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Eastern European Folklore Soc in honor of John Kuo

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This obituary was written by one of John's dear brothers:

John Kuo, a computer security expert, Balkan dance and folklore expert, audiophile and lover of authentic Chinese food and cinema, passed away on May 8, 2023.

John was born in Hong Kong, moved to the United States with his family while young and lived in many cities across the United States. Upon his graduation from high school, where he was taught by Jesuits, he was offered scholarships to Northwestern University and University of Chicago and attended the latter institution where he studied physics and mathematics and became a long time resident of Hyde Park. During that time, he studied Karate and Tai Chi for over ten years and attained his brown belt in the former, worked as a bartender at the Quadrangle Club at the U of C where he served many esteemed faculty and Nobel Laureates and discovered his lifelong passion - the folk dances and folklore of the Balkans and Eastern Europe. 

He was a recognized expert in Balkan and Eastern European folk dance and folklore. As an early member and for many years, the director and then co-director of Ensemble Balkanske Igre, the well known University of Chicago-affiliated Balkan Folk Dance troupe, he brought many famous practitioners of folk dance and Eastern European music to Chicago. The Chicago Spring Festival, which he founded, has been a well regarded and attended annual Chicago event for worldwide folk dance enthusiasts for many decades. He was especially proud of his many decades of teaching and mentoring folk dance and folklore to many students including native Croatians, Bulgarians, Macedonians and Serbians both across the US and Europe and in Chicago. He considered bringing all of these disparate groups together through their common culture of folklore and tradition, his manner of waging peace through dance. 

He was a lifelong audiophile and collector and though his budget often precluded his ability to own all of the boutique equipment he loved, he introduced many others to this passion and relished vicariously their enjoyment of it. 

John was also an adept computer security expert for many large and small business firms including the Sears Corporation and IBM. He was a lifelong learner and language enthusiast who spoke many languages, including English, French, Macedonian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghainese and Bulgarian. He was also known for his passion for the original Star Trek TV series and authentic Chinese food, especially xiaolongbao from Din Tai Fung. His passion for Chinese cinema ran the gamut from Jackie Chan to Chow Yun-Fat.

John was a kind and generous man. He was always willing to help others, and he was always there for his friends and family. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him. To his family he was the best and most knowledgeable father and husband they could have asked for. 

John is survived by his beloved wife, Galia and his talented daughter, Maria. 
A memorial service will be held on 
May 28, 2023 at Morizzo Funeral Home (2550 Hossell Rd, Hoffman Estates, IL 60169). In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Eastern European Folklore Society, 501 (c)(3) non profit organization at this page. 

Also, our daughter, Maria, has created the following web page for John. You may go see and upload photos and videos of John:



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Eastern European Folklore Society Galia Miloucheva
Chicago, IL

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