Dr. Sam Cho, a clinical psychologist practicing in Squirrel Hill, may have been best known locally for his role in establishing the Dynamo Soccer Club and serving as director of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition. His was a life of adventure and change. Born to a prosperous and landed Seoul family in 1936, at 14 he was employed by US/UN forces in Korea where he served as a translator, speaking English, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese. At 18, he emigrated to the U.S. and attended a senior year of high school in Los Angeles before matriculating at Berea College in Kentucky. He later transferred to Ohio State, where he worked nights in the University Hospital while earning degrees through the Ph.D. in psychology. After four years on the faculty of Wooster College, where he developed the College’s first computer lab, Dr. Cho worked as a field manager for Pittsburgh-based American Institutes for Research, developing a college entrance exam system in Nigeria and later in Korea. Upon his return to Western Pennsylvania, he served as Executive Director of a hospital-to-community center conversion project in Kittanning, as Executive Director of Planned Parenthood of Pittsburgh, and as a soccer referee and instructor for Dynamo Soccer Club’s referees as well as International Soccer Association referees. He loved soccer, and enjoyed recruiting and training talented young referees, some of whom rose to officiate in international matches. In 2017, he was inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Soccer Hall of Fame. Classical music was Dr. Cho’s other great passion. He was a contributor to the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society, the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Pittsburgh Opera, and he delighted in cooking for his favorite musicians, usually after performances. His extraordinary palate and culinary skills were hailed by all who ate at his table. Later, some knew him as an instructor in the University of Pittsburgh’s Osher program.
Survivors include sons Steven Peter Cho and Paul Michael Cho. A single father in the 1970s, Dr. Cho was particularly proud of his sons’ educational accomplishments at Phillips Exeter Academy, Harvard, Columbia, and Princeton. Other survivors are a sister, Lily, and a brother, Kenneth, as well as 10 nieces and nephews. His parents, an infant sister, and two brothers, Michael and Sang, predeceased Dr. Cho.Memorial Service will be held Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 11am at The Homewood Cemetery Chapel