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David Tong

December 1, 1926 May 5, 2019
David Tong
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Obituary for David Tong

David Tong
December 1, 1926 – May 5, 2019

David Tong of Vacaville, California, passed away on Sunday, May 5, 2019. He
was 92 years old.

David was born on December 1, 1926 in Cheiu Guaing, Toisan County,
Guangdong Province, China. At the age of 12, David and his father left China for the
United States to find work and build a better life for the family. David learned English
and attended high school while working with his father and mother at Depot Laundry
(now a historic building in downtown Napa). In his early twenties, David returned to
China to marry Susan, his wife of 62 years, who came from a neighboring village. They
lived briefly in Cheiu Guaing with David’s extended family. In 1949, they had their first
son, Calvin. Just prior to Calvin’s birth, David returned to the US to work while awaiting
Susan and Calvin’s immigration to the US.

In April 1952, Susan immigrated with Calvin to the US, joining David who
established their first family home in Napa, California. David found work in the grocery
business in Napa. In 1953, David and Susan had their second son, Irving, who passed
away after just two months. The family relocated to Fairfield, California, where David
was asked to become a partner in Fairfield Grocery, located on West Texas Street. The
family settled on Harding Street in Fairfield where David and Susan welcomed five more
sons: Allen, Phillip, Leland, Alvin and Clifton, born from 1954 to 1962. In 1954, David
and his business partners opened Vacaville Grocery, located on Merchant Street, which at
that time was one of the largest grocery stores in Vacaville. David served as the store
manager from its beginning until the business closed in the 1980’s.

In June 1964, the family moved to a newly built home in Vacaville, California.
David and Susan worked hard to raise their six sons. David worked 6 days a week,
usually from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., to support his family and run the grocery store.
Nonetheless, David made time to take all his children to medical appointments and sports
practices, picked them up on rainy days after school, ate dinner with family almost every
night, and so much more. He taught his sons the value of hard work as they all worked
with him at the grocery store during their high school years as “boxboys”, cashiers, and
shelf stockers.

In the late 1970’s, David and Susan, along with their business partner Frank Lee,
opened the Moon Palace Chinese Restaurant.

An avid sports fan, David enjoyed following Bay Area professional sports teams.
David used his weekly day off (Tuesday) from the store to take his family shopping, to
visit his parents in Napa, to mow the lawn, and to visit other family. In their retirement
years, he and Susan enjoyed trips to Cache Creek Casino to try their luck at slot
machines, gardening in their front yard, and playing Mah Jong. They especially loved
visits with their children and grandchildren.

David and Susan enjoyed all aspects of raising their sons such as attending
parent-teacher conferences and junior high, high school, and university graduations.
They also made time for family celebrations including birthdays, weddings, the arrival of
grandchildren, and other special family occasions. They were central to all family events,
and they helped care for grandchildren on many occasions.

After Susan passed away in April 2010, David eventually moved to Rockville
Terrace Assisted Living facility in Fairfield, California, where he made new friends who
regularly joined him for meals. He was, and his family is, appreciative of the loving care
and friendship provided by Rockville Terrace residents and staff.

Throughout his life, David’s thoughts were centered on his family and friends.
Despite having health challenges in his last several years, he would always tell his family
“I am okay,” and would immediately turn his attention to learning about the lives of his
sons and spouses, his 18 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. He personally sent
birthday cards and gifts to each member of his family, each year, right on time. He loved
being part of large family gatherings including an annual vacation to Lake Tahoe and a
Tong Family Thanksgiving celebration.

David was preceded in death by his wife, Susan, infant son Irving and his only
sister, Theresa. He is survived by his children, Calvin (Gail), Allen (Tina), Phillip
(Louise), Leland (Shelly), Alvin (Pamela), and Clifton (Linda); his grandchildren Ryan
(Liz), Bethany, Stephanie (Danny), Jordan (Linda), Christina (Mike), Lauren, Micah,
Melissa (Matt), Andy, Jennifer, Michael, Emily, Kimberly, Danielle, Caroline, Marcus,
Evangeline, and Annelise; and great-grandson Chance.

David was an exceptionally loving, caring, proud, wise, and hard-working
husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Although blessed with immense
talent, David was humble and modest. He was a supportive friend to many, but only a
few of us on this earth had the good fortune to have his unwavering love as the pillar of
our family. He will be missed very much.

A private burial will be attended by immediate family. A memorial service to
honor and celebrate David’s life is being planned and will be announced at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the David and Susan Tong Memorial
Scholarship Fund (c/o US Bank, 367 Merchant Street, Vacaville, CA 95688), which will
be used to recognize high achieving graduating seniors from Vacaville High School.


Event Information

Services will be set for a future date to be determined.

Cemetery Details


Vacaville-Elmira Cemetery Final Resting Place

522 Elmira Rd.
Vacaville, CA 95687

522 Elmira Rd. Vacaville 95687 CA
United States

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