Koreatown Galleria’s Chairman, Ik Whan Oh, a leading figure in the development of shopping centers and the grocery retail industry within the Korean American community in Southern California, passed away on September 15 at the age of 88.
Mr. Oh immigrated to the United States in the early 1960s when he was in his 20s. Settling in Koreatown, Los Angeles, he dedicated himself to the grocery distribution business. He later established a company that now manages four prominent markets, the largest in the Korean community. These include the Galleria Market, with three outlets previously known as Korea Super, and the HK Market.
In addition to his grocery endeavors, Mr. Oh founded HK Partners, a real estate investment firm. This company was instrumental in expanding the Glendale HK Market in 1997. But perhaps his most significant contribution was introducing Korean culture and cuisine to mainstream America through his shopping centers and supermarkets.
His tireless efforts culminated in the opening of the Koreatown Galleria in 2001, located at Western Avenue and Olympic Boulevard in Koreatown, Los Angeles. Following its success, he launched the Valley Galleria in 2004 and the Galleria Market Vermont at Vermont Avenue and Fifth Street in 2011.
Mr. Oh leaves behind his wife, Bongja Oh; son, David Oh; daughter, Susan Bae; and son-in-law, Thomas Bae. A funeral service is scheduled for 12 p.m. on October 7 (Saturday) at the Old North Church in Hollywood Hills (6300S Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90068).
For inquiries, please contact: (213) 382-8888
BY HYOUNGJAE KIM [firstname.lastname@example.org]