My wife, Bhakti (Brecken Chinn), died in her sleep in the early morning hours of November 1st in Shenzhen, China, while people celebrated Halloween in the United States and China.
I learned that the cost to bring her body back to the United States was at least $14,000, with an added $5000-$6000 needed to ship all of our personal belongings from our apartment and from the school where we worked (Veritas Collegiate Academy), and then to hold a memorial service in Tucson. I needed help in raising funds to do all of this.
To further complicate the situation, my business visa was set to expire on November 23rd, so everything was very time sensitive.
Being in China made it too difficult for me to set up a fundraiser myself, so I asked for assistance. Kathleen Dreier created a GoFundMe campaign on my behalf. You can view the details by visiting the GoFundMe page here: gofundme.com/f/laying-bhakti-to-rest.
A very generous donor in China contributed a substantial amount that helped me prepare to get Bhakti's body back to Tucson. The GoFundMe campaign was also very successful in raising the funds for the remaining goal of $6000.
Since the goal has now been met (even surpassed), the GoFundMe campaign has closed. All of the donations have been transferred directly to my bank account.
Bhakti's body will begin the transition back to Tucson and all of our belongings will be shipped on November 26th. I'll have to pay a small fine for staying past the deadline for my visa expiration, but I'll be leaving Shenzhen by early Thursday morning, just in time to arrive for Thanksgiving in Tucson.
Dr. Brecken Chinn had a broad background in international and intercultural communication.
Although she spent her first years of life in Germany, she grew up with a passion for Asia, driving her decision to major in International Political Economy with a minor in Far East Asian Studies at The Colorado College. She went on to earn her Master’s Degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and then her Doctorate in International Communication from the University of Maryland at College Park.
Fluent in both Chinese and Japanese, she worked as an award-winning television and radio producer in Washington DC for Tokyo Broadcasting System and the Voice of America.
Brecken taught at the collegiate level for over twenty years, developing an interest in business after her time teaching at Babson College in Boston, the nation’s number one program in Entrepreneurship. She proceeded to teach Business Communication at the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona, coaching a number of pitch teams to award-winning success.
Brecken was an active member of the Startup Tucson community, leveraging partnerships in the sectors of green living, eco-design, sustainable permaculture, holistic health, elder and disability services, early learning, and of course community-building.
Dr. Chinn's central life passion was centered on developing a global Maytown community across multiple sites, rooted in deep values of intercultural and intergenerational care and collaboration.