On Saturday, October 12, 2019, Raymond Chan, loving husband and father of two, passed away from a stroke at age 87 in Oakland, CA.
Raymond was born on February 12, 1932 in Locke, CA to Sou Kwun Wong and Sing Young Chan and grew up in Stockton, California. In 1947, his mother brought Raymond, his two brothers Lincoln and Tomas, and his sister Pauline, to their hometown in Zhongshan, China to study Chinese. They returned to America in 1949.
In 1951 after graduating from high school, Raymond and his Chinese American friends made the decision to enlist in the Armed Forces in order to fight in the Korean War. Raymond chose the Air Force. During the fall of 1952, Raymond was stationed with the Air Force in Korea where he was reunited with his older brother, Lincoln, who had previously been drafted into the Marines. Raymond was later transferred to Tokyo, Japan for the duration of his service. While in Japan, he was sent on many missions with the Seventh Fleet.
After an honorable discharge, Raymond spent a year working at the National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Maryland before attending college. In 1960 Raymond graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He worked for the State of California for 14 years beginning with the Division of Bay Toll Crossings working on converting the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge into one-way traffic and later working on the construction of the San Mateo-Hayward, Dumbarton, Benicia-Martinez and San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridges. In 1974 Raymond began his career with the Bay Area Rapid Transit(BART) where he worked for 20 years before retiring as the Chief Electrical/Mechanical Engineer.
In May 26, 1963, he married Irene Quan of San Francisco and together they raised their son, Steven and daughter, Carol. They lived in San Francisco, Sacramento and Concord. Irene and Raymond were married for 28 years before Irene passed away in 1991.
Since his retirement from BART in 1994, Raymond volunteered with many organizations; Family Bridges’ Social Services and Hong Fook Center. He served as President of the Oakland Chinatown Lions Club, President and Trustee of the Chinese-American Institute of Engineers and Scientists, Vice-President and Director of the Chinese Chapter of the California Alumni Association, Trustee of the U.C. Chinese Alumni Association, President of Oakland’s Chinese American Citizens Alliance, a Trustee of the Veteran of Foreign Wars East Bay Chinatown Post No.3956, and a Founding member of the Diablo Valley Chinese Cultural Association.
Raymond was preceded in death by his mother, Sou Kwun, father, Sing Young, wife Irene and brother Lincoln. He is survived by his son Steven, daughter in-law Cheryl, grandson Austin, daughter Carol, his sister Pauline and husband Jimmy, brother Tomas and wife Mary, nephews Greg Wong and Kevin Wong and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. A private family funeral will be held on October 19, 2019 and a Celebration of his Life is planned for November 23, 2019. Donations in Raymond’s memory may be made to Family Bridges, Inc. (https://www.familybridges.org/in-honor-of-in-memoriam-of/) or (510) 839-2022. An online
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