Catherine Beh Cheng


On August 12, 2020, Catherine Beh Cheng passed away peacefully at home in East Windsor, New Jersey. Born in Nanjing, China in 1930, Catherine overcame tuberculosis to study English at Tamkang College in Taiwan. She came to the U.S. on scholarship to earn a B.A. in Library Science (with an English minor) at Winthrop College (now University). In 1961, she received a M.A. in Library Science from the University of Illinois.

In 1963, Catherine married Professor Tao Cheng. After stints at Pennsylvania State University, they became long-time employees of Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey). From 1972 until 1997, Catherine served as a Librarian in the Serials and Reference departments and spearheaded the cataloging of old and rare books as well as media.

Catherine and Tao raised two daughters in Lawrenceville, New Jersey and helped found the Central Jersey Chinese-American Association. Catherine also volunteered with her daughters’ scouting troops and schools. Church and her Christian faith were very important to her. A talented seamstress and painter, Catherine passed her gifts onto others through teaching and artwork. She also loved playing basketball and bridge, gardening, listening to music, reading, watching movies, and ballroom dancing.

Catherine is survived by husband Tao; daughters Margie Go (Loewe) and Helen Mao (David); brother Charles Beh (Katherine); sister-in-law Corinna Beh; and grandchildren Madeline, Leo, and Miranda Go; and Alexandra and Elizabeth Mao. She is predeceased by parents Yu and Pei-Chi Jen Beh; sisters Jun-Yan, Chao-Xuan, and Chao-Chun Beh; Janet Chang; and brother James Beh.

Per Catherine’s request, she was cremated and will be celebrated in a private memorial ceremony. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Catherine’s honor to The Yu Beh, Pai-Chih and Catherine Beh Cheng Memorial Endowed Scholarship at Winthrop University at For Gift Designation, choose “Other” and then enter the scholarship name. Under Tribute Gift Option, check “This gift is in honor of” and type “Catherine Beh Cheng.”