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Julia Ho Wang

1926 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Julia Ho Wang Obituary
October 26, 1926 - June 2, 2016 Though upon first impression Julia Wang might be described as petite and delicate, those who knew her would say she packed a lot of power into her 4'11' frame. She passed away June 2 at the age of 89. Julia was born in Beijing, China and grew up in Shanghai with two brothers, Bobby and Teddy. She attended the McTyeire School, a prominent Methodist girls' high school. After receiving her bachelor's degree from St. John's University in Shanghai, she worked briefly as an aide to Madame Chiang Kai-Shek. In 1948 she left China for graduate studies in early childhood education at Hamline University, St. Paul, MN. Upon receiving her master's degree, her parents advised her not to return to China due to the communist revolution. Julia made her way to New York City to join many other young Chinese immigrants in similar circumstances, and worked as a teacher at Bethlehem Day Nursery. She met and married Shanghai native Kenneth Wang in 1954. Her daughter Vivian was born in 1960. After stops in Allendale, NJ, Bedford, MA, and Woodland Hills, CA, Julia and Kenneth made their home in Irvine, CA. Julia was a thrifty and resourceful homemaker. She maintained meticulous household financial records, balancing her checkbook to the penny, and logging monthly expenses in lined notebooks for 50 plus years. She was known for her careful attention to detail and her memory for dates, names and events. Her husband called her "Eagle Eye" for her ability to see all and know all. Julia's sewing skills were first class. She tailored her husband's dress shirts, hemmed countless garments for family and friends, and even fashioned her daughter's wedding dress. In Irvine Julia worked in the Rancho San Joaquin Intermediate School library with Jane Schinzinger, and later assisted Eileen Thiessen in the ESL classroom. She was kind and helpful to many overwhelmed ESL students, but was also nicknamed "Dragon Lady" for her diligence in enforcing library guidelines among unruly middle schoolers. In her retirement she volunteered at the Irvine Lakeside Senior Center for nearly 20 years. She nurtured several life long friendships with childhood pals. Long before texting, emails and Facebook, Julia and Charlotte, her best friend for 86 years, exchanged handwritten letters every week, a practice that continued nearly to her death. Her grandsons called her "Little Grandma," and they enjoyed trips to the library, ice cream treats from her freezer, and her Chinese "hot pot" dinner on special occasions. It was a true blessing to have her and Kenneth mere steps away as they grew up. Julia lived on her own and took pride in her independence. Her strength of character and devotion to duty were clear in her care for husband Kenneth in his later years. Julia is survived by her daughter Vivian, son-in-law Herb and grandsons Cam and Alex.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from June 11 to June 12, 2016
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