Kimlan Tran, 83

Kimlan Tran, age 83, passed away in Quincy on November 2, 2023.

Kimlan was an esteemed Vietnamese educator, author, clinician and advocate.

Throughout the 1990s, Cô (teacher) Lan inspired early generations of Vietnamese refugee/immigrant children, youth, and families in bilingual education classrooms of the Boston Public Schools, including many who later attended UMass Boston. Soon recognizing the critical care need for bilingual mental health services in the schools—beyond her own classrooms—Cô Lan took on the leadership role and responsibility of becoming credentialed and licensed as the only bilingual Vietnamese school psychologist in Boston and the region for many more years.

In addition, Kim-Lan authored one of the country’s very first, authentic Vietnamese American children’s books, Têt: The New Year, in 1992 through the pathbreaking Multicultural Celebrations series sponsored by the Boston Children’s Museum. UMass Boston’s Asian American Studies (AsAmSt) Program have often circulated multiple copies of this book from their AsAmSt library for students to recognize the important cultural and educational role of Asian American children’s books.  Similarly, Kim-Lan’s incisive short story portrait, “Edna,” published in the landmark 1995-1996 Vietnamese American Studies anthology, Once Upon a Dream, co-edited by Andrew Lam and colleagues, has been included in the syllabus of AsAmSt 223 Asians in the US for the past 25+ years, and is still required reading in their current teaching this year in Fall 2023. Indeed, decades before contemporary activist social media calling in and out, Trần Thi Kim-Lan modeled through her vivid creative writing portraiture, grounded in daily life experience on an MBTA bus, how and why Vietnamese-Black working-class women of color solidarity is actually embraced.

Kimlan will be deeply missed by her son, Bang La of Georgia and many relatives including her beloved nieces and nephews. She also leaves behind a community of friends, colleagues and students who will be forever grateful for her love, friendship and contributions.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend Visiting Hours for Kimlan Tran at Tirrell Room (Hamel-Lydon), 254 Quarry Street, Quincy, MA 02169 on Saturday, November 18, 2023 from 9:30am-12pm. In lieu of flowers, additional avenues for accepting donations include (1) making direct contributions at the funeral service and (2) sending donations to the provided Zelle address (via Zelle @ 571-839-4703, Linh Nghe).

Funeral arrangements under the care of Hamel-Lydon Chapel & Cremation Service. Please visit to leave online condolences.

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