Beloved Jersey City Councilman Michael Yun Passes Away From COVID-19
By Ryan General
April 6, 2020
A city councilman from Jersey City, New Jersey has passed away due to complications from COVID-19.
Ward D Councilman Michael Yun, a respected official and small-business owner in Hudson County, was confirmed to be dead on Monday by Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop via a tweet.
“It’s w/a heavy heart that we share that Councilman Yun has passed away,” Mayor Fulop wrote. “He was a great co worker and a tireless advocate for the people of #JerseyCity – More than that he was a great father, husband, and grandfather. I can speak for the entire JC community that we are devastated.”
Yun came to the U.S. from South Korea as a student in March 1979. He had been a Heights resident since 1981, according to NJ.com.
In 1982, he and his wife Jennifer (Seong Hee Ahn) began operating their well-known convenience store Garden State News on Central Avenue.
He then became a founding member of Jersey City’s first Special Improvement District (SID) in 1992. For over two decades, Yun served as both the president and chairman of the board of the Central Avenue SID.
In 2013, Yun became the first Korean-born person to be elected to the City Council. He then won his reelection bid in 2017.
According to his council profile on the Jersey City website, Yun led the efforts on establishing the 1099, the first commuter bus line from Central Avenue to New York City. The initiative has turned the Jersey City Heights into an attractive bedroom community for New York City.
It is partly due to the efforts of Councilman Yun that property values in “The Heights” have increased as it became an attractive place to buy real estate.
In his full statement released to the press, Mayor Fulop further spoke highly of the late councilman.
“He was a family man, a great businessman and a tireless advocate for Jersey City throughout his nearly three decades of public service. More than that though, he was a great husband, father, and grandfather as he never missed a chance to share how proud he was of his family. This is devastating for all of us here, as Michael was part of our Jersey City family. We will miss him and we will continue to aggressively fight against this pandemic, now in his honor.”
Yun is the second elected official in Hudson County to die of the virus. Weehawken Finance Director and Board of Education President Richard Barsa has also died of the novel coronavirus over the weekend, reports Hudson County Review.
Yun reportedly suffered from a fever for over a week before he started experiencing shortness of breath on March 24. He was then admitted into the intensive care unit at Jersey City Medical Center. He eventually tested positive for COVID-19.
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