Paul C. Dong, of Sacramento, California, passed away peacefully on Thursday, November 16th, 2023, at the age of 102, surrounded by his loving family.
Paul was born on March 29th, 1921, and grew up in Sacramento’s Chinatown. His father was Si Chon Ong and his mother was Liang Shee Chan. Paul was the eldest of his three sisters (Marian, Clara, and Margaret) and two brothers (William and Benjamin), he learned to provide for his family from a young age after the passing of their father. In addition, he also had an older half-brother, Sim, and a younger sister, Kim Jung, who passed away at the age of 2.
Paul graduated from Sacramento High School in 1940, and would later attend Sacramento City College and UC Berkeley, graduating in 1948 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. During World War II, he was stationed in the Philippines as a US Army Technician 5th Grade in the Ordnance Department. In 2021, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, one of the highest civilian awards in the United States, in recognition of his and 20,000 Chinese Americans’ service in the U.S. military during the war.
After the war, he worked for the State of California as a mechanical engineer for over 40 years, supporting the construction of many buildings across The Golden State. A lifelong volunteer and officer of the Ong Ko Met Family Association, VFW Chung Mei Post, and the Lions Club, it was important to Paul to be an active and contributing member of the Chinese American community.
In 1947, Paul married Jeanne, who would be his wife and best friend for over 65 years. Together, they spent their golden years happily ballroom dancing, exercising at the gym, traveling the world, listening to Chinese opera and American musicals, and having big family gatherings. As a lifelong student, Paul loved to learn and engage with the latest tech gadgets, such as using FaceTime, Alexa, and text messaging into his 100s, and was the family historian, expertly documenting his family’s genealogy. Never forgetting his roots, he made multiple visits to his ancestral family home village, Lin Gong Li in Hoiping, China.
He is survived by his 4 children Harvey (Bea), Alvin (Elaine), Michael (Anna), and Julia (Eugene), as well as 11 grandchildren (Kevin (Gloria), Henry (Irene), Nina (Michael), Daniel, Joyce (Larry), Suzanne, Chris (Crystal), Justin (Alex), Grant, Matthew (Kate), and Joseph) and 6 great grandchildren (Nathan, Allison, Charlotte, Oliver, Margot, and Micah), who will carry on his active spirit, gentle heart, and curious mind.