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Bill Hong

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Bill Hong Obituary
Bill Hong, 92, of Blackfoot, passed away June 14, 2016, in his home.
Bill was born Cheow Kay Hong in Taishan, China, on May 6, 1924 to father Ton Yun Tsun and mother Lee Toy Gee. 
In China, he obtained an eighth grade education before immigrating to Nogales, Ariz. at the age of 16 (in 1940) to work at his father's grocery store.
He would spend his mornings attending school with a classroom of first graders so he could learn English. In 1947, he returned to China where the local match-maker arranged for his marriage to Ngoon Ling Wong.
By 1949 a son (Jerry) and daughter (Terry) were added to the family, but with the rise of power by the People's Republic (Communist) party, the family decided to leave China. Bill returned to the United States while the rest of his family moved to Hong Kong.
With the help of family and friends, Bill found work in various Chinese restaurants in Utah. In 1952, he and a cousin, Young Hong, traveled through Blackfoot and noticed there were no other Chinese restaurants in town. 
They decided to rent an empty building on NW Main St. and opened the Cathay Cafe (Cathay being the old world name for China). In 1953, Bill was called to serve in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict.
During the war, he finally reunited with his family in Hong Kong during R&R visits. In 1955, Bill completed his service and returned to the U.S. and was soon joined by his wife and two children where Blackfoot became their new home. 
After enjoying 48 years of serving the community, Bill finally retired from the Cathay Cafe at 76 years of age, only to discover he was not suited for retired life. Within a couple of years, he opened Hong's Take-Out Restaurant in his beloved community. 
Bill loved serving the people of Blackfoot and had a loyal following. He continued to serve the community up until the day of his passing.   
Bill was an accomplished pool player and loved using his cooking skills to make new dishes out of traditional recipes. He also enjoyed playing mahjong with his friends and watching sports with his grandsons.
He loved his customers and made an effort to get to know everyone that came through the door. He had a number of loyal employees that worked with him for many years. He loved being around his family and always made sure there was Chinese food in abundance at every family gathering.  
He was preceded in death by wives Ngoon Ling Wong, "Helen" Cheung Po Har, and Kwai Fong Chan, who all passed away from various forms of cancer. In 2003, he married "Susan" Fengxiu Kuang of Taishan, China.
He is survived by his wife, Susan Hong, his children, Jerry (Angie) Hong of Idaho Falls; Terry (Rod) Miyasaki of Sandy, Utah; Lou (Lesa) Hong of Blackfoot; Jeanie (Clay) Edwards of Princeton, NJ; Donald (Jenny) Hong of Blackfoot; Serena Kwong of Blackfoot; Hoshing Kwong of Flint, MI; Larry Lei Wei (Yuki) of China; brother Frank (Mamie) Hong of Olympia, Wash.; sister Sun Gor of California; half-brothers Jorge and Francisco Ton; half-sisters Teresa, Carmen, Susana, and Lorenia Ton of Mexico. He is also survived by 24 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren. 
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, June 24, at Hawker Funeral Home, 132 S. Shilling Ave., in Blackfoot, followed by internment at Grove City Cemetery.
The family will meet with friends and relatives from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday at Hawker Funeral home and from 10 a.m. until time of Friday's services. Those who wish to view the funeral services online may do so at www.hawkerfuneralhome.com.
Published in The Morning News on June 22, 2016
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