Cover photo for Raven Chiong's Obituary
Raven Chiong Profile Photo
1964 Raven 2023

Raven Chiong

January 26, 1964 — December 11, 2023

Bee City USA

Raven (Sharon) Chiong was born and raised in Miami, Florida.  She discovered a love of running when she was in elementary school and ran for Miami Run for Fun under the guidance of Coach Eli Gagich.  She received many awards and was a state championship runner at Miami Killian Sr High School.  She ran in college for both NC State and the University of Florida.  She also participated in the first women’s Marathon Olympic Trials in 1984.

After college graduation, she influenced many others as she went on to coach at DePauw University, Florida Atlantic University, Pine Crest School, and Mills College.    She enjoyed the beach, kayaking, and hiking.  On one of her hikes in NC, she found a stray puppy who she adopted and named Cherokee.  This began a decades-long love of dogs.  This love of dogs and other animals eventually led to her relocation to Kanab, UT to work at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary where she adopted Buddy, Dulce, and later Sage and Bini.

In 2020, she felt the call to relocate to the NC mountains and travelled across the country with Buddy, Dulce, Sage, and Bini - camping out along the way.  She eventually settled in Hayesville, NC where she participated in the Bee City Poets Club as well as many local events.  She loved living in Bee City USA and could often be found attending events in town as well as walking and kayaking at Lake Chatuge.

Raven loved the outdoors and being active.  From trips to the beach, to kayaking, to hiking all over the country, she was most at home when she was being one with nature.  She loved writing poetry and received many accolades for her work.  In 2023, she realized her dream of publishing her book Ode to the Still, Small Voice:  A Memoir of Listening despite receiving a devastating diagnosis in January.

Her strength and courage inspired many as she continued to participate in the activities that she loved - all the way until her final days.  She made friends wherever she went and had friends all over the world.

Raven gained her wings and flew away to begin her next journey on December 11, 2023, with her dog Buddy by her side.  She is survived by her dogs whom she lovingly referred to as her “monkeys”:  Buddy, Sage, and Bini.  She is also survived by brothers, Vince, Chris, and Rob; sister, Teri; aunt, Esther; uncle, David; several cousins and many, many friends.  She was preceded in death by her grandmother, Ruth; aunt, Pearl; mother, Verna; father, Vicente; and her beloved dogs Cherokee and Dulce.

Raven’s family wishes to thank Four Seasons Hospice as well as the many friends that showed her love and support over the last year and her entire life.  She was very blessed to have visits from many friends over the past year.  A huge thank you to Best Friends Animal Society for arranging the transport of her “monkeys” to their future loving homes.

Raven’s earthly remains will be returned to nature at a special location per her wishes.  There will be no service as she wanted no sadness – she wanted friends and family to remember only the good times with her and her motto: “no separation”.  In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests any memorial donations be made in Raven’s name to one of the many organizations that she supported including:  One Dozen Who Care, Hinton Center, Clay County Communities Revitalization Association, Four Seasons Hospice, Peacock Performing Arts Center, and Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Raven Chiong, please visit our flower store.


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