Around 100 friends and family of a 35-year-old nurse remembered as a hard worker who moved to the U.S. from South Korea to learn how to better care for her autistic nephew.
Kisook Ahn was one of four passengers who died last Sunday when a speeding Metro-North train derailed while coming around a curve in the Spuyten Duyvil section of the Bronx.
Tears echoed from the pews at Saint Sebastian Roman Catholic Church in Woodside, Queens, as the Rev. Msgr. Michael Hardiman and Father Paul Cang hailed Ahn’s devotion to her family.
“She is with the grace of God at this moment,” said Cang. “We pray for her and we never forget her.”
Ahn, who moved to the U.S. in 2008, was on the way back from a shift at Sunshine Children’s Home and Rehab Center in Ossining.
“She came here to pursue her dreams,” said her brother, Jinwon Ahn, 45, through a translator.
“Even in Korea she did volunteer jobs. She was always loyal.”
Jinwon said his 8-year-old son Kun Chul is autistic, and that Ahn wanted the best for him and her five other nieces and nephews.
“She came here to learn about autism,” Jinwon said. “That’s why she worked at Sunshine Children’s Home and Rehab Center…She wanted to help him.”
He became choked as he added he wished he could have helped his sister during the horrific crash in which the train flew around a 30-mph curve at 82 mph, sending the train off the rails, injuring 75.Ahn’s colleagues said she loved her job.
“She was a sweetheart. An angel. She never frowned. We would laugh at her and tell her to make a mad face and she would look like she was constipated,” said Ethelina Cox, 39, a coworker of Ahn’s who worked with her for a year at King’s County Hospital.
She took her positivity into the classroom, as well.
“She was a smart young woman. So respectful, always pleasant,” said Catherine Alicia Georges, professor and chair of the Department of Nursing at Lehman College.
“She really exemplified everything we wanted to see in our graduates.”
Jinwon said Kisook will be cremated. The family will also have services in South Korea.
On Thursday another victim, James Ferrari, 59, a building superintendent who lived upstate with his wife and daughter, was buried.
And on Friday a funeral for sound and lighting expert Jim Lovell, 58, was held in Cold Spring.
Services were held for victim Donna Smith, 54, that same day in Newburgh.
Jinwon said the Ahn family is consulting a lawyer regarding the deadly crash.