Honored Members of the Sacramento Ong Ko Met Association
There is an old Chinese proverb that says "When an elder leaves us, a whole library disappears." It is true that the stories from our Ong Ko Met elders have not been preserved as well as we would like. The wisdom these stories held have been lost forever. So, we seek to preserve the history of the Ong Ko Met by collecting our member's stories. This will help future generations better understand our Chinese heritage including the struggles and contributions of our fathers and mothers. Ong Ko Met members are humbly requested to fill out our Ong Ko Met Family History Questionnaire. The questionnaire maybe submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Ong Ko Met Association History Project, 427 Chinatown Mall, Sacramento, CA 95814.
away peacefully on April 18, 2007. Lincoln Ong's parents,
Hong Ong (Luie Lung) and Lang Shee immigrated from Yen Hing Lee,
Hoi Ping, China. Lincoln's father is descended from Dong Choon
Yon who had seven sons; the oldest son, Yep Yen was Lincoln's
grandfather. Many Ongs left the village to find new lives in
California. Thus, Lincoln has many close relatives in Sacramento,
where he was born on November 13, 1925.
Passed away peacefully on July 17, 2009. Born on November 7, 1921 in Canton China, he lived in Arizona and California. He was a decorated World War II Army veteran (Bronze Star and Purple Heart) who was injured during the Battle of the Bulge as a member of Gen. Patton's Third Army.
He retired from the Board of Equalization, State of California after 32 years as an Auditor. Survived by brother Tip Ong, sister Rose Ho, sister-in-law Anna Ong, three generations of nieces and nephews, and other family and friends, who will all miss him dearly.
Preceded in death by wife Dortha, brothers George and William, sister-in-laws Frances and Amy, and brother-in-law William Ho. Services were held on Friday July 24, 2009 at 2:00 pm in the chapel at East Lawn Memorial Park, 4300 Folsom Blvd.
Szeto Choi Kim a.k.a. Woo Shi (Leong)
Szeto passed away on passed away on March 21, 2009 at the age of 103. Szeto Choi Kim was born in HoiPing, Guangdong, China in 1906. When she was 19 years old (considered an old maid), a matchmaker introduced her to a man from the Philippines looking for a wife. Szeto Choi Kiem met and married her husband, Dong Sai Kiet on their wedding day.
In 1936, Dong Sai Kiet moved his family to the Philippines. Choi Kiem immigrated to the Philippines as Dong Sai Kiets wife. Sai Kiet had previously immigrated to the Philippines as a paper son of a person named Leong. Hence her name became Woo Shi.
Life in the Philippines (Isabela, Basilan City) was much better than China. Choi Kiem had many children - one after the other and had maids to help her. Sai Kiet kept busy managing various businesses, including a restaurant, a hotel, a bakery, and grocery store.
On November 29, 1952, her husband died of a heart attack, leaving her with 12 children, the youngest (Emma) was just 7 months. Her oldest son, Thomas, had just finished college in Manila and planned to further his studies abroad.
Choi Kiem showed her resilience and determination in keeping the family together. She tirelessly supported her eldest son, Thomas, with managing a restaurant in Manila. Choi Kiems woke up at 4:00 a.m. everyday, rain or shine, to go to Divisoria (market), to buy the daily restaurant supplies.
Life was not easy, with 11 children going to college, high school, and elementary school. Rents and tuitions were always late, but everyone continued their education. Choi Kiem never complained. She toiled unselfishly to support her family and give them hope for a better life.
In some ways, the hard life in Manila gave the older family members the drive to seek their fortune elsewhere. It was not easy for the family to find work in Manila because no one was a citizen of the Philippines, except for Thomas. One by one the children left the Philippines to go abroad.
By 1971, Rosita, first child to receive her USA citizenship, sponsored Choi Kiem so she could immigrate to the United States. Choi Kiem in turn, successfully sponsored the rest of her children in the Philippines to come to the United States.
In 1972, Choi Kiem came to Sacramento where she met many of her compatriots from China. She was very active at the Ong Ko Met Association where she met many friends and enjoyed socializing and playing mah jong.
Bing Ong passed away in July of 2008 at age 84, after spending much of his life preserving his culture. Bing Ong was born in the Cantonese village of Woo Lung in 1924, later moving with his family to Yuba City in 1933. Upon arriving, he attended the Chinese School in Marysville's Chinatown, later attending public school in a special class for Chinese and Japanese immigrants. He joined the U.S. Army Corps during World War II rather than finishing High School; he was finally awarded his diploma in 2002. In 1947 he went to China to claim his wife, Ellen Ong, in an arranged marriage that lasted 60 years.
His family had owned several businesses in Marysville's Chinese district. They had operated the King's Inn during the 1920s and 1930s at Second and C Streets before taking over another historic building, which dated to the 1870s. Ong ran the Lotus Inn Restaurant for 29 years building it into one of the region's most loved restaurants. In 1976, the city of Marysville decided to exercise eminent domain and raze most of the historic buildings in Marysville's Chinese neighborhoods. They called it urban re-development, but Bing called it simply, "demolition." Friends of the Bok Kai Temple President, Billie Single, said the city referred to it as a progressive move, however, she went on to say that she felt Bing never forgot or forgave the City of Marysville for destroying his business.
Bing did not want the Bok Kai Temple to perish, as had his business.
Ong served as the official "gong master" for the temple
and for its internationally acclaimed, Bok Kai Festival held
each spring. He also was granted a special license by the Fire
Marshall to create the large firecrackers that are ignited on
the second day of the Bok Kai Festival.
Lim passed away on November 11, 2006 at the age of 75. Lim Ong was born in 1930 in Hoi Ping, China. He first began attending the Ong Association's activities immediately when he came to this city and country in 1951. He has been part of the organization ever since. Over the decades he always helped prepare the food for the meetings and parties of the Association and has seen and been part of the evolution of the organization for as long as any member. At the time of his passing he had the office of Chinese Secretary for the association.
Joe Wong has been longtime member of the Sacramento Ong Ko Met but now has relocated to Mesa, Arizona. Mr. Wong was born in Hu Long, Kaiping, Kwungtung, China on December 12, 1927. His father was Frank Hong and his mother was Moon Yee. In Joe Wong's family were also two daughters, Betty and Fong. He is a devoted and loving husband to his wife Amy and father to Willie, Wilky, David, and his two daughters, Bolin and Yulona.
Joe immigrated to America in 1941. He attended Franklin Elementary and later Mesa High School. As a young man Joe served in the US Navy between 1945 through 1946. After his military service, Joe worked for the city of Sacramento, retiring in 1990.
Here is part of Joe Wong's story from a written interview:
Jeanne C. Dong
Jeanne C. Dong of Sacramento, California passed away at the age of 85 on Sunday, November 3, 2013, as she was surrounded by her loving family. Born as Fong Chun Ngen on February 4, 1928 in Gim Wah Li Village, Toishan, China, Jeanne married Paul C. Dong, a US Army veteran, on December 26, 1947. She would later work at the State Board of Equalization and retired in 1987. Jeanne was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She is survived by her husband of 66 years, Paul, and three sons: Harvey (Beatrice), Alvin (Elaine), and Michael (Anna); and daughter Julia (Eugene); 11 grandchildren: Kevin (Gloria), Henry, Nina, Daniel, Joyce, Christopher, Suzanne, Justin, Grant, Matthew and Joseph; and two great-grandchildren Nathan and Allison. Jeanne is also survived by her brothers James, Warren, Edward and sisters Pauline and Ruby. Jeanne is preceded in death by her parents Lee Wah Chung, Chin Shee Lee and brother Calvin.
Always strong, loving, and full of life, Jeanne will be remembered for her contagious smile, her quick wit and warm heart. Friends and family were invited to attend the viewing on Friday, November 15, 2013 from 4:00pm to 8:00pm at Andrew and Greilich Mortuary. The funeral took place on Saturday, November 16, 2013, starting at 2:00pm at East Lawn Memorial Park, 4300 Folsom Bvld., Sacramento.
Joseph Chew Tang
Joseph Chew Tang passed away peacefully in his sleep on May 30, 2014 at the age of 91. He is survived by Katherine, his beloved wife of over 60 years and brother Jack (Jeanne). He is also survived by his son Alan, daughter Patty (Jimmy), and grand-children Mitchell and Natalie. He was known to his family, friends, and business associates as Joe. Family and friends knew Joe as an independent, sociable, outspoken, and competitive man.
Joe was born on May 21, 1923 to Fred and Wong Shee Tang in the Chinese farming village of Yun Hing Lai. His early life was spent in China in Yun Hing Lai and Guangchou. Since his father returned to America and he was separated from his mother so that he could be with his grandmother, Joe did not have much of a childhood family life. Joe came to America in 1938 and lived briefly in San Francisco with his father. In 1940, he moved to Sacramento to be near others who came from Yun Hing Lai. It was here that he formed his close lifelong friendships with Kai Fat and Frank Louie. He attended Lincoln Junior High School and Sacramento High School. As a teen, Joe worked and lived on his own which further developed his independent and self-reliant character.
Joe served in the U. S. Army near the end of the Second World War, He was stationed in Kunming, China in a liaison unit between the U.S. Army and the Nationalist Chinese army. Because of his service, he became a life member of the VFW. After the war, Joe returned to Sacramento and obtained his Associate of Arts degree in business at Sacramento City College. He also attended Golden Gate Business School and obtained his real estate and insurance licenses.
Joe met Katherine Quan through mutual friends and dated for over a year. They married on August 20, 1950. After a brief time in Oakland they moved and settled in Sacramento and remained married for over sixty years. They raised two children Alan and Patty. In later years, they travelled to China and other asian countries several times including visits to his childhood village. Joe started a food brokerage business with a partner in 1958. In the early 1960s, he successfully moved out on his own and was an independent sales representative for various companies to the growing Chinese owned supermarkets in the Sacramento region. His sales territory gradually expanded into general supermarket chains and into the Bay Area and the Central Valley. He was also active with the Ong Ko Met Association. Joe retired in 1991.
Joe's passion outside of work was golf. Joe began playing golf in 1959 and enjoyed it for the following sixty years. He belong to the Sacramento Chinese Golf Club to which he served as president in 1985. He also belonged to the Sacramento Senior Chinese Golf Club and the Dry Creek Golf Club. His most memorable golf moment was getting a hole-in-one in a major business tournament at Dry Creek's fifth hole in front of more than 70 people.
A memorial service was held at the East Lawn Memorial Park Chapel, 4300 Folsom Boulevard, Sacramento, CA. 95819 on 11:00 am, Tuesday, June 10, 2014. In lieu of flowers, donations were made to ACC Senior Services.
Waltman Ong passed away on Tuesday, February 11th, 2014. Waltman was born in Hoi Ping,
Canton, China on October 29, 1932 and immigrated to the United States in 1949 with his mother Pauline and his brother
Kanman to join his father Stanley, who was already working in America.
Betty Kow Ten Ong
On May 31, 2013, Betty Kow Ten Ong passed away at the age of 81 in Sacramento, California surrounded by
her loving family. Betty was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, relative and friend to all. Betty was born on July 7, 1932
in Toisan, southern Guangdong province, China to parents Bing and Suey Lee. She married her husband, Wai Ock,
on November 25, 1953 and for 60 years remained the rock of the family.