Barry K. Thongvanh (1950 – 2011)
AAP staff report
Pastor Barry K. Thongvanh, 60, of Storm Lake, Iowa, died June 7, 2011 in Storm Lake. He was a founding member of the Central Asian Pacific Islander Commission and Iowa Commission on Asian Pacific Affairs.
Born on July 7, 1950 in Son La, North Vietnam, Thongvanh was the son of Sam and Choy (Quang-Thi) Thongvanh. He graduated from Dong Dok University in Laos in 1971. He married Bouan Baccam in Vientiane, Laos in 1972, and the two have four children.
After graduating from Austin Theological Seminary School, Thongvanh served as Board Secretary of the Southeast Asian Ministry Conference. He was employed by Prospect Hill Presbytery where he was a Commissioned Lay Pastor; and for Tyson Foods as a Chaplin. He was a Church Elder at Lakeside Presbyterian Church in Storm Lake, and was a Commissioned Lay Pastor of the Southeast Asian Christian Church.
Thongvanh was a participant in a project of the Iowa Consortium for Comprehensive Cancer Control. The project resulted in a 2007 report: “Community Conversations on Cancer in Storm Lake, Iowa” for the Iowa Department of Public Health. He was instrumental in producing the first baseline study around attitudes, beliefs and opinions about cancer in the Tai Dam community of Iowa.
It was reportedly the first cancer study of its kind anywhere in the world with the Tai Dam community. It was presented at the Intercultural Cancer Council’s 2008 Biennial Symposium on Cancer, Minorities and the Medically Underserved.
Thongvanh also enjoyed traveling, gardening, volunteering for the needy and serving his faith community.
He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Bouan Thong-vanh of Storm Lake; children: Mana (Manilay) Thongvanh of Des Moines; Vixa (Kerri) Thongvanh of Apple Valley, Minn; Danny (Melissa) Thongvanh of Spencer; Richey (Mardi) Thongvanh of Des Moines; grandchildren: Brady, Belle, Isaac, Lillian, Maddison, and Austin Thongvanh; parents, Sam and Choy Thongvanh; brothers: Khamfeung Thongvanh of Storm Lake; Khamsouk (Khai) Thongvanh of Storm Lake; sisters: Houng (Khamlo) Khounlo of Storm Lake; Viengkeo (Bounrong) Synarong of Storm Lake; Khamphiou Lonleauglith of Ontario, Canada; Khamfong (Curtis) Kemp of Bloomington, Minn; Khamla Baccam of Spencer; nieces and nephews; extended family and friends.
He is preceded in death by a brother, Khamkeung Thongvanh and niece, Keo Gail Khounlo. The family requests that memorials be made to the Lakeside Presbyterian Church.