Ae Tan Hurban passed away Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at Womack Army Medical Center after a fulfilling and remarkable life. She was known to many as ‘Marie,’ her confirmation name, or as ‘Wi,’ her Korean family name. Ae Tan was born March 17, 1939 in Osaka, Japan to a Korean man and a woman lost to history. She considered Wi Sung Koo and Lee Jum Soon, a childless couple who adopted her and created a family and a joyful home with her, to be her mother and father. Following the untimely death of her mother she reverted to her birth father’s home for a time but fled this unhappy situation and found refuge at an orphanage near Seoul. Determined to be independent, she secured work at a local US Army facility and bought her first house for $75 before the age of 18. She met the love of her life, James Hurban, shortly thereafter, and a family of their own soon followed. Owing perhaps to an at times unstable childhood, Ae Tan dedicated her life to her own family, moving along with five children and a husband to the United States, where a sixth child was born. Moving became routine as Jim’s duty station changed regularly. This included a stint on her own while Jim served in Vietnam, finally settling in Fayetteville, North Carolina, which became home for more than forty years.
Sharing a meal with Ae Tan made you a friend for life, and she took exceptional delight in introducing people to the tastes of her homeland. Teaching us how to create these tastes—however imperfect our attempts have been—was a source of singular joy and mirth for Ae Tan and will be among her enduring legacies. But her foremost legacy is the family she and Jim created.
Ae Tan is survived by her daughters Betty Amaker and her husband John of Fayetteville, Kathy Hurban of Wade, Theresa Stone and her husband Alan of Cary, and by her sons John Hurban and his wife Kathy of Salt Lake City, and Patrick Hurban and his wife Anna of Raleigh, and by her Son-In-Law Greg Forbes, along with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She is reunited with her husband James and her daughter Jeannie in the hereafter.
Ae tan was a woman of deep and abiding Faith. A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Ann Catholic Church on Thursday, February 18th, followed by internment at Sandhills State Veterans Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Ann Catholic Church or the American Cancer Society.
Services are entrusted to Sullivan's Highland Funeral Service & Crematory.