Remembering Dr. Stanley Sue


Image of Dr. Stanley Sue

Stanley Sue

Stanley Sue, age 80, passed away on June 6, 2024, from unexpected complications that occurred during open-heart surgery. Stan was born February 13, 1944 in Portland, Oregon to Tom and Lucy Sue. He has resided in Walnut Creek, California for the past 14 years, Stan is survived by his loving wife, Sophia; four siblings (David, Derald, Lynda and Leslie Sue); and numerous nieces and nephews. 


In 1969, Stan married Sophia, the love of his life. Stan and Sophia recently celebrated 55 years of marriage. Stan frequently mentioned how much he loved his wife, and that his retirement had brought them even closer together. Sophia and other family members were at his bedside when he passed.   


Stan was a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at University of California, Davis (1996–2010) and at Palo Alto University. Prior to those positions, he was Professor of Psychology at University of California, Los Angeles (1981–1996) and Assistant and Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington (1971–1981). Stan served as President of the Western Psychological Association in 2010; President of Division 45 (Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race) of the American Psychological Association in 2015; and Science Editor for the U.S. Surgeon General’s 2001 supplementary report for Mental Health: Culture, Race, and Ethnicity.


These positions, however, do not capture the monumental impact Stan had on the profession of psychology and on his students and colleagues.  Stan was a trailblazer in the field of ethnic minority psychology, and his research and contributions now form the knowledge base of Asian American psychology and mental health, racial/ethnic relations, and cultural competence in clinical work. His accomplishments were both ground-breaking and influential.  His authoritative publication in the American Psychologist, “Science, Ethnicity and Bias: Where Have We Gone Wrong,” is one of the most highly cited publications in the professional literature. Stan was particularly proud of this publication because it challenged the universality of Western science and revealed the importance of experiential reality in the lives of People of Color. He worked tirelessly to expand psychological services to underserved populations, and became known as a powerful advocate for social justice. 


Stan’s teaching excellence and mentoring of students were legendary, and were acknowledged with multiple awards and recognitions. More important were the number of students and younger colleagues whose lives he touched. Many attribute their own career paths and work on social justice to Stan’s influence. He was a celebrated elder in his field, and, even after his retirement, he continued to be connected to and serve his professional community. 


Stan’s passing came too soon and will leave a big hole in the lives of his family, friends, and colleagues. Although it was Stan’s heart that gave out in the end, Stan’s kindness and his loving and vibrant presence touched his family and his professional community in ways that will not be forgotten. What Stan stood for will continue to inspire others. 


A memorial service is not yet planned. You are invited to share a memory of Stan at the website of the Sneider & Sullivan & O'Connell's Funeral Home.