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Dr. Htay Lwin Nyo

Update : March 10, 2020

Htay Lwin Nyo (HLN)

  • Matriculated from SPHS in 1968.
  • Admitted to RIT as Roll Number One of 1st BE.
  • Selected Tekkatho Lu Ye Chun.
  • Graduated among the top of the EP74 class.
  • Did his M.Sc. in Computer Science at UCC.
  • Received a Ph.D. in EE from Syaracuse University, New York.
  • Final job : Part Time Professor at San Jose State University (SJSU).
  • Used the spare time for his hobbies :
    Tinkering old cars
    Painting
    Cooking
    Stock Market
    Writing movie scripts
  • Did not miss a class.
    When he did not show up for a few classes, the students were alarmed and requested SJSU authorities to check his home.
    They found the doors locked.
    After a few days, they broke in to find HLN lifeless on his bed.
    Postmortem indicated an aneurysm.
  • Since he was single and had no next-o-kin in the USA, SJSU asked the Burmese Community to help.
    Members of the “RIT Alumni International” and BAPS helped with the fund raising for the final journey of HLN.
  • I was honored to push the incinerator, and later to scatter the ashes in the ocean.
    There was no next-of-kin of HLN in the USA.
    KMZ remembered that Kyaw Swa Than (Jaws, UCC) was HLN’s cousin. The missing link was supplied by some alumni including Saya U Ko Ko Kyi (EC72).
  • Ko Khin Maung Zaw (KMZ) set up special web page for HLN.
    My poem was also posted there.
    I wrote about HLN’s Sea Burial for BAPS Newsletter and also posted in “RIT Alumni International Newsletter and Updates”.

Tribute

Tribute to Dr. HTAY LWIN NYO (EP74, ex-ucc)
Part-time Professor, EE, SJSU
(1951 July – 2000 April)

H e was a genius, a researcher, a friend
T eaching was his passion to the very end
A jack of all trades, a doctorate of one
Y ou name it, he knows it! there’s a lot he has done

L ong ago he gave away a patent for a dollar
W ith a heart so big and true, real worthy of a scholar
I nvest, movie script, cook, paint, car repair, …
N ever showed off wealth and prizes; he’s a gem so rare

N ews of his death — alone at home — rocked throughout the land
Y oung, old were shocked, but they all flocked to give a helping hand
O n this day in May of Y2K we pray from the bottom of our heart

Htay Lwin Nyo, we’re proud to say
that though you’ve passed away
you’ve done a huge part
to unite kindred spirits
your legacy is here to stay.”

†Memorial Pages

  • U Khin Maung Zaw (EC76, KMZ) set up the “HLN Memorial Pages” in the ex-RIT web site (which is now defunct).
  • I wrote a poem “HTAY LWIN NYO“.
  • I also wrote “A Sea Burial for Professor Htay Lwin Nyo” for the BAPS Newsletter and the RIT web site.

The End of a Sad Saga

The weather was exceptionally beautiful this morning — not only in the Silicon Valley where we live and work, but also over the hills along Highway 17, and even in the coastal area around Santa Cruz. There were no fogs, mists, or clouds.

I am not an early bird, but I woke up really early this morning to prepare for Dr. Htay Lwin Nyo’s final journey — the scattering of his ashes from a 35 foot trawler motor yacht, DESTINY.

On Saturday, 10th June, 2000, Dr. Khin Nyo Thet and Dr. Lyn Swe Aye had retrieved the cremated remains of HLN from Oak Hill Funeral Home (OHFH). OHFH had packed and sealed HLN’s ashes in a sturdy, shining metal box (in compliance with postal regulations). With the approval of HLN’s family members in Yangon, Myanmar, we decided to give HLN a sea burial.

RIT Alumni International had earlier sent an advance check of $75 to Captain Pete Petersen, skipper of DESTINY. In his brochure, Captain Petersen clearly stated that “inclement weather will result in a rescheduling”. We do not want high winds to prolong the sad saga. The unusually fine weather, according to Dr. Lyn Swe Aye, must be Htay Lwin Nyo’s kusala (kutho or meritorious deeds) and the well wishing of numerous friends and colleagues. We all agree.

Dr. Khin Nyo Thet had asked me to be at her house not later than 7:30 a.m. She was surprised but delighted when I showed up barely a few minutes after 7 AM. “It’s better to be early than late”, she said and gave me a cup of coffee and some biscuits [that looked and tasted like those way back in Burma]. Dr. Lyn Swe Aye had come back from his early biking round.

There was virtually no traffic on the way to Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor. To cut the story short, DESTINY took off at 5 mph. There were no swells. More than a mile into the ocean waters, the Captain set the gears to neutral. Dr. Khin Nyo Thet scattered Htay Lwin Nyo’s ashes into the ocean waters. There were tears in her eyes. There was also relief knowing that she had done her best to give the last rites to Htay Lwin Nyo. We shared our merits once more to Htay Lwin Nyo.

The round trip took about 50 minutes or so. It was the finale of a sad saga.

Thanks to all those who endured with us. May Htay Lwin Nyo rest in peace.

Editor’s Notes (2019) :

  • “A Sea Burial for Professor Htay Lwin Nyo” was published in the BAPS Newsletter, the RIT Alumni International Newsletter and the http://ex-rit.org web site.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is hln-1.jpg
Memories of Htay Lwin Nyo

U Ko Ko Kyi (EC72) wrote :

Ko Hla Min, sad to read about Htay Lwin Nyo’s sea burial. I played a small part in notifying his first cousin Myo San Than in Toronto, when my brother called me from Birmingham, UK and informed me about HLN’s demise. Apparently, someone from California had contacted a friend of my brother’s and asked him to inform me, as he knew that HLN had a cousin living in Toronto. I informed HLN’s cousin Myo San Than, who called his elder brother living in Winnipeg, Canada. Subsequently, this cousin went to the US for HLN’s funeral. HLN was a good friend of mine, although he was two years my junior at RIT.

Khin Maung Zaw (KMZ, EC76) wrote :

I was actually a former classmate of HLN’s younger brother Aung Lwin Nyo in St. Paul’s High School [SPHS (6) Botataung]. All their brothers were OPs, HLN was 2 years senior to us, Old Paulians. I did not know HLN that well until we met again, the third time, at UCC. Of course he was part of our rival group while at RIT. Both of us ended up in US, he was several years earlier than me.

We met again when he moved to West Coast, namely San Jose, California while I was in Seattle. We visited him in San Jose, went Yosemite among other places, he visited us in Seattle, went up to Vancouver, Canada. Couple of years moved, he became upset with me for a reason unknown to me at the time, refused to take my calls. I eventually met him on one of my visits to California, forced him to tell me why he did not want to talk to me any longer. According to him, there were some rumors back in Yangon about his demise, his parents were very upset and he surmise that it could have been me who spread these rumors. I had to swear to him that those were nothing to do with me at all, as I lost contact with everyone, family and friends, back in Burma at that time.

So one could imagine my despair when I received a call, a year or so later, from Maurice Chee (M75) that HLN was found dead in his apartment, asking me if I knew him and also requested me to make an announcement on www,ex-rit,org site. I had to explain Maurice the background story, told him I would not do so until I have a solid information. I ended up calling HLN’s head of department at SJSU, San Jose State University. She assured me that they went to HLN’s apartment, broke it inside with the help of the Police. Sad news indeed. While Maurice Chee, Ko Banny Tan (M70), U Hla Min and RIT Alumni at BAPS, Bay Area alumni group, started working on the funeral, I called a friend, HLN’s cousin, in Manitoba, Canada, Kyaw Zwa Than (ex-UCC), to get the contact of HLN’s family back in Rangoon. I finally spoke with the elder brother, Ko Kyaw Lwin Nyo, who requested us to proceed with the funeral.

PS: I met HLN’s elder brother for the first time, this passed November 2018, at the OPA, Old Paulians’ Association, dinner. My OP friends told me that Aung Lwin Nyo met similar fate, passed away while in his bed some years back. Myo San Than (as mentioned in U Ko Ko Kyi’s comment) is the younger brother of Kyaw Zwa Than. KZT’s family : KZT, his wife KCube (Khin Khin Kyi) and their two sons, Alex and Nicholas, have since moved to Denver, Colorado, USA. No block selected.

Dr. Khin Nyo Thet wrote :

Your article brought back sad memories, Htay Lwin Nyo was like family to us, we socialized together, he got along well with our mother and young son, we enjoyed his sense of humour, admired his devotion to his younger sister and his family
We helped to get his life insurance to his sister ,so he was able to continue helping even after he passed away
Thank you for all the help you gave.

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