He was born on Sept. 7, 1948, in the Taishan region of southern China. At age 5, he immigrated with his family to San Francisco.
After graduating from San Jose State University, he taught physical education at elementary schools in Burlingame. He met his future wife, Judy, at a church dance in Palo Alto, and they were married in 1973 at Aldersgate United Methodist Church. In 1982, they moved to Atherton to raise their family.
In 1978, he decided to go into the pizza business, buying Ramona's in downtown Palo Alto. Under his ownership, it served for years as a gathering place for Stanford students and Peninsula residents. He later opened a take-out restaurant, Ramona's Too, off California Avenue.
He was also a committed advocate for youth sports. He led a youth basketball program, Palo Alto Youth Services, through the Palo Alto Buddhist Temple, and also served as a Palo Alto coach and organizer for the Japanese American Citizens League Junior Olympics. He also coached his sons' Little League teams and routinely cheered them on at basketball and baseball games at Sacred Heart Preparatory.
In his free time, he enjoyed playing pick-up basketball games, boogie boarding in Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz, and tending to his flowers and fruit trees.
He 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 and Thomas; one brother, Harvey Wong of Los Altos; and two sisters, Lorraine Young of Laguna Niguel, California, and Nellie Wong Jones of Chico, California.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 10, at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 4243 Manuela Ave., Palo Alto. Memorial donations may be made to the Stanford Brain Cancer Fund, Development Services, P.O. Box 20466, Stanford, CA 94309.
Donna Jeanne Shafer
Donna Jeanne Shafer, a resident of Palo Alto, died in her sleep on March 31. She was 90.
Known as Jeanne, she was born on Oct. 29, 1929, in East Palestine, Ohio, the child of Perry and Amelia Faulkner Allen. In her youth, she learned many crafts and arts, including hand-painting china, arranging flowers, gardening, sewing and knitting, among others. She continued to work on these skills throughout her life.
During WWII, she worked for the war effort in the Curtis Wright airplane factory in Ohio. After the war, she married Nelson Shafer, whom she had known since childhood. They raised their family in East Palestine, where she was involved in a local church as a choir singer, teacher and deaconess.
She and Nelson enjoyed fishing, camping, birding and generally being in nature together. In their retirement, they eventually settled in Palo Alto around 1980 to be near their daughters, becoming caretakers at the First Congregational Church of Palo Alto. They continued to live in the area, primarily in Palo Alto.
She is survived by her husband of 64 years, Nelson of Palo Alto; her daughter Cheryl Branco (Brenda Smith) of Palo Alto; and her granddaughter Jessica Mauch (Anthony) and great-grandchildren Audrey and Jason — all of Sunnyvale.
Her ashes have been scattered at sea, as she wished. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 15, at the First Congregational Church of Palo Alto, 1985 Louis Road, Palo Alto. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Ecumenical Hunger Program in East Palo Alto.
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