Gardening 01

Claro Sia Chua

August 12, 1940 ~ May 13, 2022 (age 81)


Claro Sia Chua, age 81, of Raleigh, North Carolina, passed away peacefully at home on May 13, 2022. Although deeply saddened by his unexpected passing, the family holds comfort in knowing he is at peace in Heaven with the Lord. To family and friends, he was known as “Kim” and to his children and grandchildren, he was their Papa. Kim was born in Quezon City, Manila, Philippines on August 12, 1940. He immigrated to the United States in 1969. He raised his family in Raleigh NC, where he established and operated one of the first Asian grocery stores in town, the Oriental Store of Raleigh. With the care and support of his family, Kim dedicated many years and countless hours at his grocery store, selling home-grown produce, sharing cooking tips with customers, and providing a range of ethnic goods and foods to a growing International community. 


Kim was predeceased by his father, Jose Salas Chua Sr. and his mother, Maxima Sia Chua. He is survived by his three children: Michael Chua and his wife, Jessica, of Mountain View CA; Arlene Chua, MD and her husband, Roland, of Raleigh; Annabelle Chua, MD and her husband Ken, of Hillsborough; their mother Vicky Ng Chua; and his nine grandchildren: Madison (23), Catherine (21), Caroline (20), Megan (18), Nicholas (16), Andrew (13), Audrey (10), Garrett (8), and Lucas (6). He is also survived by his siblings: Philip Sr., Anita Ng (Annie), Eduardo (Eddie), Victorina Ang (Ahua/Vicky), Maximina Yang (Mina/Abin), Jose Jr. (Junior), Corazon Jao (Sony), Lorenzo (Loree), Vicente (Ting), Saturnino (Ding), Manuel (Manny), Ricardo (Ricky) and their families, including many nieces and nephews.


In his retirement, Kim learned to appreciate life outside of his store. Much of his time was spent indulging in his joy of gardening. He had a green thumb and loved sharing his Jade plants and his abundance of fruits and vegetables with others. He delighted in his afternoon cup of coffee while conversing with family and friends, especially his dear friend Prince. He was skilled at finding bargains, tools and “treasures” at Estate Sales. He cherished time with his grandchildren and children. He enjoyed tackling an endless array of projects with his brother Junior, or helping his sisters and family members with home repairs. He was a big support to his sister Ahua in helping care for his brother-in-law Ric and in helping care for their mother “Mama”, in their final years. He was a proud volunteer with the Philippine-American Association of NC’s Carolina Medical Mission (CMM). He enjoyed traveling to the Philippines with CMM and reconnecting with childhood friends. He had been planning to join CMM’s next medical mission in the Philippines in 2023. Kim will be missed by his family and his friends, including his friends in the Philippines. 


A private family service will be held in remembrance of our beloved Kim, officiated by Reverend Monsignor Gerald Lewis. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in memory of Claro “Kim” Chua to the Carolina Medical Mission/CMM-PAANC (


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