Kim Ong left this earth March 28, 2016, peacefully at his home with his devoted children and ex-wife at his side.
Kim was born in Albuquerque, N.M. on September 27, 1932 and grew up in what he proudly considered to be Albuquerque’s first Chinese-American nuclear family, which included his mother, father, five sisters, and three brothers. He was the third of nine children.
His father, Wing Ong, and his mother, Wong Lin Ong immigrated to the U.S. from China in 1928. They settled in the Barelas neighborhood of Albuquerque in 1929 and were involved in the grocery and restaurant business.
Kim attended Albuquerque High School, where he was elected class president of his sophomore, junior, and senior years. After graduating in 1950 he enrolled at UNM to study Chemical Engineering. He was an active member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity.
While still in college he was drafted into military service and served in the Army as a wheel and track vehicle mechanic in Korea from 1954-1955 in the 50th Antiaircraft Battalion. Upon discharge he returned to UNM and earned his BS in Chemical Engineering in 1958.
He joined the U.S. Geological Survey in 1958 where he worked as a water quality specialist until his retirement in 1996.
After retiring he served as a volunteer on the Citizen’s Advisory Board of Sandia National Laboratory from 1998 to 2004, advising on the impact of legacy waste of what was buried after the Manhattan Project.
Kim was influenced by the Christian principles and physical fitness programs of the YMCA, where he was a regular from 1942 to 1970. He was a lifelong member of the Chinese American Citizen’s Alliance.
He was interested in photography, baseball, football, and bowling. He was a fan of the UNM Lobos, San Francisco 49ers, and San Francisco Giants. He loved popular music and collected vinyl and CDs.
Despite getting divorced in 1973, Kim and his ex-wife Barbara maintained a great deal of respect and friendship for each other and their extended families.
Kim is survived by his two children, Timothy Ong and wife, Lisa Righetti, and Joshua Ong and wife Michaela; three grandchildren, Miles Ong, Judah Ong, and Lukas Ong; three brothers, David Ong and wife Mary Sue, Richard Ong and wife Dava, and Randy Ong; and four sisters, Jeannie Jew, Mou Kiet Ong, Jane Baker Ong, and Tane Chan. He was preceded in death by sister Anna Mae Doon.
Memorial services will be held Sunday April 3, 2016, 10:30 a.m. at Strong-Thorne Chapel, 1100 Coal Ave SE, with interment services following at Fairview Cemetery, 700 Yale Blvd. SE.
Remembrances in Kim Ong’s name may be given to UNM Cancer Center, Albuquerque YMCA or Grace Church. To view information or leave a condolence, please visit www.danielsfuneral.com.
Strong-Thorne Life Events Center
1100 Coal Ave SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106