Geoffrey P. Wong
1941 - 2021
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Geoffrey P. Wong
March 10, 1941 - October 7, 2020
Sacramento, California - On October 7, 2020, Geoff Wong passed away from complications from lung cancer. On his final day, he was very happy to be surrounded by his immediate family before taking his final breath that evening.
Geoff's was a life well-lived. He was known for his gregarious personality, diverse talents, sense of humor, welcoming smile, and generous heart. He made many longtime friends and endeared himself to many others with acts of kindness and shared fun experiences.
Geoff, a fourth-generation Sacramentan, attended Washington Grammar School, California Junior High School, and McClatchy High School, where he was its representative to Boys' State and where he began demonstrating his leadership skills. In 1958, Geoff followed in his grandfather and father's footsteps and attended the University of California, Berkeley, graduating with a major in political science. His involvement in a myriad of Cal campus activities was legendary and iconoclastic. The "Snowman" (his designated nickname) garnered such widespread respect and admiration that Geoff was voted the recipient of the prestigious Kenneth Priestly Award for Outstanding Senior Leadership. One of his fondest Cal memories was being one of the designated student hosts when JFK spoke at the Greek Theater in 1962. Geoff's experience at Cal expanded his vision of what his life could become after college.
Geoff spent the next few years working part-time while attending law school at night. He passed the State Bar exam in 1969. Over the next five decades, in addition to practicing law, he explored his talents and horizons by taking his life in many directions – not limiting himself to the probable, but testing the possible with each new adventure. To name a few, Geoff: became Old Sacramento's Frisbee champion, was anointed the Sultan of the Fijian Island of Yanuca, saved the Delta King, ran for Mayor of Sacramento and for Honorary Mayor of Old Sac, hosted the late night KCRA TV show, GWAT (Geoff Wong Adventure Theater), wrote/broadcast TV and newspaper movie reviews, composed an original song for a local contest, was part-owner in local boutique hotels (Sterling/Viscaya), was a founding member of the Valley Broadcast Legends, led the Sacramento chapter of the California Alumni Association as President, was selected as a member and vice president of the alumni-wide California Alumni Association Board of Directors, and enjoyed Cal football as a true blue season ticket holder for more than 45 years (Go Bears!). He travelled the world, being a host for the former Bear Treks as well as well as on his own. He published two books, "A Golden State of Mind" and "Golden Daze," which captured the high jinx, college climate and social upheaval bubbling on the Berkeley campus and society at large during the pre-Vietnam era. Like his beloved past time, craps, he threw his life out there with abandon. After all, if you don't roll the dice, you aren't in the game.
Throughout his life, Geoff made and kept many loyal friends and reached out with kindness and generosity to others. He did not measure his life by monetary success but by the quality of his relationships with people: his family, his close friends, and many others who shared his values and zest for life.
During his illness, many friends recalled personal stories of what a wonderful caring man he was and what lasting impressions he made on their lives. Uncle Cal and Aunt Jeni Fung and many cousins kept his spirits high revisiting their memorable experiences. Special thanks to Jeanne Hastings, Sutter at Home staff, and private caregivers for providing needed support during this difficult time.
Geoff was predeceased by his father and mother, Earl and Ruby Wong, and by his much-loved soulmate, Lauren LaMay. He is survived by his two sisters and their families: Lynda J. Welter and husband, Lee, Lynda's two children, Marc Laven and fiancé Damian Sargent, Monique Ming Laven Sido and husband, James Sido; and Patricia H. Wong and husband, Thomas A. Craven, their daughter, Kelly Wong Craven and husband, Oscar Gonzalez de Llano, and their toddler son, Guy Wong Gonzalez with whom Grand Uncle Geoff enjoyed a special bond.
He rests in peace on the fifty yard line at East Lawn, Folsom Blvd. A celebration of life will be planned for the future. For those who would like to honor his memory and who haven't done so already, in lieu of flowers, a donation to Cal Athletics, to the UC Berkeley Light the Way Campaign or to a charity of your choice would be appreciated.


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Published in & from Mar. 6 to Mar. 7, 2021.
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Memories & Condolences
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7 entries
April 7, 2021
Geoff and I “Saved the Delta King” in 1969 and I managed his campaign for Mayor. We were friends for years and I was surprised and saddened by his passing. A great guy and an even greater loss.
Jerry Vorpahl
Friend
March 10, 2021
Even though Geoff and I were at Cal at the same time and even though we both worked in the law, I only got acquainted with Geoff in the last 5-10 years. That's not to say I wasn't aware of him. You couldn't live in Sacramento and not be aware of Geoff Wong, on television, on the waterfront, everywhere. He was bigger than life, a life force and once you met him, you were a friend. His greeting, huge smile and personality filled a room. He will be missed by all who knew him (and many who didn't). While he will rest in peace, I doubt he will really rest until Cal has once again won the Rose Bowl. Go Bears, Geoff.
Tom Roehr
Acquaintance
March 8, 2021
I had the wonderful opportunity to travel with Geoff and his soul-mate Lauren to Bali a few years ago and experienced his exceptional zest for life and loving soul. His roaring laugh and bright smile made you feel welcomed and special in his presence. Now as he has left this earth, he will be united in heaven with his Love Lauren, but he will also leave a void of human kindness .
KARIN KNIFFEN
Friend
March 8, 2021
Geoff was a great friend to me and my son Todd. We will always be grateful to have enjoyed his kindness, enthusiasm and zest for life, and just being Geoff. When my soulmate husband died of ALS in May 2003, that October Geoff took us to UCBerkeley for homecoming/parent day. Since Todd was only age 15 at that time, all of the fun activities had Todd wide-eyed to these new life experiences, such as the tailgating parties, parent-student orientations and guides, GIRLS, the "axe" and sitting with Geoff's parents and a sister and a couple of his friends on the 50-yard line of course. Being an artist, I compiled a beautiful large collage including a souvenir ticket and photo of Geoff with Todd and friend George, of which I gave a framed copy to Geoff which he also gave a copy to his friend Randy Parent which he hung in the UCB Alumni office to welcome prospective new students and parents (don't know if it is still there). Throughout the years since 2003, Geoff and I kept in periodic contact via emails and some fun updates of trips we each enjoyed to various parts of the world, including his special friend Lauren. Todd and I will always remember Geoff as one of the most wonderful persons in our lives. He was very proud of Todd graduating from Cal UC in Long Beach with 2 B.S. degrees in biomedical engineering and clinical engineering, as well as electrical engineering and currently has his own life science company as a biomedical engineer and scientist researching and producing products, such as leukemia products for stage 3 and 4 patients and coronavirus vaccines. Yes, Geoff would be so proud---when Todd was deciding which UC to attend, Geoff absolutely insisted that he NOT select rival Stanford! Yes, GO BEARS! With respect and love and cherished memories, Gail C. Schurr
Gail Christopherson-Schurr
Friend
March 7, 2021
Lynda and Pinkey,
A voice from high school days. Just want to express our condolences with the passing of your brother. I have very fond memories of the times we spent together with you two, Ken Lum and Roger Morgan. With Geoff's passing, we are sure that there is now a great emptiness in your lives. I know that although we have not visited but every five years or so, we find an irreplaceable void in our hearts. He was unique in his ability to make and retain friends. He is missed.
Ray, Joyce Gee and Family in Portland, Oregon
Ray Gee
Friend
March 7, 2021
Miss you and your presence among us very much, Geoffrey P.

Lynda J
Lynda J Welter
Sister
March 7, 2021
Knowing Geoff has certainly added joy to our lives. Pam knew Geoff through their parents who were long time friends. Geoff and Pam's dads knew each other from San Francisco Chinatown, growing up playing basketball together. Roger met Geoff at Cal when they were both living in the same dorm complex and after graduation when both were attending UCLA as roommates. Working in Sacramento after UCLA, Roger and Geoff started playing golf together, with Geoff having more success than Roger at that frustrating game. When we moved away from Sacramento, we still saw each other at Cal football and basketball games. Geoff was a great friend! Pam and Roger
Pam and Roger Quan
Friend
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