ForeverMissed
Forever in our hearts...

Barbara Jean Wong, wife, mother, grandmother, and long-time resident of Palo Alto, CA, passed away peacefully at the age 85, surrounded by her husband and two sons on April 23rd, 2021.  While the sudden onset of an aggressive case of lymphoma complicated by disseminated intravascular coagulation proved a challenging fight, Barbara maintained her jovial sense of humor, grace, and elegance until her last moments.

Barbara was born in Suisun Valley, California, on January 2nd, 1936. She was the youngest of five children, two brothers and three sisters, to parents Jim and Ivy Fong. Growing up, Barbara was imbued with a creative and outgoing spirit, as well as a deep love for nature from spending time on the family's fruit farms as a child. She graduated from Armijo High School, and then attended City College of San Francisco before completing her bachelor’s degree in education at San Jose State University.


Upon graduation, she worked in Fairfield and the Santa Clara County School districts as an elementary school teacher. Later she took up an assignment teaching US military personnel children at a US base in Japan. While in Asia, she connected with distant relatives who had grown up in China and Macau, and continued to stay in close contact with them for the rest of her life. After two years abroad, Barbara returned to the Bay Area. Working in the Palo Alto Unified School District, she taught children with learning disabilities for over a decade before leaving to start her own family.

Barbara’s charisma made her larger than life, touching the lives of family and friends alike. In college, her classmates crowned her Miss Congeniality at the City College Sweet Heart Ball. She also brought great pride to her hometown when she competed as a national contestant in the Miss Chinatown USA pageant. The only thing greater than her thirst for adventure to see the world, was her devotion to her family and to helping others.

A second “mother” to so many, Barbara always welcomed family and friends to our house for social gatherings. She was always generous with her legendary homemade tapioca with pineapple chunks, almond jello fruit salad or her fabled apple strudel made out of organic apples from our own backyard. Her encyclopedic knowledge of health and natural remedies was her conduit for expressing her love and care for others, with whom she eagerly shared her secrets to beauty and longevity. And if that wasn’t enough, the sound of her melodic voice and uplifting laughter could give that extra boost to the immune system of anyone who heard it.  

In 1970 she met the love of her life, Dr. Guy Y. Wong, while doing her graduate course work at the San Francisco Pacific Medical Center. They were married within two years, a union that would last for half a century. They raised two sons, who never once doubted that they were her greatest pride and joy for the rest of her life.

Barbara is survived by her husband, her first son Andrew, his wife Tina, and her two grandchildren, Alexander and Elyse; as well as her second son, Brian, his wife, Chaai, her granddaughter, Emerson, and another granddaughter expected in June. She will be sorely missed by her siblings Melvin Fong, Elizabeth Louie and Nira Wong and her auntie Marge, as well as the many nieces and nephews and close family friends that provided her love and support throughout her life.

A celebration of Barbara’s life will be held virtually (via ZOOM) on Wednesday, May 12th beginning at 10:30am. Registration is available at https://tinyurl.com/2x5jebde

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in her name to the following 501c3 organizations: The Chinese Historical and Cultural Project of Santa Clara County, Inc. (CHCP), PO Box 5366, San Jose, CA 95150-5366 (http://chcp.org/cah-museum/) or Morrissey-Compton Educational Center,595 Price Ave, Ste 100 Redwood City, CA 94063 (http://www.morrissey-compton.org/support.php).

Posted by Karen Eilers on May 14, 2021
Our beautiful, gracious, inspirational dear cousin, you are forever present in our hearts. You inspire us to be kind, to help others and to be our best. While we have lost your beautiful soul, the heavens have gained an angel.

We send love and our heartfelt sympathies to Guy, Andrew, Brian and families. 
Fondly, Karen and Carl
Posted by Greg C on May 12, 2021
I’m so sorry to hear the sad news.
My deepest condolences. The loss is
never easy. My mom passed recently too.
There is a Chinese proverb saying memorial to life well lived-‘There is no need to mourn,
when I am gone, I LIVE in the quiet of your
memory. ‘ Greg Chew
Posted by Kingsley Quan on May 12, 2021
So many memories and adventures from swimming at your house, going to your family farm or going on amazing ski trips to Tahoe. Auntie Barbara you will always hold a special place in my heart. I know you're in the hands of God looking down and smiling at the strength and love that you have entrenched in Uncle Guy, Andrew and Brian. May you Rest in Paradise and I will miss you dearly!!! 
Posted by Lily Quan on May 12, 2021
Being a mom of 2 boys, I can understand & see how much blood, sweat and tears it takes to create boys to men. Your service & legacy will live on through Andrew & Brian & through your grandchildren.  I cherish the sweet days you opened up your home for us to pool party and especially fun to trick or treat around your neighborhood. Thanks for being the mom, host, friend we all aim to be.  RIP Barbara, ur work here is finally done. You will be missed. Our Sincere condolences to Dr. Wong and the family. Find peace and sunshine through stories and memories.
Kingsley & Lily Quan
Posted by Darren Wong on May 12, 2021
Auntie Bo lived life to it’s fullest. My earliest memories include her travels that included small souvenir gifts and teaching my sisters and cousins the hula. I remember when she married Uncle Guy at Stanford and had given birth to my cousins Andrew and Brian. She was a perfectionist that promoted a healthy diet (with a good dose of aloe vera) and exercise. A devoted Wife, Mother and Grandmother, she raised the boys to not only be successful in their careers, but being kind and caring people. I was fortunate to have been able to visit her one last time. Although her health was diminishing, she kept up her spirit and wit. She brightened up when she saw the dim sum brought, “ooooo!” And managed to eat some. When we Zoomed with my sisters and cousin, she clapped as she listened to ukulele music and waved her hand, in a hula gesture. Although I am saddened of her passing, I am comforted knowing she accomplished everything she wanted to do and left a beautiful legacy for her family and friends. - Love from your Nephew, Darren
Posted by Lee Price on May 11, 2021
Kitty and I will always remember Barbara for her warmth and kindness in shepherding our two families through the children’s musical and sporting events in the early years, presenting Brian and Andrew at musical recitals, and inviting us to Chinese educational and social events after we all became empty-nesters, She was always the “hostess with the mostest” and we will sorely miss her.
Posted by Mary Lo on May 11, 2021
Barbara dedicated her life as a wife and mother to creating a warm home environment and raising two active sons. Barbara’s patience and dedication with developing the boy’s life skills are self-evident. Under her guidance the boys just a few to mention, learned the love of books, early key board skills, violin, soccer, debate activities and tennis. Along with challenges of raising a young family, Barbara never failed to have a hot meal waiting for Guy after a long day at the office. She was a supportive helpmate and enthusiastically accompanied Guy to many medical meetings. Our family is deeply saddened by the passing of Barbara and we will forever treasure and remember Barbara’s smile, kindness, generosity, positivity and devotion to family.
Posted by Garrick Lo on May 11, 2021
Auntie Barbara was a very special woman- a second mother to myself. I spent many summers in her care teaching me values and life skills. So many fond memories, too many to recount here. She treated me like her son giving me the love of a mother. I will always remember her kind spirit and cherish the memories I have had with her. Thank you Auntie Barbara.

Posted by Ron Yang on May 9, 2021
BARBARA WAS LIKE MY SISTER BECAUSE I AM AN ONLY CHILD. MY PARENTS WOULD SEND ME TO FAIRFIELD TO LIVE WITH THE FAMILY EVERY SUMMER. I LOVED IT BECAUSE BARBARA WAS THE YOUNGEST AND I WAS ONE YEAR YOUNGER. I GOT TO BE A FARMER SO GOT TO PICK FRUIT AND CUT THE FRUIT. BARBARA DID SO MANY THINGS. SHE BECAME A TEACHER AND I FOLLOWED HER TO SAN JOSE STATE TO BECOME A TEACHER. SHE GOT MARRIED AND I FOLLOWED HOW SHE EDUCATED ANDREW AND BRIAN. SHE WAS SUCH A DEVOTED MOTHER AND NOW HER TWO BOYS ARE SO SUCCESSFUL IN LIFE. BRIAN IS VP AT ALIBABA AND ANDREW IS IS IN CHINA WORKING FOR AN AMERICAN COMPANY. BOTH ARE MARRIED AND HAVE VERY YOUNG CHILDREN. I AM LUCKY TO HAVE MY GRAND CHILDREN, FOUR GOING TO COLLEGE AND ONE A FRESHMAN IN HIGH SCHOOL.I CAN SAY ONE THING I CAN SAY IS BARBARA WAS ONE SPECIAL PERSON WHO INSPIRED ME TO BE A GOOD TEACHER AND PARENTS TO MY CHILDREN.
Posted by Chi-Chao Eng on May 8, 2021
I, daughter of Profs. Eugene Chan and Winifred Mao, and my husband Chung Chu Eng were saddened to hear Barbara passed away. What a kind and generous lady your mother was. I still remember that she and your father hosted my mother, my sister Youzhao, and me to stay and rest at your lovely home after my mother’s surgery at NIH from Maryland back to China in 1988. I also remember the joy and fun when I attended several eye meetings and travel with your parents in Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing over the past 35 years. Your parents welcomed us when we moved to the Bay Area in 2015. Your mother was an amazing lady, and we are privileged to know her, your father and you. My family, Youzhao and her husband Lezheng Wu will always cherish those memories of your beautiful mother. Our thought and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.
Chi-Chao Chan Eng (Chi-Chao Chan, M.D.)
Posted by Maegan Chew on May 7, 2021
Ken & I celebrate with joy as we remember the life of Barbara Wong as a dedicated and devoted wife of Brother Guy, a wholly committed mother to her two wonderful sons and families, and as our loving sister-in-law always ready with kind words of encouragement and compassion to us. As long as we can remember we have seen over the years her usual gracious and welcoming demeanor to invite individuals and groups to warm interactions. Recognizing her faith in God through Christ her eternal home is promised and in place as stated in 2 Corinthians 5:8 "to be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord." She is greatly missed for now but will meet again in eternity.

Posted by Richard Long on May 7, 2021
I was very sad to hear that Barbara had passed away. She was a very beautiful lady. She was very kind and generous. I always looked forward to seeing her at the family gatherings. She was a lot of fun to be around. She was a great cousin. She will be truly missed and will be included in our daily prayers. We are all thankful for all that Barbara accomplished on this earth  Barbara will never be forgotten. We will keep the memories of Barbara in our hearts forever. Rest in peace Barbara. Mary and I send our heartful condolence to the Wong family during this very difficult time.
Posted by Jeanette Wong on May 5, 2021
"Auntie Bo" was my elegant and glamorous aunt. Her gregarious and lively personality made her the "fun" auntie who would share stories of her travels and many times small souvenirs. She did not shy away from life and its challenges and showed us through her example that it was possible to pursue and achieve one's dreams. She always encouraged us to be more than what we believed we could be and was proud of our achievements as if they were her own. Her sense of humor and verve will be missed- Luciano and I send our heartfelt condolences to Uncle Guy, Andrew, Brian and their families. It is a comfort to know that she will always live in our hearts.
Posted by Sharon and Douglas Chow on May 5, 2021
                     Tribute to Auntie Barbara

Auntie Barbara will be forever in our thoughts and hearts. The memories we have of her will last enduringly and never leave us. She had many admirable characteristics, including kindness, generous, loving, affable and caring for others. Auntie Barbara and Uncle Guy were such positive role models.
Always warm and hospitable to my parents and us by inviting our family on trips starting when the boys were young. She gave us honest loving advice and never failed to encourage us in times of challenges with graciousness and patience. Being an example for completing tasks efficiently and effectively helped us to focus. She shared the love of cooking as well as other activities with enthusiasm.
We are praying Uncle Guy, Andrew, Tina, Alex, Elyse, Brian, Chaai, Emerson for family and friends to comfort you, Auntie Barbara's faith and love to uphold you during this time.
The Bible verses we shared together helped build each other in Christ. She expressed her faith in God and we look forward to meeting again in eternity.

With much love,
Sharon and Douglas 
Posted by Sandra Pan on May 4, 2021
What a beautiful tribute. Your mom was always so supportive and positive. Her smile was infectious. She will be missed. 
Posted by Dave and Susanne Scott on May 4, 2021
On arriving from the east coast to join The Permanente Medical Group, Guy and Barbara welcomed us into the community and into their lives with warmth and generosity, both traits for which they are well known. Over the decades since, we have been privileged to share in many of their family's milestones, always illuminated by Barbara's elegance, wisdom, and kindness. Like so many others, we will miss her dearly.
David and Susanne Scott

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Karen Eilers on May 14, 2021
Our beautiful, gracious, inspirational dear cousin, you are forever present in our hearts. You inspire us to be kind, to help others and to be our best. While we have lost your beautiful soul, the heavens have gained an angel.

We send love and our heartfelt sympathies to Guy, Andrew, Brian and families. 
Fondly, Karen and Carl
Posted by Greg C on May 12, 2021
I’m so sorry to hear the sad news.
My deepest condolences. The loss is
never easy. My mom passed recently too.
There is a Chinese proverb saying memorial to life well lived-‘There is no need to mourn,
when I am gone, I LIVE in the quiet of your
memory. ‘ Greg Chew
Posted by Kingsley Quan on May 12, 2021
So many memories and adventures from swimming at your house, going to your family farm or going on amazing ski trips to Tahoe. Auntie Barbara you will always hold a special place in my heart. I know you're in the hands of God looking down and smiling at the strength and love that you have entrenched in Uncle Guy, Andrew and Brian. May you Rest in Paradise and I will miss you dearly!!! 
her Life

Memories of Barbara Jean Wong (Celebration of Life)

Barbara Jean Wong's Memorial Service

A Celebration of Barbara Jean Wong's Life

Description

Please join us as we memorialize Barbara Jean Wong- wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, dear friend and long-time resident of Palo Alto, CA.

May 12, 2021, 10:30am

Music Prelude Mihaela Kolovson

Words of Welcome Rev. Dr. Martin Allen, Chaplain

Scripture Reading Psalm 23

Remembrance:
Guy Y. Wong, Husband
Andrew & Brian Wong, Sons
Elizabeth Louie, Sister
Nira Wong, Sister
Phyllis Au, Classmate
Roberta Roumel, life long friend (via ZOOM)

Music Ida Ma

Memories of Barbara Slideshow

Music Amazing Grace (sing together)

Closing Prayer Rev. Dr. Martin Allen, Chaplain

Music Coda Mihaela Kolovson



Eulogy for Barbara Jean Wong by Guy Y. Wong, MD

May 12, 2021

Family, friends and guests,

Today, we come together to remember Barbara Jean Wong, my beloved wife, your sister and friend.  I best remember Barbara when she was  happily surrounded by her sons, me, extended family and friends.    That scene reminded me of 3 aspects   of Barbara:  Her devotion to family, her fun-loving nature and greatly valuing friends.

Beginning with her devotion to family, Barbara was deeply dedicated to her two sons-Andrew and Brian; and, of course, her husband.  Regarding her sons, she frequently discussed with me, how to seek out the best means of developing their talents in sports, music and communicative skills.  She was firm and loved them unconditionally.  She helped me professionally by delighting and charming my colleagues and their mates, as well as in so many other ways. An example, I’ll never forget-- the surprise birthday party arranged with my colleagues coming all dressed up, when I came thru the door not expecting anyone and in my tennis shorts!!

To my parents, she was very devoted and loving.  She welcomed them to stay with us for many years, they especially enjoyed helping her to bring up Andrew and Brian, their grandsons.  On the way, they shared favorite food recipes.  Additionally, Barbara was also very cordial to my siblings, and soon became a favorite.

Barbara loved her Fong family and endured the long drive between Silicon Valley and Fairfield to spend the weekends with them.  This also enabled Andrew, Brian and me to enjoy the in-laws and the ranch with its accompanying activities.  These included fruit picking, motorbiking, hiking, etc.    We were able to do this drive until the boys’ schedules conflicted with these trips.

As an auntie, she was much loved and provided a ready ear for her nephews, nieces and friends’ children.  Many referred to her as a “second mom.” They related that as a result of them talking with her, they turned out to be better people.

Now onto Barbara’s fun-loving nature –She found the gathering of families, friends and my colleagues to be joyous and cheerful events.  She often had a way of engaging in good natured playful teasing—as capably receiving it as she was dishing it out. 

Sports were also a favorite past time for Barbara. These included skiing, tennis and fishing.  There was the annual Tahoe ski trip with the Quan family and their 2 sons similar in age to   Andrew and Brian.  Our tennis, golf and fishing activities were great fun times for the family. 

Barbara’s teaching activities were much enjoyed by those involved.  She was a beloved teacher whose students became part of her life.  Because the students whom Barbara taught, found learning such a pleasure, parents would vie to have their children placed in her class.  Her students in fact were present when Barbara was married at the Stanford Memorial Church.  As I’ll never forget this—they were passing out the Chinese wedding cakes to guests exiting the church!

Traveling was great fun for Barbara starting early on.  After graduation from college, she found employment as a teacher in Japan, thus enabling her to explore Asia-Pacific areas such as Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Macau.  Together with me during nearly five decades of marriage, we happily traveled the world, doing 1-3 international trips annually until recently.     

Next, -----Barbara greatly valued friendships.  Her friends ranged from those formed from early childhood and thereafter.  She faithfully maintained many of them with letters, phone calls, emails and, of course, via her annual red Chinese New Year letter card!

Barbara formed deep and lasting friendships with the parents of Andrew and Brian’s classmates.

 Many of my colleagues and their wives too, became lifelong friends of Barbara.  This was also true with our neighbors, who found being with her was such a joy. 

Barbara very much valued, in particular, her college and post college chum friends.  Amongst them were Patricia LeMel, Phyllis Au, and Roberta Roumel. These were the people she did so much with — gossip, shop, travel, and sports, until recently.

In concluding --- with Barbara’s devotion to family, a fun-loving nature and focus on friendship, I have been the luckiest husband and had clearly married up!!   Barbara, we love you and will miss you so much!!

Thank you

Recent stories
Shared by Stephanie Louie on May 12, 2021
Auntie Bo was an important and influential figure in my life. We spent a lot of time together; she was like a second grandmother to me. The both of us shared similar interests such as traveling, art, music, fashion, and health. Maybe that’s why we got along so well. 

Auntie Bo always supported my artistic endeavors and encouraged me to explore different creative avenues including painting, violin, and ice skating, to name a few. When I was a young girl, I once told her that I wanted to try my hand at abstract painting and create something just like the artwork that hung in her living room wall. Auntie Bo helped me set up a small easel with some paint and paintbrushes in her courtyard and told me to paint away! She also lent me my first violin which I even won a music competition with, and gifted me my first calligraphy set which I cherished very much. 

Hanging out with Auntie Bo was always full of fun and learning. As a young girl, I visited the house often and have fond memories of helping her around the house. We picked lemons and oranges off her fruit trees in the spring. She taught me how to plant flower bulbs and set up for house parties. We even folded laundry together. Auntie Bo always said that sorting Uncle Guy’s large pile of identical-looking black socks’ was good practice for me because it taught patience and attention to detail. During the summers, oftentimes I’d come over to the house for a swim; I remember looking forward to it every time. Sometimes Auntie Bo would join and direct me on proper stroke form. Other times, we would sit by the poolside and chat about all sorts of things, like old BFFs from different generations. 

As I got older and busier, Auntie Bo and I never lost touch. There were times where we emailed each other almost daily, sharing jokes or chatting about what was going on in our lives. Auntie Bo would often send me souvenirs and postcards from the exotic destinations that she and Uncle Guy traveled to; it was a testament to her thoughtful nature and knack for keeping in touch with others.

Whenever I was back in town, the both of us loved visiting the Stanford Shopping Center, especially the makeup counters at Neiman Marcus; she had the ladies there teach me how to apply makeup. Auntie Bo even taught me how to do my own facial! Other memories include renting movies from Blockbuster and watching them together all night long, and going on a day trip to Half Moon Bay where we dined at a charming hotel and afterwards took a stroll among the scenic views. Those are just a few memories with Auntie Bo that I think back on dearly. 

Uncle Guy and Auntie Bo always welcomed my parents and me graciously into their home. I’ll never forget Auntie Bo’s jubilant “yoohoo!” when we walked in the door. She would invite us into the kitchen to sit and offer us drinks and a bite to eat. Many merry conversations were made around that kitchen counter. The five of us would go out to lunch and habitually make a stop afterwards at Prolific Oven to buy a chocolate cake (a favorite of my dad and Uncle Guy). Auntie Bo always said that the door was open for us whenever we wanted to come visit.

Although the time spent with Auntie Bo could have always been more, I appreciate the fact that she (and Uncle Guy) were there for many milestones in my life: birthdays, music performances, high school, and college graduation. Auntie Bo was a woman of considerable congeniality, timeless sophistication, and had a penchant for good fun and adventure. She also had a nurturing manner about her, and provided unending support and inspiration to her loved ones. I will forever remember her lessons on living life to the fullest with grace, dignity, and joie de vivre. How lucky I am to have known such a wonderful lady.

Bonding over food

Shared by Karen Wong on May 9, 2021
I will remember Auntie Barbara with fondness and warmth. Years ago, Terry and I visited your Palo Alto home. Auntie Barbara welcomed us with a cheese platter showcasing her culinary insight on what paired well together. One of the cheeses had a white rind and strong earthy aroma while the inside was rich, creamy, and buttery. To avoid the rind, I considered scraping out the inside but by the second wedge, I was able to tolerate the bloomy mushroom flavor. Auntie Barbara, thank you for inviting us into your home, spending time with Terry and I, and introducing me to brie cheese. Every time I eat brie it reminds me of our time together. 

With sympathy,

Karen Okazaki Wong

Family Memories

Shared by Karen Wong on May 9, 2021
I will always remember Auntie Barbara’s welcoming smile as we reunited after long periods of not seeing each other. She greeted me with a unique warmth that radiated from her so naturally and sincerely. From the early years at their home in Palo Alto I witnessed her devotion to her two boys as toddlers and later as they became teenagers. Their successful maturation into adulthood was a direct result of Auntie Barbara’s and Uncle Guy’s nurturing and guidance and will provide the foundation for raising their own families.

Auntie Barbara’s presence will be missed but her spirit will inspire us as we move forward.

With respect and love,

Terry Wong