‘RETURN TO THE VALLEY’ PRODUCER CHRISTINA LIM DIES AT 52

  • October 26, 2012

OAKLAND — A celebration of life for TV producer Christina Lim will be held on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 11 a.m. at Chapel of the Chimes (Julia Morgan Room), 4499 Piedmon Ave., Oakland.

Lim, a resident of Hayward, died on Oct. 12, a day after her 52nd birthday, at home surrounded by her family.

Born in Oakland on Oct. 11, 1960, she graduated from CSU Hayward (now known as CSU East Bay) with a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology and audiology, then taught at Franklin Year Round School in Oakland for six years. She returned to Cal State Hayward to earn a master’s in education, followed by a bachelor’s in industrial technology from San Jose State University.

Lim found her true calling as a TV producer while at KTEH, Channel 54, the PBS station in San Jose. During her 14 years there, she won two Emmy Awards for the documentaries “Return to the Valley” and “Dave Tatsuno: Movies and Memories.”

“Return to the Valley,” which premiered in 2003, is about Japanese Americans who returned to the Santa Clara, Salinas and Pajaro valleys and the Central Coast region — areas well known for strawberry farming and fishing — after being interned during World War II. The documentary’s themes are strength, perseverance and the resiliency of the human spirit. On the Web: www.returntothevalley.org.

“Dave Tatsuno: Movies and Memories,” which first aired in 2006, is about a Japanese American who smuggled a film camera into the Topaz, Utah camp and documented his life behind barbed wire for three years. These home movies became “Topaz Memories,” the only full-color film of the internment experience shot by an internee, and in 1996 the film was accepted to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry. To see a clip, click here.

Lim also helped create the instructional TV series “Real Science,” which was targeted to fifth- through eighth-grade students and broadcast nationwide on public television for more than eight years. She worked with the offices of education in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties to direct and facilitate teacher and student workshops focusing on public television initiatives in science, social studies and history.

She joined CreaTV in 2010 as the summer college internship coordinator for the “Spare the Air, Bay Area!” project, a series of videos and a teacher’s guide developed for middle schools in San Jose by a grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Lim  was also closely involved in producing the upcoming TV series “Cortese’s Kids Climate Club.”

During the final stages of her struggle with breast cancer, Lim continued to work on a program about the Chinese American airmen who were stationed in Kunming in support of the Hump Pilots and Flying Tigers during World War II.

Her hobbies included cooking, sewing, photography, cross stitching, knitting, scrapbooking, and collecting cookbooks, Pez dispensers, and comic books.

She is survived by her parents, Harry and Dorothea, and younger brother, Sheldon.

Her family has asked that people wear bright colors (pink was her favorite) to the memorial. In lieu of flowers, donations should be given to the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (535 N. 5th St., San Jose, CA 95112, www.jamsj.org), or the charity of your choice.

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