On August 5, 2020, David Jiancheng Huang (黄建成) passed away peacefully after a prolonged illness in Seattle, Washington. David was born on January 26, 1955 in Shanghai, China and was the eldest of 4 boys. He studied Industry Management at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and worked at the university after graduation. He married Tracy Huagai Zheng (郑化改) in 1983 and they welcomed their first child, Ann (黄胜君), the following year. In 1988, David started a Master’s program in Computer Science at the University of Detroit, and Tracy and Ann joined him there shortly afterward. After several moves, the family settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where David worked as a computer programmer at U.S. Steel for 25 years. There, David and Tracy raised their children, Ann, Diana (黄胜凤), and Donald (黄胜麟), who attended school in the Baldwin-Whitehall School District.
David valued education and finding a good deal. He loved Pittsburgh for its reasonable cost of living and spent much of his time at the Baldwin and Brentwood Public Libraries, checking out books and movies. He was always learning: reading newspapers and magazines, watching Jeopardy, Judge Judy, and the nightly news. When he spoke to his children, he would try to teach them anything important he had learned, whether it was about resolving a dispute, bicycle safety, or planning for the future. In 2017, he took advantage of an opportunity to go back to school for an Associate Degree in Cybersecurity at the Community College of Allegheny County, and enjoyed reviewing his English and Criminal Justice homework with his children. In his essays, he described the difficulties of assimilation and called himself a “proud American with proud Chinese heritage.”
David usually kept his emotions private, but he took quiet pride in his family and his children. He loved his wife, who devoted herself to teaching and raising their children so he could focus on working to provide for the family and to allow their children to focus on their studies. Ann studied Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University and later earned Master’s degrees from the University of Washington in Business Administration and Human-Centered Design. She currently works as a Product Manager at Apple in Seattle. Diana studied Bioengineering and Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh and received her medical degree from Temple University. She works as a Family Physician at Swedish in Seattle. Donald also studied Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University and has worked at a variety of startups in San Francisco. David’s first grandchild, Acadia, was born in 2019, and her antics always brought a smile to David’s face.
David’s sudden illness caused by a rare disease necessitated a quick move to Seattle at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the barriers presented by physical distancing measures, his family was fortunate to spend significant time with him in the last months of his life. During this time, members of David’s family across the United States regularly joined video calls to talk to him, tell stories, and give impromptu performances, including his brothers James and Jianwen, his sister and brother-in-law Qiaoxi and Guanliang, and his niece Qi.
Private services will be held. In lieu of flowers, please honor David with contributions to the Allegheny County Library Association (https://aclalibraries.org/how-you-can-support/).
Please share your memories of David by signing his online guestbook.
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