Chong Cha Ivester, 83 of Abilene, Texas, passed away on June 16th, 2023. Chong was born on September 17th, 1940, in Seoul, South Korea, the eldest of 6 children. Growing up she was always very ambitious and loved learning. While in South Korea she obtained a schooling certificate for Secretarial Administration. Shortly after, she followed her entrepreneurial spirit and opened her 1st business as a reseller. This would start a lifelong passion of service and purpose for Chong.
Funeral Services will be Friday, June 30, 2023 at 10:00 am at Elmwood Funeral Home Chapel, 5750 HWY 277 South, Abilene, Texas. The visitation will be Thursday, June 29, from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Elmwood Funeral Home, Burial will follow at the Elmwood Garden of Memories, Abilene, Texas.
In 1971, she married Jimmy Paul Ivester and they moved to Abilene, TX the following year. Together they had two sons, Bob and Loyd Ivester. Once in the states, she continued her studies in learning English and opened her flagship business, Nami Oriental Food Store in 1986 in Abilene, TX. In 1987, she opened The Oriental Store. From this one store she built a portfolio of businesses that supported her family and community needs. Her desire to take care of her family was the thing she held most important. A very close second to that were her customers who lovingly called her "Mrs. Chong". She loved being at her shop every day and getting to know her customers and seeing them throughout the years as they built their own families.
Chong was a member of the Abilene Black Chamber of Commerce, following member of the local Korean Church, and dog mom to a very protective puppy named Dong. She will be remembered as a loving wife, supportive mother, strong grandmother, and always as Mrs. Chong to her community.
Chong is survived by her one sister and three brothers, her son Loyd Ivester, granddaughter Valarie Ivester, grandson Bobby Ivester, granddaughter Heather Melchor, grandchildren Jadrian Carrasco, Mckenzi Tonne, and Josiah Melchor.
Chong is preceded in death by her parents, Ik Su Um & Jung Kyu Um, one sister, husband Jimmy Paul Ivester, and son Bob Ivester.