Kathleen Ann Wong Lum |
Kathleen Ann Wong Lum, daughter of Wong Fat and Anna Quan Wong, and married to Dr. Raymond Lum, D.D.S. who preceded her in death, passed away peacefully on January 12, 2013 in Southern California. She was 89 years old and just shy of her 90th birthday. Her daughter Cecilia "Mei Fong" Lum was by her side. She is also survived by her daughter Theresa "Teri" Lum Tatman and her husband Jon Tatman of Sammamish, Washington.
Kathy was born and raised in her beloved city of Seattle. She was one of seven siblings and the only daughter in the family. Her six brothers - Raymond, Pershing, Chester, Art, David and Bennie all grew up in Seattle. She attended Garfield High School and obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at the University of Washington.
Upon graduation, she moved to New York City to take business courses and to work for the Draft Board. It was there that she met the handsome Navy Lieutenant, Raymond Lum and married in 1952. The young couple moved to Honolulu, Hawaii where Ray built up his dentistry practice. In Hawaii, Cecilia joined them in 1959 and Teri in 1961. They made their home in the beautiful Kahala area where their neighbors included Doris Duke and Leonard Bernstein.
In 1962, the family embarked on a new adventure and moved to San Francisco, California. There, Kathy and Ray raised their daughters in the Diamond Heights area, and Ray continued his dental practice. Kathy always had a sharp mind for business, and while raising the girls, she would dabble in the stock market, Wall Street, the gold market, and sometimes jaunt off to Reno, Lake Tahoe or Las Vegas to try her luck at craps or the slot machines. She seemed to have a sixth sense about slot machines and knew when they were about to hit. Often times she would be joined by her extended family of many nieces, nephews, brothers and in-laws. Always, she was the life of the party.
In 1988, Kathy moved back to Seattle to be closer to her childhood friends and family. There she settled into what she called her dream home, which sat directly on Lake Washington. Kathy loved spending time with family, her many pets and friends. She loved to cook and find new restaurants. She often entertained her brothers and their families in her home. In 2002, she resettled in Southern California with Cecilia where she battled dementia, and ultimately passed away from heart failure. She was a woman full of life, and always surrounded by those she loved and who loved her. She leaves behind her daughters, son-in-law, 14 nieces and nephews, 21 grandnieces and grandnephews and will be missed by all.
A memorial service was held on January 18, 2013 in Southern California. She will be buried next to her husband Ray at the Presidio in San Francisco.
Published in The Seattle Times on Feb. 2, 2013