James W. Y. Wong (1923 - 2017)

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On Nov. 22, 2017, James "Jimmy" Wah Yau Wong peacefully passed away at his home, at the age of 94.
His life was nothing short of miraculous and blessed. Born on Sept. 18, 1923, to Fang Tai and May Chow Wong in Kahului, Maui, Hawaii, he was a country boy at heart with a curiosity that yearned for grand adventures and exciting challenges ahead. He was awarded Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees from Chaminade University of Honolulu in 1969 and GGU in 1998. He co-founded the Hawaii Tax Institute with Chaminade in 1963.
He was a rare addition to the business scene in Hawaii with a Certified Public Accounting degree which allowed him a foot in the door to a period of immense and dynamic growth in Hawaii. He instinctively knew that growth wasn't limited to Hawaii and began to look abroad to expand his real estate development opportunities. The result: he began commercial development of office buildings, apartments, condominiums and malls in Alaska, Washington, Idaho, California and Nevada. His son, Darryl, says, "As leader of the family business that now spans three generations, my father (was) an inspiring role model to his children and grandchildren as we venture into the complex role of living his legacy."
On Jan. 25, 1947, Jimmy married the love of his life, Ruth Kam Ung Wong, of Honolulu, Hawaii. She was beautiful, strong, with an intellect and a joy of life that matched his. They were married for 60 years. Ruth passed away suddenly in 2006, and it left an empty space in Jimmy's heart that would never be filled.
He was passionate about the Boy Scouts, serving on the Aloha Council Board and the Western Region Board. He was Chair of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting. His involvement with the Catholic Church was at nearly every level.
Jimmy is survived by sisters, Laura Medeiros and Rosie Sagon; and brothers, Lawrence and Stanley. Preceded in death by his wife, Ruth, Jimmy is survived by sons, Garret (Barbara), Warren (Napualani) and Darryl (Teresa); grandchildren, Erin Green (Kirby), Alexander, Breanna, Kauikahanohaweo (Nicole), Kiakahi (Achaia), Leinani, Pokii, Jordan (Marlie) and Jenna Dydasco (Zane); and four great-grandchildren.
Services will be held at the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in downtown Honolulu on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in the memory of James W. Y. Wong to the most recent activities he was devoted to: Our Lady of Peace Cathedral Renovation Fund, Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu, 1184 Bishop Street, Honolulu, HI 96813 - please make check payable to Our Lady of Peace, and the notation on check as Cathedral Renewal Campaign; or Sacred Heart Church, 1701 Wilder Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96822 - please make check payable to Sacred Heart Church, and the notation on check as Fundraising campaign for Church door and building fund.
Published in Anchorage Daily News from Jan. 2 to Jan. 4, 2018