to Chicagoland Cremation Options of Schiller Park, Illinois

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