Nguyen Thi Minh Xuan (known as Tina to family) departed in peace on Thursday at the age of 51 after a protracted yet valiant five-year fight against cancer, exceeding doctors' expectations and living a rich and quiet life. She is survived by her mother Nguyen Thi Minh Tuyet of Quang Ngai, Vietnam, her father Nguyen Xuan Ngoc of Houston, Texas, her son Nguyen Huyen and son-in-law Casey Lousteau Creel, both of Zurich, Switzerland, and by her cousin Duong Thu Hang (Christina) of Clifton, Virginia. Born in 1967 in Saigon, Vietnam and having to move to different regions of Southern Vietnam during her childhood, Xuan developed a great inner strength, raised by her iron-willed mother to excel in her studies, especially mathematics. This was despite her own mother's humble means, educational background, and rural origins, marred further by war and the near daily threat of American bombing. Life after the war under the new regime proved to be even more difficult. Xuan left Vietnam at the age of 18 to pursue her dreams of a better future in America with little English, a small suitcase, and a mind filled with great ambitions. As she emigrated she met her husband of 20 years, and the young family first arrived in Phoenix before continuing on to Dallas, where her only child was born, and then to Maryland and later Virginia. Despite working and raising her son, she managed to obtain an associate's degree at Montgomery College and then finally a bachelor's in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park. In 1994, Xuan found work as the sole breadwinner of her family as a software engineer in Dahlgren, and over the years grew to be a brilliant programmer in the defense industry. Her coding skills were difficult to match, as were her talents for mathematics and physics. Despite her meager origins, it was through gumption, patience, intelligence, and hard work that she eventually obtained American citizenship with pride, and bought her beloved home in Fredericksburg. She would later finally obtain a master's degree in mathematics from George Mason University, even after her initial diagnosis of cancer. A woman of simple tastes and with little time for mediocrity, she was nevertheless a fundamentally kindhearted, gracious, and fair-minded person who made a good life for herself and her son in America, helped along the way by strangers, friends, family, and her adopted homeland. She was equally giving in return. During her short but fruitful life, she lovingly tended her garden, and was especially proud of her roses. She was an elegant dancer and greatly enjoyed reading. She took great pleasure in good food, her favorite snacks being dried plums and Vietnamese pudding. She deeply enjoyed her many travels around the world with her son. Xuan remained utterly stoic and admirably stubborn in the face of her disease. A week before she departed, she enjoyed a last shared meal with her son of mango sorbet. She kissed him on her last day on Earth, and some hours later took her final, refreshing breath, in peace. The family wishes to thank her longtime employer Northrop Grumman and its family of employees, particularly for their compassion, in recent years. We also thank her family and friends for their undying love. We thank this country for supporting her over the years in innumerable ways as she progressed from welfare recipient to a proud homeowner and US citizen, with a job that she loved and allowed her to give back to this country. Funeral arrangements will be handled by Mullins and Thompson at their North Stafford home on Monday, February the 11th at 9:30 in the morning, with visitation followed by a Buddhist rite to which all of her friends and former coworkers and their families are warmly invited; a luncheon immediately following the service will be offered as a convivial time of remembrance. She was a spectacular woman, citizen, and mother. I will always love you. Con se mai mai thuong me.