This memorial website was created in memory of Anita Fong, 63, born on December 29, 1952 and passed away on December 5, 2016. Her true joy was just to help people. She touched and improved so many lives.

Posted by Elsie Lum on December 29, 2019
Happy 67th birthday Anita,
We remember you on this day, all that you have done for others, for our communities, for those mentees, and personally for my family. I miss your support and insights. You live through all of us, passing on your passion for helping others. We will gather to eat and laugh every year, in rememberance of all that you have taught us.
Elsie & Satoshi and family
Posted by Vanita Louie on December 29, 2019
We were out of the country on Anita's third year Anniversary (Dec 5). We continue to miss you and appreciate all you taught us. Never forgotten, always in our hearts.
Posted by Vanita Louie on December 30, 2018
Two year anniversary and as Caryl say, you are not forgotten. We know just how much you loved the holidays!! We all got together last night because It was your birthday (Dec 29). Toasted, "Here's to Anita". Shared a end of the year meal. You were remembered.
Posted by Steve Li on December 30, 2018
Just a note to let you know that I am one of the many who remembers you with love. May peace be with always with you.
Posted by Elsie Lum on December 6, 2018
Reflecting on how much I miss Anita's support and friendship these past 2 years. She always had feedback and possible ways to help any situation. Her determination and persistence so motivated me and everyone around her. Glad she is in a peaceful place now.
Posted by Yali Lincroft on December 5, 2018
Hard to believe it's already been 2 years since Anita has been gone - every time I donate an unwrapped toy for a toy drive, I think of her cause of Carol's annual toy sale and how we would buy extras to give to foster youth programs - sigh! I'm sure she's in heaven now, organizing a fabulous party or networking.
Posted by Caryl Ito on December 5, 2018
Today, Dec 5th hasn’t been forgotten. A few of us , Elsie, Vanita, and Austin plan to meet up and will visit Anita’s niche.
As we are busy preparing for our families and friends for these holidays, let’s each take stock of the important things in life and what we are grateful for—-family and friendships .
Posted by Kathy Lee on December 29, 2017
It is appropriate that Anita's birthday falls in the season of giving, because she gave so much of herself to others. Hard to believe she has been gone just over a year now, as her spirit certainly lives on.
Posted by Valerie Nara on December 29, 2017
Anita-you are missed and definitely not forgotten. Your spirit still inspires others to be kind and to persevere despite the obstacles. Your birthday brings joyful memories as this year ends. Gone too soon!
Posted by Vanita Louie on December 29, 2017
Today would have been Anita's 65th birthday. She would be out celebrating and dining with friends. A group of us who worked on her house went out for dinner. Her brother Vince couldn't join us because he was under the weather. Thanks Vince and Happy Birthday Anita!
Posted by Caryl Ito on December 29, 2017
As we are coming to close out a year of missing Anita and reminded of her birthday dinners at Flower Lounge, we all have had to endure quite the year of other unexpected losses like our Mayor Ed Lee and others who have made a difference in our lives. It’s a reminder about what’s really important in our lives and living the best lives we can.
Posted by Elsie Lum on December 8, 2017
Dear Anita,
We all miss you dearly and know that you are in a better place. This time of year celebrates our connections, friendships, family. Let us all remember how precious this life is. I have learned to enjoy every moment as you did, overcoming challenges as you did. You inspired us all!
Posted by Steve Li on December 6, 2017
I'd contact you if I could, but I know I can't. So I'll make a wish upon a star to carry my memories to where you are.
Posted by Vanita Louie on December 5, 2017
It was one year ago today that Anita went to heaven. I know she is happy to join her parents as she always talked about them. This is comforting. I think about you a lot Anita. It has been a mission for me to continue your work. You left us, way too soon. I miss you. Vanita
Posted by Caryl Ito on December 5, 2017
It’s hard to believe a year has gone by.
Thinking about Anita finding peace after her last few years of diminishing vision and then her rapid decline last fall was a reminder for many of us how precious life and friendships are.
Posted by Yali Lincroft on December 5, 2017
I always think of Anita during the holidays - she had the BEST gifts for my girls - one years it was personalized cookies, another time it was stationary and pens that they adored from her Asia travels - our annual holiday tradition was lunch at the top floor of Gumps or Neiman Marcus - sigh!
Posted by Helen Lei on February 7, 2017
To all that missed the celebration of life for Anita this past Saturday, I want to share the speech I made.

Good Afternoon,

I am honored to be one of Anita’s many mentees and I’m grateful for this opportunity to speak on how wonderful and fierce Anita was. She was a true shining example for all of us. She had a lot of heart and fight and was always willing to help others.

Today I want to speak on my history with Anita, what I learned from her, and how we can all carry on Anita’s legacy.

My relationship with Anita began when I was a PAAWBAC Fellow back in 2011.

I got to know Anita better while planning what to do after my fellowship. Anita was kind and generous with her time and ideas. We would go on lunches and talk about everything. In typical Anita fashion, she would pepper advice throughout the meal. She gave me contacts and leads and coached me on how to approach them. Her mentorship went beyond my professional life… she was really invested in me and wanted the best for me.

Over the last few years, Anita guided me through a lot of different challenges, including navigating work, life, and love.
She taught me three important lessons, which I want to share with everyone today.

1. Be focused. Remove things from your to do list that you are not passionate about.
I loved working on multiple projects and looking into different ideas, but as I got older and my responsibilities piled up, prioritizing became key to my success in making sure things get done.
Taking off things you don’t need also applies to people. Meaning, stay close to friends and people you treasure, and discard the people in your life that drag you down.
After Anita retired, she cleaned out her house and made sure she donated what she didn’t need to charity. She also took time to focus on her health and made time for friends, family and organizations that meant a lot to her.

2. Be kind. Be generous with your time and money.
Being kind is something everyone can easily do to make the world a better place.
Anita was not just kind, but she was also passionate about helping the community and compassionate to others. Give back to help others.
She was a tireless advocate for women and donated her time and money to various causes. Put your energy and resources where you want to make the biggest difference
Even though she was in the hospital she was still supporting various charities and other causes. She taught me not only to receive but make sure to pay it forward.

3. It takes a village…make sure that you build a village of 
One huge thing Anita taught me is to be fearless about asking for help, and to build a community.
She reassured me that nobody does it alone. Everyone needs a support system to get things done and she made sure I had a good one in place. Many of her close friends, who are also on the Board of PAAWBAC---whom I referred to as aunties are also on my team thanks to Anita. 

So how do we carry on Anita’s legacy and make her proud? It’s simple: do what Anita did throughout her life and continue giving our time and money to help support our communities and advocate for those who are marginalized. We will rise up, volunteer, mentor, teach, donate, and always offer a helping a hand or a shoulder to lean on.
Thank you, and thank you Anita. We miss you!!
Posted by Tu-minh Trinh on February 6, 2017
Hi, i am tu-minh with the Asian Women's Shelter. Thanks to Vanita for inviting me to the Anita Fong Day luncheon past Saturday at the Far
East Cafe. This has come a full circle for me to hear and learn about Anita from her spouse, her friends, her doctor and saw her moo moo.
I was at the Gum Moon event back in Aug last year. And Anita was brought to my attention as one of the honorees that evening, but she was not there due to not doing well. I feel like i got to know her well after she had transitioned on to another space out there. and we at AWS are invited by Vanita to talk about our services at the Rotary Club sometime in July. Anita's spirit and her smile in all the pictures seen on this page and the ones on display at her event last Saturday have become something very special to me. Thank you for taking the time and energy to eat together to celebrate Anita's life. I am so humble that I was there last Saturday

Tu-Minh Trinh
Family Advocate at AWS
Posted by Nancy Lim-Yee on February 4, 2017
Anita Dear Friend,
It has taken me a while to write this note to you. We have known each other since high school at Lowell and then worked together at SFDPH. Thanks for your friendship throughout the years. You have always been so great about wanting to make connections for me, knowing that I do a great deal of work in the community. Thanks for that! I will miss you but carry many good memories with me.

With much love and respect,
Posted by Dianne Omi on December 31, 2016
Anita, your passing left a deep hole in my heart. More important was how you lived your life...with passion, unwavering commitment to justice, always with grace and amazing poise. I will always remember you as a staunch advocate for underserved communities, a voice of reason and clarity, a Giver of many gifts. You were always at the many community events with your beautiful smile and love in your heart. Thank you for all that you did for others. You will be missed.
Posted by Elsie Lum on December 30, 2016
My dearest BFF Anita, (best friend forever)
We go way back with so many fun adventures, work projects, and "sister sharing": the days of working with SE Asian refugees through International Institute, Asian mental health, helping me open the Alameda County Conference Center, and PAAWBAC. You were an awesome wedding coordinator 30+ years ago; and Satoshi and I are still together! My kids will miss you, and our wonderful dinners together. I am happy that you have moved beyond your ailing body, no more pain, just your wonderful spirit of love, compassion, care and respect for others and our communities. Thanks so much for teaching us how to stand up, be the best we can be, and most of all for your love.
Happy Birthday!
Love and aloha,
Elsie & Satoshi and the Iwahashi clan, Yuki, Greg & NIcole
Posted by Janet Avila on December 30, 2016
Dear friend,

All those dinners we had as part of our "Supper Club". We had so much fun and so many laughs. Thank you for all your advice, your wisdom and your friendship..............
Posted by Steve Lee on December 29, 2016
Hey Anita, I know you are up there looking down and sending us that same warm and friendly vibe you always did every time you greeted a new friend. In 1990, when you and Caryl approach me to produce the very First Asian American Comedy Night, I was very excited to take on the Challenge. I will always remember when you said to me "Steven! Where did you get all these people!" It's was such a overwhelming success, not just because we packed the house for two shows, but because it was the beginning of our new friendship. 

As a young Promoter, you knew I didn't like politics and hated to attend meetings. Your response was always "Oh well Steven, it's okay". I also remember how you were always there for battered women's shelters, and I wanted to support you by giving hundreds of toys I collected during Christmas for your preschool children. So much fun. Although, we both got busy in different directions, you were always cheering me on. When I became Entertainment Commissioner, you were there to witness my swearing in ceremony. You don't know how appreciative I felt. Caryl also reminded me you were at my reincarnated Sam Wo restaurant a few weeks before your illness. I missed you again.

Your passing is a big lump in my gut every time i think about it. It took me a while to get the strength to write. When I found out you were ill, I didn't want to think the worse and see you when your down. I was telling myself you were going to pull out of it and I had time to see you again. Unfortunately, I screwed up and regret I didn't make it. :( 

The only positive thing I can imagine now Anita is you are no longer suffering, free of pain and at peace. Everything you fought for on your spare time for others is now your turn to enjoy, and because we care about you. We have to wish you well and let you go. As I write these thoughts, again, I can still hear you say "Oh well Steven, it's okay"  Well Anita, maybe not for me this time.

R.I.P my friend, thank you for being that quiet storm and watching me become a better community person. I will never forget you.  Happy Birthday.
Posted by Valerie Nara on December 28, 2016
Anita-a fiercely loyal, gutsy, caring friend who was always thinking how to improve the lives of others.

When I met Anita thru PAAWBAC, she always started the conversation by inquiring about you, your spouse, your family and friends and your career path. She genuinely wanted to know and if there was a way for her to help you network with someone in your field or studies and you could hear the engines turning in her brain. If she believed in you, she promoted you tirelessly.

When her nieces and nephew were in school, Anita praised them and closely followed their development.
When each of them got married, Anita expressed how happy she was for them as they introduced their soul mates to her. Then she fussed over which heirloom would be just the right one for the occasion, always acknowledging her mother and father and which one they might select for their grandchild.
When each of her nieces and nephew started their own families, Anita would agonize over which toy or book would bring their child joy and challenge their development. Each gift had to be special and not "ordinary". The same goes for her customized Christmas cookies. If you ever got one of those, you were definitely one of the lucky ones.

When she mentored a young man or woman in the field of social work or community activism, she followed their development and encouraged them as if they were family.

When she helped a friend in need, she always tried to to maximize whatever help she could give. Nothing was impossible if you knew where to go, who to ask and how to ask.

Even when Anita lost her eyesight, she was fiercely independent and never let on how hard it was to get around. I may have taken Anita for granted but Anita would be the last person to take back her gifts of goodness. So to my dear friend, Anita, please know that I cherished our friendship even when you drove me crazy with your custom gift ideas for Nordstrom. In the end, I know that by personalizing and customizing their gifts, many PAAWBAC mentees and woman warriors reaped the benefits of your generosity thru Nordstrom's sponsorship.

I am so sorry you suffered so long but as in the tradition of a woman warrior, you fought a hard fight and even though your body gave out, your spirit never broke. You will be missed, dear friend. Thank you for including me and Tom in your chosen family. We love you and will always remember you! -Val & Tom
Posted by Stephanie Andrews on December 28, 2016
Anita was the most unconditionally giving person I knew. I met her during my time as a PAAWBAC mentee. Though she was not my official mentor, she would still reach out frequently to check in and send news of new opportunities that came her way, selflessly without any expectation of recognition. I once asked her why she didn't consider becoming an official mentor through PAAWBAC, and she responded that she felt she didn't have enough time to commit -- but from what I could tell from where I was, the time she gave to supporting me and other mentees I knew who came after me was boundless. She was a real unsung hero and a role model who inspired me in so many ways to continue giving, no matter where life takes me. Since hearing about her passing, up through today, I've reflected a lot on her life and all I've learned from her over the course of the few years I've known her. And though I am still deeply saddened, I am grateful for all she's done in this world and all the good I know she's doing wherever she is now.

Posted by Jay Cheng on December 19, 2016
Auntie Anita - thank you so much for all the time and wisdom you shared with us youngsters - I can't tell you how much I learned from you. Not only from your words, but also in your actions, you helped teach me what true dedication to the community meant. You will be deeply missed, and thank you for always sharing so much with us.
Posted by Joe Poon on December 16, 2016
Dear Cousin, memories are always shared by Pei Gar and myself. The "Fongs"..Although we live across the ocean of but we always visit each other on and off within the past forty years. I still remembered the time we traveled and hired a car in US, we took you to Vinny's house by map (no GPS at that time) that your father and we got together to have a great dinner, it was many many years ago. The Christmas that we spent in Vinny's house and you prepared fruit desert for each of us..Your recent visit to Hong Kong and we brought you out...Life will never ends but only transits to another form. Rest in peace and joint your father and many Fongs in heaven. We look forward to see you. Joe and Petina
Posted by Caryl Ito on December 14, 2016
Anita, we have been "girlfriends" for over 25 years and have shared some of our most fondest memories, experiences, loves of our lives and what "girlfriends," do for each other. But your ability to listen when I needed an ear and your sincere way of giving support and feedback when needed was always what made you a special friend for all these years.
As friends do, we have had our challenges, differences in opinion and at the end of the day could respect each other's opinion and go on with our lives. Your commitment to PAAWBAC and also being my support during the Willie Brown Women's Summit days, and bringing in the API women to be involved was so important back in the day. Anita your tenacity to be thorough in the details of fundraising, and connecting with the young women PAAWBAC has mentored will be your true legacy and missed.
I know you were handed a really bad deck of cards with all your health challenges but you reminded each of us, what is important in our lives and how your fierce independence through all of this is inspiring.
We will meet again and in the meantime, you will be missed!
Posted by Helen Lei on December 13, 2016
Auntie Anita, I am going to miss chatting with you about everything. I am so lucky to have met you. I still remember when you first took me to Nordstorms Café and how you arranged for me my first "stylist" experience. I will miss spending one on one time with you the most, you taught me so much about life, love, leadership, community, and believing in myself. I'm so happy you have been able to see my transformation in the last several years and was able to join me during the best day of my life in March when I got married to my best friend.

You will continue being my guiding light, and I am lucky to call you my Auntie and mentor. Even during your last days, you were still giving and offered to help me as best as you can and offer me leads. But that's the kind of loving person you were. Giving and selfless.

Rest in Power Anita, please know me and the rest of the young people you touched will continue your legacy of doing good and paying it forward. I'm so glad you are finally at peace.


Posted by Steve Li on December 13, 2016
Dear Cousin. I am sorry that your time with us was cut so short. I will always remember you as one of the kindest people I've known. I never heard you say a negative thing about anybody and you always saw the bright side of things. I am also sorry we lost track of each other for so long. I felt we grew up together with our Saturdays at grandmas. Thankfully, those childhood bonds never seem to go away. I will miss you and the world has one less caring and loving person.
Posted by Carolyn Yee-Fat on December 12, 2016
I have known Anita from our days at UC Berkeley. Even then she knew she wanted to make a difference and chose a career where she could help the less fortunate. She worked tirelessly to improve people’s lives. 
She loved her family dearly. She was devoted to her parents and was immensely proud of her brother and his family. These last couple of years she was always happy talk about the next generation of Fong’s.
She was a bold, daring and adventuresome traveler. She was inquisitive about people. Together we had some fun times. Besides traveling in the US, she had visited Asia, Europe and Australia. This past year she told me how fortunate she felt to have traveled earlier in her life.
These past couple of years have been difficult because of her health, but she remain unfailing independent and optimistic. She has left us too soon. I will miss her. Rest in Peace, Anita.
Until we meet again, your dear friend
Posted by Yali Lincroft on December 12, 2016
About 20 years ago, when I got a job at SF Mayor's office of children, youth and family, fresh out of MBA school, Anita was the first person to invite me to lunch, introduce me to her friends, and help me navigate the mine fields that is government. She gave me a baby shower at the office for baby #1 (now 17). She introduced me to the wonderful world of Carol Ito's toy party - always had the best, age appropriate presents for my two girls. Throughout the years of our friendship, Anita was always there with the "you should talk to my friend, blah, blah for the inside story, etc" - and she always knew someone - whether it was someone at a fancy dept store, within government or at a nonprofit. And she knew every Asian nonprofit or philanthropic group in CA (or nationally)

I will miss her quick wit, her generosity, our annual Xmas luncheon with my kids - sigh!

ANITA - I'm sure you're in heaven right now organizing some sort of party and bossing everyone around in loving way that you do.
Posted by Vivian Low on December 11, 2016
I've added a photo of Anita with the Young Family cousins(including Vanita) at my engagement party, probably taken in 1970.  Anita is on the far right. We all knew back then that she was confident, determined, and had the gift of "gab".  But I don't think any of us knew how much she would accomplish and how big her heart was to help others. What a legacy of service. When I visited Anita in the hospital those last weeks, she was still networking trying to make meaningful connections - unstoppable. 
Anita was a true advocate for those who needed a source of strength and support. I miss her determination already..... a hero has left the planet and we are all so sad.
Posted by Vanita Louie on December 10, 2016
Sweet Cousin and Friend,
I never saw you as much in our entire lifetime than I have in the past four months. Know that every time I left those doors, I left with more than I walked in with. Moo and I thank you for your spirit, your fierce and fighting attitude as you dealt with this debilitating condition. You always showed us your best. We will never forget you. Thank you for all that you gave to us and to everyone you knew. You are amazing.
Miss you so much....
Love, Vanita, Austin and Moo Moo

Leave a Tribute

Recent Tributes
Posted by Elsie Lum on December 29, 2019
Happy 67th birthday Anita,
We remember you on this day, all that you have done for others, for our communities, for those mentees, and personally for my family. I miss your support and insights. You live through all of us, passing on your passion for helping others. We will gather to eat and laugh every year, in rememberance of all that you have taught us.
Elsie & Satoshi and family
Posted by Vanita Louie on December 29, 2019
We were out of the country on Anita's third year Anniversary (Dec 5). We continue to miss you and appreciate all you taught us. Never forgotten, always in our hearts.
Posted by Vanita Louie on December 30, 2018
Two year anniversary and as Caryl say, you are not forgotten. We know just how much you loved the holidays!! We all got together last night because It was your birthday (Dec 29). Toasted, "Here's to Anita". Shared a end of the year meal. You were remembered.
Recent stories

Shared memories

Shared by Caryl Ito on December 29, 2019
Today is Anita’s birthday and as a continued tradition to gather with her close friends, some of us have continued to meet each year for a nice meal and celebrating a life of a dear friend who left us too early. Anita, we are gathering at a new restaurant that would meet your hi standards for great Chinese foods!! Miss you