Rev. David Wong of Ithaca passed away peacefully in his sleep at home surrounded by family on Thursday, June 21, 2018, at the age of 99. He was born 1918 in Sabah, Malaysia, one of 12 siblings. Pastor Wong attended seminary in China. He completed his studies in Hong Kong where he met and married a young nurse, Shet-fai Wong, after a casual meeting set up by friends in the midst of sudden air raids over the city.

He planted and pastored a village church in West Malaysia, and ministered to a second village congregation nearby, later relocating to Singapore where he founded and pastored the Hakka Methodist Church.

In 1969, they emigrated to the United States where they made their home in Ithaca these past 49 years. IN 1983, he founded the First Ithaca Chinese Christian Church. His desire was to have a place of worship for the Chinese community in his adopted hometown and to provide a Christian community for students far from home. The first meeting was held in his living room. He was devoted to his parishioners. Many graduates return to Ithaca, bringing their families to introduce them to Pastor Wong. This was a source of great joy for him and Shet-fai.

Pastor David loved taking pictures and videos of his family and of his extended church family. He developed his own film at home. He traveled the world with Shet-fai and returned every year to visit family and friends in Asia. Their great love for music is a legacy to the third and fourth generations. He is the source of countless cherished memories among family and friends.

Rev. Wong is survived by his devoted wife of 74 years, the love of his life, Shet-fai; three children, Siu-ling (Thak) Chaloemtiarana, Michael (Tracia) Wong, and Siu-sing (Noreen Ryan) Shantur; son-in-law Walid Shantur; three grandchildren, Thwen (Jennifer) Chaloemtiarana, Khwan (Scott Cooper) Chaloemtiarana, and Annette Shantur; two great-grandchildren, Kate and Saijai Chaloemtiarana; a brother, Tak Wai (Mo Ling) Wong; sister, Kit Yung Fung; nephew, Er Dan (Gwai Saang) Zhang; great-nephew, Jackie Zhang; great-niece, Maggie Zhang; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews.

A Graveside Service will be held at 3:00pm on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at East Lawn Cemetery in Ithaca. A Memorial Celebration will be held at 11:00am on Saturday, June 30, 2018 at the First Ithaca Chinese Christian Church, 429 Mitchell Street, Ithaca.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks those that would like to make a contribution in Pastor Wong’s memory to kindly consider the, First Ithaca Chinese Christian Church, Attn: Rev. David Wong Memorial Fund, 429 Mitchell Street, Ithaca, NY 14850.