Dr. Neal Fong|
Castro Valley, Former Resident of San Leandro
Neal E. Fong was born Thanksgiving Eve in 1955. As the eldest of Dr. Joshua and Lena Fong's five children; he was a caring big brother and a role model for his four younger sisters, Jill, Heidi, Charlotte, and Polly.
Neal spent his early childhood in Oakland, CA before moving to San Leandro when he was twelve. Always active and curious, Neal was involved in many activities. He had a natural affinity for music. In addition to studying piano at an early age, he went on to play clarinet, saxophone, flute, and guitar, often just picking up an instrument and learning to play it on his own. He played in the Neighborhood Church orchestra, the school marching band and the jazz band throughout junior high and high school, even participating in the prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival. Sports were also a big part of Neal's extra-curricular activities. He was a running back on his high school football team and taught and competed on the tennis team.
Academically, Neal excelled, graduating from high school with numerous scholarships including a National Merit Scholar designation. He did undergraduate studies at the University of California at Davis as a Regents Scholar, and received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery at the University of California, Los Angeles. He set up his dental practice in Alameda, CA, where he practiced for over 30 years, and was known for his gentle, friendly patient care.
In 1984, he married his wife, Pauline. He and Pauline have raised three accomplished young men, Andrew, Joel and Eric. They are an established part of the community in Castro Valley, where Neal worked with the Castro Valley Education Foundation to raise funds to help college-bound students. In May 2014, the foundation gave away over 45 scholarships to graduating high school students.
Neal learned the importance of giving back to the community through early work with his father. He accompanied his father to help dig trenches for the fireworks shows at the Oakland estuary, set-up stoves for the Wa Sung Service Club's annual Easter pancake breakfast, and served food for the homeless at local soup kitchens. His strong faith in God and civic pride led him to continue to donate his time and efforts to the community throughout his life. He organized local dental professionals to do free dental screenings in Alameda County, worked tirelessly to establish and award scholarships to students in Castro Valley, San Leandro, Alameda and other Bay Area cities, and served in many different ministries at the Chinese Independent Baptist Church.
Neal touched many people in his life. He leaves the legacy not only of passion for doing well with what God places in one's hand, but also of inspiration to finish the race well.
Donations can be made to CVEF Scholarship Fund. PO Box 2693. Castro Valley 94546 or CIBC Bldg Fund. 280 8th St. Oakland 94607
Memorial service will be July 19th 1pm at Neighborhood Church in Castro Valley
Published in Inside Bay Area on July 17, 2014