Sept. 19, 1933 — Oct. 5, 2018
Dr. Chuen Wong, a leader in the community, passed away peacefully on Oct. 5th, 2018. Dr. Wong was not only a well-known optometrist in the area, he was also a pillar in the community. He made Winlock his home and he loved not only the area but his patients who came to see him.
He was born in China on Sept. 10, 1933. When he was one month old his parents brought him to the United States of America and they eventually settled in the Seattle area. He attended Garfield High School where he received his diploma after finishing in three years. He then attended the College of Optometry in Forest Grove, Ore., where he graduated with honors with a Doctor of Optometry Degree.
In 1957, Dr. Wong came to Winlock where he purchased an optometry practice. In 1959, he was drafted into the Army as a military optometrist with the rank as captain and chief at Munson Army Hospital in Fort Leavenworth, Kan. He was later given the responsibility of commander of the Medical Evaluation Team and subsequently received the Army Commendation Medal. Dr. Wong was discharged from the Army in 1962 while in Okinawa, Japan.
After his service in the Army he took two months off to travel. In Hong Kong, China, he met Rosanna, his future wife and love of his life. In 1962, Dr. Wong returned to Winlock and continued his practice in Optometry. In 1963, Rosanna and Dr. Chuen Wong were married in Seattle. They enjoyed 55 years of marriage.
His service brought him into membership in key associations, as well as consultant and advisory services to civic groups when needed. Dr. Wong was an active member of the Olympic Optometric Society, holding various positions, and was voted in as president from 1968-1970. Other involvements through his busy career were in the National Eye Research Foundation, Optometric Extension, Continuing Education and research in Vision, National Eye Research Foundation, Area Advisory Board, Home Health Visiting Nurses, Assured Home Health Agency, Lewis and Thurston Counties American Optometric Association, Washington State Board of Optometry, Association of Board of Examiners in Optometry, Governor Task Force on Catastrophic Health Care insurance and many others.
He was selected “Optometrist of the Year Award” in 1973 by the Olympic Profession Society, followed later by being selected as the “Doctor of Optometry of the Year” for 1989-1990 by the Washington State Optometric Association; and Honorary Life Member of the American Optometric Foundation.
His active career included several keynote and featured presentations at various associations and colleges at the State Board of Optometry, post-graduate education meetings, Olympic Professional Society, College of Optometry at University of California at Berkeley; and Dean’s Convocation, College of Optometry in Forest Grove, Ore. He was a member of Winlock Lions Club and South County Chamber as well.
Most notable for Winlock and the surrounding area was Dr. Wong’s establishment of the Optometric Clinic as the only optometrist through the life of the clinic. After several years of rented space, he was able to secure property and build a new office in 1975. Dr. Wong’s love for Winlock and the surrounding communities made Dr. Wong a key asset to the community. Efforts are being made to continue Dr. Wong’s Clinic with a new optometrist.
Dr. Wong is survived by Rosanna; their son, Lance (Melinda); four grandchildren, Aden, Lana, Beckham and Briella Wong; six siblings, Dr. Guy Wong of Palo Alto, Calif., Maegen Chew of Seattle, Dr. Carl Wong of Sarasota, Fla., Mary Lo of Bellevue, Wash., Dr. Sam Wong of Alameda, Calif., and Mabel Yip of Redmond, Wash.; along with numerous nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Dr. Wong’s life is planned for 2 p.m. Saturday at the United Methodist Church, 107 NW Benton Ave., in Winlock. Additional parking will be available on Kerron Ave., between Walnut and Fir, also known as “The Plaza,” across the street from Grinders Coffee, and at Winlock Miller Elementary School.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your favorite church or charity.