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Ralph Fong Sr.

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Ralph Fong Sr. Obituary
Ralph Fong Sr. Died peacefully on July 23, 2010 at the age of 86. A life-long resident of the Bay Area, he was born in Alameda on October 3, 1923. He is survived by his life partner of 64 years, Mary Mar Fong; their three children: Mary ("Tina") Fong/Walker, Russell Fong, and Ralph Fong Jr.; their respective spouses: Jim Walker, Marie Lam Fong and Mary Ciprazo Fong; his loving grandchildren: Shanna Cash, along with her spouse William Cash, Erin Fong and Jordan Fong; and great-granddaughter Alexis Cash. Active and in good health, he had played 18 rounds of golf with Jordan just the week before his death. He was a devoted husband and father, who put family above all else. A graduate of Alameda High School, he fondly remembered his participation in ROTC. Ralph entered UC Berkeley ("Cal") in the fall of 1941. With the advent of Pearl Harbor, he volunteered for the U.S. Army Air Forces (now the U.S. Air Force) where he became an instructor in aerial navigation for the B-24 "Liberator" Bomber. He was honorably discharged in 1945 and returned to Cal. He married the love of his life, Mary Mar, on September 15, 1946. Ralph graduated with a B.S. in civil engineering in June 1949. And in 1958, he designed and built his dream house in the Berkeley Hills. Ralph's distinguished 37-year career in engineering began as a design engineer, then project engineer and ultimately culminated as a project manager for a billion dollar offshore gas/oil facility in Saudi Arabia, while on loan to Aramco from Chevron. His 28 years with Chevron gave him numerous commendations for organizational leadership and technical excellence; and resulted in life-long friends. Upon retirement in 1985, Ralph participated in numerous community activities: he was a director of the University of California, Berkeley Alumni Association as well as president of the UC Berkeley Alumni Association's Chinese Chapter. He and Mary traveled throughout the world, exploring countries far and wide. His last trip this past April was the culmination of his dream: Ralph, Mary and members of the family went to his father's home village Nom On, and Mary's home village Bak Sai, both in Toisan, China. Friends and family are invited to the Sunset View Mortuary Chapel, top of Fairmount Avenue, in El Cerrito, California for a viewing Friday, July 30th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and a Memorial Service, Saturday, July 31st at 2:00 p.m. A Celebration of Life will be held in the near future. Donations can be made to the Pi Alpha Phi Fraternity - UC Berkeley chapter, in his honor. Sunset View Mortuary 510-525-5111
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from July 28 to July 30, 2010
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