As the Chinese consider a person to be a year old when born, Jack Wong was 100 when he died Feb. 24, 2020.
Jack (born Wong Chuk Fung) lived a carefree childhood in the southern Chinese village of Taishan as the eldest of 13 children born to a village landlord, Wong Hang Lung, and Jack's mother, Yee Sui Lan. But life changed quickly as the political and social forces transforming the country forced him at age 13 to seek refuge elsewhere. He was sent alone to the United States. It was not easy to be a Chinese immigrant in those times; but resilient and determined, he found his way in the new world.
Jack had a "good eye" and would have been happy forever taking photography. But, sensibly, he and friends decided they needed to eat, so in 1948 opened a Chinese restaurant in a town that didn't have one. That was the Dragon in downtown Cedar Rapids. Many would say the food was wonderful. He would operate that for 52 years. Jack found his wife in British Columbia, Canada; she was Rosalind (born Fong Quon Hing), and she worked along side him, establishing a nice life for themselves and their three children.
Pamela, Candace (Richard Jensen) and Randy Wong are Jack and Rosalind's three children; they all still live in Cedar Rapids. To the end, Jack loved each of them and did the best he could to encourage and provide for them.
Jack also understood and took seriously his role as the eldest of his family, for many years assisting those back in China; he helped several siblings immigrate to the United States, including his brothers, Jerry (Mee) and Eric (Kam) and their families. They also came to make Cedar Rapids their homes. He also is survived by brothers in California and New Jersey and sisters in Wisconsin and New York.
Jack was enthusiastic about many things. He always will be remembered for his love of fish. He raised fish; he also loved fishing, making time for that whenever possible. He really loved eating fish, too. His gardens at his house, particularly his peonies, were his pride and joy. Each year he would take dozens of photos of these short-lived blooms. He absolutely loved flowers.
Mostly, Jack will be remembered as being an exceptionally friendly and generous person.
The family thanks the many who helped Dad at his end including the nurses and techs at Mercy Hospital and all the wonderful people at the Dennis & Donna Oldorf Hospice House.
There will not be any public services. Memorials are not necessary, but may be made to the Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House.
Online condolences may be left for the family at cedarmemorial.com.