Melody Mei-Ching Lo Shu was born in Keelung, Taiwan in 1953. She described her childhood as growing up in a relatively poor neighborhood with two older sisters, one older brother, and one younger brother. While her mother was a traditional homemaker, her father worked as a sailor/chef. Her father decided to immigrate to the U.S. (when Mrs. Shu was 10 years old) by means of jumping off a ship at Hoboken, NJ, and financially supported his family in Taiwan through his work in the restaurant business for 9 years, during which he was hired to cook for Chiang Kaishek's family. Upon attaining visas, Mrs. Shu (who had graduated high school), her mother, and her unmarried sister moved to the Chinatown community in New York City. From 1972-1979, Mrs. Shu worked in a sewing factory, took English lessons, and later worked at a take-out restaurant in Brooklyn. Soon after her marriage to an acquaintance from high school, Mrs. Shu moved to Houston to raise her children. She then found a job at Chevron Oil Company, but after the oil prices dropped in 1987, her company merged with Gulf Oil Company. Mrs. Shu then transitioned into a banking career from 1989-2009, having studied some accounting in community college, and currently volunteers at the Texas Buddhist Association. In addition to being the only English-speaking member in her family, she also speaks Taiwanese, Shanghainese, Mandarin, and Cantonese.