The body of Jeffrey Koo Sr (辜濂松), founder and former chairman of one of Taiwan’s largest banks, Chinatrust Financial Holding Co, arrived in Taiwan early yesterday morning.
Koo died at the age of 79 on Dec. 5 in New York after reportedly battling Parkinson’s disease for some years.
The charter plane carrying Koo’s body along with members of his family was greeted by dozens of Chinatrust executives and other Koo family members.
The Koo family organized a simple ceremony led by a pastor for the late banker at an EVA Airways cargo facility before taking his body in a motorcade to Taipei.
The motorcade drove past Chinatrust’s headquarters in Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義), where more than 2,000 employees lined up on the street to mourn Koo’s death, many of them in tears.
The motorcade then drove to Sanjhih (三芝) in New Taipei City (新北市), where Koo’s body was to be temporarily placed.
Later, more than 300 Chinatrust employees were taken to Sanjhih to pay their respects to Koo.
According to Chinatrust, his family will organize a requiem Mass.
Koo went to the US earlier this year for treatment, where he was reported to have been diagnosed with a brain tumor.
He died in the company of his family.
His elder son, Jeffrey Koo Jr (辜仲諒), who had been previously barred from leaving the country over his alleged role in a financial scandal, paid a record NT$1billion (US$34.3 million) as a guarantee late last month in exchange for court permission to visit his ailing father in New York.
The late tycoon represented Taiwan in the international arena in numerous capacities, including serving as the nation’s representative on the APEC’s Business Advisory Council from 1995 to 2009.
A long-time “ambassador-at-large,” in September Koo was conferred the Order of the Rising Sun by the Japanese government, the highest honor given by Japan to businesspeople, for his contributions in promoting Japan-Taiwan ties.
He has also been honored by former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) for his long-term efforts in expanding Taiwan’s ties with the international community, and pushing for economic and trade cooperation with other countries.