Remembering a Chinese Mensch

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Remembering a Chinese Mensch

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  • #6165
    Dick
    Participant

    Remembering a Chinese Mensch

    Editors note: We would like to thank George Meese for allowing us to use some of the background on Charlie previously published in his neighborhood magazine from 2015.

    By Dick Arendt

    When God decided to create a special person who would be a role model for many, he must have had Charlie Wong in mind…

    …because Charlie was unique, never to be duplicated…a one of a kind…and for those of us who were fortunate enough to know (and love) him, the Almighty did a pretty good job !

    The best way to explain Charlie was simply “He’s Charlie.”

    No explanation was needed, additional words were unnecessary, but the mere mention of his name, would bring a smile to even the worst sourpuss.

    He was a man who loved living and made others around him enjoy it just as much.

    Charlie Wong left us Thursday, January 14, 2021 as a result of being a victim of the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic.

    He may be gone, but his legacy of life experiences would rival any person I’ve ever known.

    Charlie’s story began on July 20, 1936 in the Philippines.  He was of Chinese decent, but he was able to remember a December day in 1941 following Pearl Harbor when the Japanese invaded his homeland.

    His father was a local tailor that was taken by the Japanese as a prisoner facing execution until it was learned that knowledge of a “needle & thread” repairing Japanese uniforms would save his life !

    As a matter of fact, after the war, Richard Nixon would visit the Philippines in 1968 in need of a shark skin suit, and low and behold, Charlie’s dad came to the rescue without even measuring the future president, specially making 2 suits for him.

    When Nixon got back the mainland, he wrote Charlie’s dad a sincere thank you letter which Charlie proudly displayed for the remainder of his life.

    You see, that thank you letter was followed up with granting Charlie a working visa to come to the United States “to make his fortune.”

    Charlie was a pretty smart guy too.  He obtained a Chemistry degree allowing him to be hired by a major firm in New Jersey, spending 35 years prior to his retirement.

    He would tell me that the reason he was hired was because his salary demands were much less then others !  (Again, that’s Charlie !)

    He married, had three sons, and along the path in his new nation, tragedy would follow in addition to his successes.   His wife, in her early 40s, passed away in 1993 and a son would perish as a result of liver cancer in his early 20s.  That left Charlie a single parent with two sons…

    …two sons that would become the pride and joy of his life.

    His son, Raymond, would graduate from West Point and his other son, James, would graduate from the Wharton  Business School at the University of Pennsylvania.  Raymond would go on to be a school superintendent and vice president of a heating and air conditioning company and James would become an international commodities trader.

    Over Charlie’s life he would personally meet Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, George Herbert Walker Bush, Bill Clinton, and George H. Bush…

    …and if that wasn’t enough, would actually perform with 4 others at Carnegie Hall !

    1995 would be a very special year in Charlie’s life.  Being a strict Catholic, he would attend a special mass officiated by Pope John Paul II, and as if divine providence would enter the story, at that mass he would meet his beloved Nady Go, the lady who would be at his side for the remainder of his life.

    When Charlie and Nady decided to retire, they decided to land in Sun City Anthem in 2001, but the word “retire” was “greatly exaggerated”.

    Charlie loved Sun City Anthem and its people, and over the next 20 years he would be a founder and President of the I.C.C.C. Club, as well as, a member of the Table Tennis, Performing Arts, and Poker Clubs in addition to his involvement in SCA-TV.

    He would also be an integral part of the Foundation Assisting Seniors…and when it was learned that the Foundation was robbed this past Thanksgiving, Charlie stepped up to the plate donating $500.

    With the advent of the Covid-19 Pandemic, he would still continue his community involvement by walking the streets of Sun City Anthem as part of the Community Patrol.

    There is so much more to the life of Charlie Wong, and when asked what he believed his greatest accomplishment, he didn’t hesitate when he said “becoming an American citizen.”

    Charlie will be cremated, but his final request was to spread his ashes equally between the graves of his wife and son, and Sun City Anthem.

    Sympathy cards and wishes may be sent to:

    Ms. Naty Go
    2871 Hayden Creek Drive
    Henderson, NV 89052

    As a final thought, for those of us who had the privilege of knowing him over the years, he will always be remembered for his chattering on and on.

    And…when asked why he always talked so much, his answer was simply:

    “The minute I stop talking, something is wrong.”

    Well, Charlie was once again right on…

    …he’s now stopped talking, and without his smiles and love for his fellow man, something really is wrong !

    We’ve lost an SCA–VIP who also happened to be one of the nicest and kindest individuals anyone would have ever known.

    Rest in peace, my dear friend.

    #6167
    Rana Goodman
    Keymaster

    These are just a few of the comments received from SCA residents remembering Charlie;

    Dear Rana:

    That was a beautiful tribute to Charlie Wong. Charlie was not only a friend of ours, but also a good neighbor with a kind heart. I lost my bride of 52 years to the Covid-19 Virus on January 6, 2021. Since Charlie only lived a few houses from me our neighborhood has lost two wonderful people.

    BTW the address is Hayden Creek Terrace vs Drive. 

    Thanks again for the fine tribute. 

    GERRY B

    What a beautiful tribute.  That’s Charley alright.  My most latest connection with him was on the messenger when he wrote back later in Dec. several other attachments were sent after but several had no content or it was not available. You are so right, when you think of Charley you would think of him as a big smile on his face.

    Thank you again Dick. Saddens our hearts to see him leave us in this way but we know for sure God has a space in Heaven and he will never be forgotten.

    Thank you,

    Kathy Dauenhauer

    Beautifully said and so true.  Jerry LaFavor.  

    Great tribute to a wonderful person. Charlie loved our community and this country even more. Was a real competitor at the poker table. He liked to go all in with his stack of chips after kissing his lucky picture. Charley will be greatly missed.

    Barry and Sherry Goldstein

    Oh my, what a beautiful and loving TRIBUTE to a most amazing, kind man, that Jan & Sam had the privilege of knowing with love in our hearts for Charlie Wong. ??

    We are deeply saddened with the knowledge of his passing. He will be missed!!!!!!!??

    Jan and Sam Palermo

    BEAUTIFUL!  Thank you for sharing!!!!  So very great to have had a chance to read your thoughts.  Again…. Thank You!!

    Elaine Davis

    Beautiful! Such a wonderful man?

    Lynes

    Beautiful tribute to Charlie. Such a treasure. He will be missed.

    Laurie

    DEAR DICK,

    THANK YOU FOR THE WONDERFUL TRIBUTE TO CHARLIE. HIS FAMILY, SUN CITY ANTHEM, AND THE WORLD LOST A SPECIAL MAN.

    MAY HE REST IN PEACE.  

    PAUL AND JO ELLEN CHRISTENSEN

    Such a beautiful tribute to a very unique and loving individual.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Helen Leiblien

    What a Warm tribute to Charlie, he will be missed by all who knew him.

    He was a very kind and generous man! Deeply saddened!

    Debra March

    Very nice tribute, Dick.

    Phil Schlaeger

    Thank you.  I enjoyed reading about Charlie very much and regret never having known him.

    Shirley Otradovec

    What a dynamic, knowledgeable person. A true leader. He will be missed.

    Linda Buckardt

    #6168
    Dick
    Participant

    Here are some additional comments I received regarding Charlie.  Obviously, he was loved.

    From David Palmer
    What a sweet man….
    Thank you very much !

     From Mary Lee Duley

    OMG,  what a shock.  I am so sorry, he was such a great voice for Sun City  Anthem and such a caring and generous man.  My heart and  prayers are with his family.

    From Richard Pope

    I am sorry to hear this as I know you were good friends.

    From  Gerry B.

    That was a beautiful tribute to Charlie Wong. Charlie was not only a friend of ours, but also a good neighbor with a kind heart. I lost my bride of 52 years to the Covid-19 Virus on January 6, 2021. Since Charlie only lived a few houses from me our neighborhood has lost two wonderful people.

    From Allen Weintraub
    What a great tribute.

    From Tim Chapman

    Dick, I thought your write-up about Charlie Wong in Anthem Today was wonderful.  Sounds like he was a fantastic guy.

    #6169
    Big Sky
    Participant

    Spot on description of Charlie!  We became home owners in 2003 and finally settled here 2 years ago. Early on, we met Charlie at the Clubhouse who cemented our resolve to retire at this community. With his smiles and wealth of interesting topics, his parting words that stuck with us was, “You can’t go wrong with Charlie Wong!”  Indeed how true! Godspeed, Charlie! It will be quieter without you but for sure, it’s going to be livelier up there!

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