by Gloria Wong, wife; and Shelley Wong Kamikawa, daughter
Born on April 2, 1931 in Portland’s New Chinatown to William and Esther Wong, Bruce Luen Wong lived his life to the fullest with his greatest treasures: his family, his friends, and his community.
He attended Couch and Hosford Grade Schools, and graduated from Washington High School in 1949. Bruce received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and Metallurgy from Oregon State University in 1958, after serving four years in the U.S. Air Force. Bruce married Gloria Lee on July 26, 1951 and they were blessed with children, Bruce (Kimberley), Craig (Kathleen), Scott (Nadine) and Shelley (Jim); and grandchildren, Kristoffer (Megan), Taylor, Kendall, Collin, Karsten, Clarice, Helen, Jared, Grayson, Kylee and Sydney. He was most proud to be the great-grandfather to Ethan Andrew Wong.
Bruce led an active community oriented life. He served as president of the North Powell Little League, the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, Oregon Chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Society of Metals, Portland Chinese Classical Garden Society, Old Town Chinatown History Committee, Chinese Scientists Engineers and Professional Association, and Chinese Old Timers of Portland. He was a founding member of the CCBA Chinese Scholarship Committee in 1963 and the Portland Chinese Scholarship Foundation in 1965. His career started as metallurgist at Metallurgical Engineers Inc. and continued through Tektronix, Omark Industries, Electronic Specialties, Talbott Wong and Associates, and concluded with his own Wong’s Forensic and Metallurgical Engineers Incorporated.
Gloria Lee was born on September 1, 1931 to Sam S. and Helen Lee in Portland. She and her sisters Irene, Marian and Geraldine, grew up in Ladd’s Addition district when her parents bought their family home on SE Spruce Avenue in 1933. They all attended Abernathy Elementary School and Washington and Commerce High Schools. After graduation in 1948, Gloria worked as secretary in the Oregon State Welfare Office and the University of Oregon Medical School before her marriage to Bruce. In 1951 she joined her husband in Honolulu where he was stationed in the Air Force and worked as a secretary in the engineering department at Mutual Telephone Company until the birth of their first child in 1953.
When the children were older, Gloria went back to work as the secretary/registrar at Cleveland High School from 1975 to 2000. She also served as English Secretary for the CCBA and on the staff of the Oregon Chinese News for over two decades. She has been secretary of the Portland Chinese Scholarship Foundation since 1976 and continues to this day, along with service to the CCBA high school graduation dinner.
Bruce and Gloria took great pride in celebrating every major milestone during their 62 years of marriage. Throughout the first half of their marriage, they shared their journey with their children. Bruce and Gloria infused in their family practices the importance of community service, which proved fruitful as each child was awarded CCBA’s “Junior Citizen of the Year” in each of their respective high school graduating years.
Bruce believed that every child deserves the right to an education. Devoted to this focus, he maintained the financial sustainability of the Scholarship Trust to benefit all Portland Chinese high school graduates. Both Bruce and Gloria established the “Bruce and Gloria Wong Scholarship” to assist high school graduates in obtaining post-secondary education.
They also desired to be present in the lives of their eleven grandchildren. Both Bruce and Gloria were enthusiastic supporters attending many graduations, ball games, tournaments, musicals and concerts. Bruce treasured cooking, fishing, and clamming with his grandchildren on a regular basis. Teaching them various aspects of the culture and customs of their Chinese heritage, his legacy runs deep in the veins of his family, and will continue on for many generations to come. Bruce passed away on October 21, 2013 while clamming at his favorite beach on the coast.
Bruce and Gloria modeled a perfect team who impacted their community. Together they received the Northwest China Council’s Flying Horse Award in 1997 for their lifetime service to Portland’s Chinese Community.
In culmination, Bruce desired to leave a legacy for his family and friends to carry out in his absence. He charged everyone he befriended to carry out the gift of education to young adults. Life goes on and the memories must be shared in order to leave lasting imprints in the lives of our descendants.