Sept. 7, 1948-May 5, 2014
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Arthur Douglas Wong, a 32-year Atherton resident and the longtime owner of Ramona?s Pizza in Palo Alto, peacefully passed away at his home after a 12-year battle with brain cancer. He was 65.
Mr. Wong was born on Sept. 7, 1948, in the Taishan region of southern China. At the age of 5, he immigrated with his family to San Francisco. He met his future wife, Judy, at a Palo Alto church dance, and they were married at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in 1973.
After graduating from San Jose State University, he taught P.E. at elementary schools in Burlingame. But he longed to set out on his own: In 1978, he decided to go into the pizza business, buying Ramona?s in downtown Palo Alto. He later opened a second restaurant, Ramona?s Too, in south Palo Alto.
He took pride in the fact that Ramona?s served as a community gathering place for generations of Stanford students and Peninsula residents, hosting everything from first dates and graduation dinners to team pizza parties.
"He loved people, but especially his customers," said his son, Scott Wong.
Throughout his life, ?Coach Art? was also a tireless advocate for youth sports, leading the youth basketball nonprofit at the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple, helping to organize the JACL Junior Olympics and coaching his sons' Little League teams. He could often be spotted in the stands at Sacred Heart Prep, where his sons played basketball and baseball.
When he was away from the restaurant, Mr. Wong enjoyed playing pick-up basketball games at the temple gym, boogie boarding in Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz, or tending to his flowers and fruit trees.
Mr. Wong is survived by his wife of 40 years, Judy Wong of Atherton; two sons, Scott Wong of Washington, D.C., and Russell Wong of San Mateo; two grandchildren, Olivia (23 mo.) and Thomas (10 mo.); brother Harvey Wong of Los Altos; sisters Lorraine Young of Laguna Niguel and Nellie Wong Jones of Chico.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 10, at Aldersgate United Methodist Church at 4243 Manuela Ave. in Palo Alto. He will be inurned at nearby Alta Mesa Memorial Park.
His family is grateful for the care he received at Stanford Hospital. Donations in his memory may be made to the Stanford Brain Cancer Fund, Development Services, PO Box 20466, Stanford, CA 94309.
Tags: teacher/educator, business, sports, public service