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Founding member of the Friends of the Chinatown Library

“Dolores Wong was born in Vallejo, California, on September 24, 1921. She passed away peacefully in her sleep on November 23, 2014. She was preceded in death by her husband of 58 years, the Honorable Delbert E. Wong. She is survived by children Shelley (the Reverend Tyrone Pitts); Duane (Joanne); Kent (Jai); and Marshall; grandsons Sandy Pitts, Ryan and Robin Wong.

Dolores was a fourth-generation Californian whose great-grandfather arrived in San Francisco in 1852. She was the first person in her family to attend college, graduating from U.C. Berkeley in 1942, and receiving a Master’s Degree from Smith College in 1946. She worked as a psychiatric social worker in Boston, New Orleans, and Sacramento until the birth of her children. She became a full-time mother and invested many years in community volunteer activities. Her happiest and most satisfying contribution was to help fund and establish the first public library in Los Angeles Chinatown.

Honors received during her lifetime include awards from the YWCA, Organization of Chinese Americans, Asian Pacific Women’s Network, Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Chinatown Public Safety Association, and Friends of the Chinese American Museum.

Friends wishing to honor her memory may contribute to the Friends of the Chinatown Library, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – LA, the Chinese American Museum, or the East-West Players.

A celebration of life for Dolores Wong was held at Forest Lawn in Glendale on November 28, 2014. Her memory was honored at the FOCL Annual Scholarship Award Dinner on June 5, 2015.”

The above remembrance of Dolores was submitted by the Wong family.

“We cherish her legacy as one of the original founders of the Friends of the Chinatown Library, committed to developing the library from an idea into a reality, an immense contribution that altered the community landscape of Chinatown and the citywide Los Angeles public library system.

With fierce skills of persuasiveness wrapped in elegance, kindness and charm, Dolores tirelessly campaigned for the right of Chinatown residents, young and old, to locally access the academic resources, information, services and programs that only a neighborhood public library can provide. She helped to nurture the concept, lead the advocacy campaign, and raise the funds that supported each new chapter of building this vibrant community institution on its long journey from proposal to its original home in borrowed space in Castelar to its current beautiful landmark building today.

Dolores was a role model of public service, community leadership, good citizenship, dear friendship and an inspiration for us all. Her legacy and impact will benefit and inspire generations to come.

As we travel over the crest of Hill and Ord Streets, through the gateway to Chinatown, and pass in front of the library, intersecting with Judge Delbert E. Wong Square, we embrace fond remembrances of the exemplary lives of Dolores and Del.”

Respectfully remembered by William Chun-Hoon, FOCL Community Historian