Eusebio Koh

04-Oct-1931 - 17-Sep-2022

Obituary Overview

Forever in Our Hearts

Dr. Eusebio Legarda Koh, Professor Emeritus, engineer, mathematician, poet, author, painter, community leader, Knight of Columbus, social activist, world traveler, survivor, friend, spouse, father, and Lolo has passed away just shy of his 91st birthday. Eusebio was born in the Philippines on October 4, 1931 and had made Regina home since 1968. He died peacefully at the Regina General Hospital on September 17, 2022.

Seb was born dirt poor in the slums of the Philippines, and as a child often sold pan de sal (Filipino buns) to help support his widowed mother. He excelled in his studies, and the neighbourhood kids went to him with any school challenges they had. He survived the Japanese occupation of the Philippines during World War II, being subjected to brutality himself and witnessing the deaths of people he knew.

Seb attended the University of the Philippines where he obtained the first of four degrees; a B.Sc. (cum laude) in Mechanical Engineering. He went on to obtain Master’s degrees from Purdue University and the University of Birmingham (UK) and then obtained his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Throughout the mid 1950’s to the early 1960’s, as Eusebio was advancing his knowledge (and degrees), he was also working! Seb rose from an instructor to the Department Head of Mechanical Engineering at the University of the Philippines. During this time, he married his childhood sweetheart, Dony, and they had their first 2 daughters Eudonette (Monette) and Elizabeth (Beth).

Seb was very fond of telling the story of how they came to Regina. Eusebio was employed as an assistant professor of mathematics at the University of South Carolina from 1967 to 1968. He recounted that early in the semester, two African-American students told him they were going to have to withdraw from his class to attend demonstrations. They asked if he would give them a mark of “W” (for withdrawal) as opposed to an “F” (for fail). He said he would give them the “W” as was appropriate. After the term ended the Dean called him and requested that Seb change the grades to an “F” to facilitate expulsion. Eusebio refused the request, but with Dony soon decided the southern US to be too inhospitable for their young family and decided he would need to find a new job. Seeing an ad in the American Journal of Mathematics, he applied for a position at University of Regina and was quickly accepted.

Seb, having survived WWII and the American civil rights unrest, deserved some peace and stability, which he got in Regina, where his 2 youngest daughters Ethel and Denise were born. From 1968 until 1999, he taught mathematics at the U of R where he became known as “Killer Koh”. He took two sabbaticals during his tenure: one year at the Fachbereich Technische Hochschule in Darmstadt in West Germany and 3 years at the University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia. He received numerous academic awards, published over 60 research articles and presented over 30 research papers at meetings and seminars. He has been listed numerous times in the American Men and Women of Science “Who’s Who in the World” publications. Following a prolific research career supervising and examining many graduate students, Seb retired in 1999 and was granted Professor Emeritus soon after.

Seb continued to contribute and lead in both the ethnocultural community and the Church. He was a founding member and first president of the Philippine Association of Saskatchewan, the first editor for Mosaic, and a Filipino Journal columnist writing “Counterpoint” his regular article. He was the Charter Grand Knight of the Santo Nino Council (12415) of the Knights of Columbus in Regina and dedicated his time and energy to a variety of other organizations and projects.

Seb was also a skilled and prolific creative writer, authoring two books of short stories, poems, and essays: “Like the Mimosa” in 2007 and “Autumn Wind” in 2010.

Eusebio has received numerous awards throughout his life. In 2004, Filipino-American Image awarded him as “one of the Twenty Outstanding Filipino Americans” (TOFA). In 2019, he was awarded “Man of the Year” by the Philippine Association of Saskatchewan.

Mahjong, chess and other intellectual games of logic and strategy were favourite pastimes. He was a lover of cryptic crosswords and Sudoku puzzles. He very much enjoyed tutoring students of any age. A fact that few people know is that he loved to play tennis and golf, and was well into his 70s before he fully quit. In his younger days Eusebio loved to talk to people from all walks of life, and he would eagerly emcee/host/chair events. He would often stop and talk to strangers, always asking people’s names, spelling, and then greet or chat in that person’s home language. “Pilipino ka ba?” “Sprechen sie Deutsch?” “Assalamu Alaikum!”

Eusebio has inspired and touched so many lives and will be sorely missed by his family, friends, colleagues, and neighbours. There is no doubt he will ascend to heaven, and it should be expected that the mathematical greats such as Hankel, LaPlace, Euler, Maxwell and others shall be eagerly waiting to talk with him!

Eusebio is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Donelita, and four daughters Monette, Beth (Mark), Ethel, and Denise (Kris) and the pride and joy of his life, his grandchildren Jason, Kevin, Emily, Melina, Aidan, Noah, Emmett, Anna, Amanda, Pepper, Viardo, and Dominik.

Prayers will be held at Regina Funeral Home and Cemetery, 4001 East Victoria Avenue, Regina, SK on Sunday, September 25, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, 2026 Winnipeg Street, Regina, SK on Tuesday, September 27, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. with interment and reception to follow at Regina Funeral Home and Cemetery.

Eusebio Koh

Funeral Details

  • Funeral Mass

    St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church

    Event Times:

    27-Sep-2022 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

More Details & Directions

Condolences from family and friends

Posted by P A Neena Gupta | 21-Dec-2022

I am saddened to learn of Dr. Koh's passing. I remember Dr. Koh as one of my father's cherished colleagues. While I never pursued math, I knew Dr. Koh was a brilliant, soft-spoken, kind gentleman. His obituary was very well-written and told me much more about his background than I ever knew. May his memory be a blessing to all of you. My sincere condolences to his entire family.

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Posted by Tanis and Val Thomas | 08-Dec-2022

We are so saddened to learn of Seb’s passing. Our sincere condolences to you Dony and all the family. We were privileged to have gotten to to know you both over the last few years. We shared quite a few stories and good laughs. You were a special couple. We know how much you will miss having Seb in your lives. Love and blessings are sent to you Dony and family members. 🙏🏻

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