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School board chair dies of COVID19

Posted on 09 June 2020 by Tesha Christensen

Marny Xiong

Marny Xiong, 31, the St. Paul School Board Chair, died on Sunday, June 7 of COVID-19. Xiong is the sister-in-law of Ward 1 Council Member Dai Thao. “Marny will be remembered as an inspiring community organizer, a courageous leader and a fierce champion for education, gender equity, and racial justice,” according to Thao. “She was a selfless public servant who made the community’s problems her duty to solve. To those who knew her, Marny was more than a loving daughter, aunt, niece, cousin, a devoted friend, and sister. She was beautiful; she was a book of generosity and fire.”

 

Family Statement Regarding the Passing of Saint Paul Public Schools Board Chairwoman Marny Xiong

Our hearts are in pieces as we share the news that our beloved daughter and sister, Marny Xiong, passed away on Sunday, June 7, 2020 following a month long courageous battle with the Coronavirus. We prepared a celebration for her return and waited, and waited but she never came home. We prayed and prayed for a miracle but none was granted.

Marny Xiong, 31, grew up on the Eastside of St. Paul and was a proud student of St. Paul Public Schools. She attended Longfellow Elementary, Washington Middle School, and Arlington High School, graduating with the class of 2007. She graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth with a BA in Political Science and a minor in African and African American Studies in 2012. She was a School Administrative Manager at Hmong International Academy in the Minneapolis Public Schools District. In 2017, Marny was elected to the St. Paul School Board. She was elected Chair of the Board in 2020.

Marny will be remembered as an inspiring community organizer, a courageous leader and a fierce champion for education, gender equity, and racial justice. She was a selfless public servant who made the community’s problems her duty to solve. To those who knew her, Marny was more than a loving daughter, aunt, niece, cousin, a devoted friend, and sister. She was beautiful; she was a book of generosity and fire.

Marny’s parents Zahoua Xiong and See Xiong came to Minnesota as political refugees from the CIA’s Secret War in Laos. They instilled education, family, hard work, and public service in all their children. As the youngest daughter, Marny began her leadership at home and as an NJROTC Cadet at Arlington High School. Marny fought for racial justice. She dedicated almost all her adult life to education because she believed education was a foundation for dismantling structural racism. Marny was a Union and Community Organizer with TakeAction Minnesota, and Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

Marny has gone back to be with the ancestors far away in the sky where all Hmong people come from. She is survived by her parents, Zahoua Xiong and See Xiong; two sisters, five brothers, two brother-in-laws and a sister in law and four nieces and nephews and a large extended family. We thank all the hospital staff, doctors, nurses, assistants for taking great care of Marny at Regions Hospital and the University of MN Fairview Hospital.

Marny was a person who likes to give and doesn’t like to ask for help. However, she has accrued medical expenses for her care. We have set up a GoFundMe on her behalf to cover medical and funeral expenses:
https://www.gofundme.com/f/healing-support-for-marny-xiong…

Marny loves to smile and to make people smile. Mark Twain once wrote, “Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.”

The funeral arrangements will be shared in the coming weeks. At this time we ask for privacy as we grieve, and to not dwell on how she passed on but how she lived.

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