Stan Wong 5K - Saturday: May 20, 2017 

Stanley Wong


February 19, 1940 - May 3, 2006

Our Dad: Stanley Wong

Stanley Wong was born on February 19, 1940 in Albany, N.Y. His parents were recent immigrants from the Chinese providence of Canton, now known as Guangzhou. Stanley was the last of 6 children and his mother was 49 years old when he was born. Stanley grew up under the close watch of his 2 older brothers and 3 older sisters. As a young boy he was fascinated with planes and collected plane cards instead of baseball cards. He attended Albany H.S. and afterwards was the first person in his family to attend college. He attended St. Louis University, studying to be an aerospace engineer and graduating in 3 years. He was a member of the Air Force ROTC and officer training program.

Also while at college, he met a beautiful young southerner named Mena Marcele Balzli. Despite their cultural differences, and the initial doubts of their parents, Stanley and Marcele endured and married on July 28, 1962. Following his graduation, Stanley was stationed in Missouri, then in Dayton, OH. While being stationed in Dayton, Stanley and Marcele had 1 son and 2 daughters. 
In his 4 years in the Air Force, he was 2nd Leiutenent, then 1st Leiutenent, then Captain. He worked on designing flight tests for airplanes. After his time in the Air Force, Stanley got a job with Grumman in Calverton, NY. During his first years with Grumman Stanley designed the PO2 tubes on the F-14 airplane. These tubes were in charge of assessing the speed of the airplane and then calculating the appropriate wing span the airplane needed. This was a major innovation in aerospace engineering because this was the first airplane with an adjustable wing span. He also designed test flights for the F-14. After a few years of working in Calverton, Stanley was moved to the corporate office in Bethpage, NY.
Shortly after moving back to New York to work for Grumman, Stanley and Marcele had their 4th child, a little girl named Dena, and just 18th months later, they had their last child, another girl named Lisa. The Wong family home was one of the first homes in an area of East Moriches called Newport Beach. After he was moved to the Bethpage office, Stanley's commute became very long, about 1 1/2 hours each way daily. Although he hated the commute, he was committed to his family and Grumman so he spent those 3 hours each day in the car for the next 24 years
More than anything, Stanley was a family man. Through the years he continued to frequently visit his parents, brothers and sisters, some who were still in Albany and some who were now in New York City. He always made time for his family. He also loved to garden, a passion he shared with his mother and sisters. He also loved to debate, a passion his daughter shares with him. For many years he owned a boat which he kept at the Newport Beach Marina. He loved to take his family over to the beach in the boat, and they also shared many great times water-skiing, kneeboarding and tubing from the boat as well. Stanley was a very handy man, and he could fix almost anything! His intelligence was well above-average and he loved to show it off when he played trivia games. One of his most memorable and enduring traits was his sense of humor. He always had a joke ready to go, and whatever the circumstances he could always make you laugh, or at least smile. His own laughter was infectious and unmistakable. His boisterous laugh could light up a room. Some have said he was the most likable person they'd ever met. When people would first meet Stanley, within minutes they would have a welcoming feeling and would many times comment, "I love your dad. He's so funny!". 

Stanley was a great provider, sending all his children to college and never failing to help them out when they needed him, whether it was money they needed to borrow or something they needed fixed, he was always there. He taught his children and all those around him about strength, acceptance, humor and most of all how to truly enjoy life. He took his children on many trips to see family, and to just enjoy being together. For many year he hauled his family in a large Ford Econline van, and when on vacation there was a pop-up camper behind him. He knew how to give his family the best of everything, and that it didn't require lots of money. The times the family shared in that camper are priceless. 

He was always a great husband, a wonderful father and especially a phenomenal "Poppie". This was the name his grandchildren used for him, all 9 of them. He had a special bond with his first grandchild, Robbie. They were best friends. He loved to teach Robbie all sorts of things, especially how to fly using the flight simulator on the computer and how to mow the lawn on the ride on mower. He loved being retired and spending lots of time with his grandchildren, napping, gardening and just enjoying the sanctuary of his home. He had certainly earned that pleasure after spending all those years driving so far to work and back. 

In the face of grief and tragedy, Stanley was strong and he led his family through it all. He held us together through the loss of his daughter, and our sister, Jodi to suicide. His strength was unwavering, through all the struggles we've faced as a family and all the struggles he faced as a person. Even through his own struggle with lung cancer, his strength was inspirational. He held up the family as we all struggled to come to acceptance of his condition. It was not until April of 2005, after several months of what the doctors initially thought was "a bad case of pneumonia", that he was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. Since he was not a smoker, we all struggled to figure out why he got this deadly disease. Was it his asthma and the chronic inflammation of his lungs or the scars left from the pneumonia he had in college or something else? No one knows, he knew that and he accepted it with grace and dignity. In October of 2005, after a hospitalization, the doctors found that the cancer had spread to his spine, he was officially stage 4. During his year battle with lung cancer he had his ups and downs. Chemotheraphy helped temporarily, and the drug Tarceva helped for quite a while after he was found to be in stage 4. It made his last months livable and full. He even went hiking with his daughter and grandson just weeks before his death. Through all of it, he was most concerned about the welfare of his wife after he was gone. He made sure she was well taken care of. Finally, a drastic turn for the worse came on April 26, 2006. He was suddenly feeling disoriented and lethargic. On April 28th, he entered the hospital. Over the next week, he slowly slipped into a coma. The doctors and his family struggled to find out what was causing his decline and if there was something that could be done. It turned out to be carcinomous meningitis, cancer cells throughout the spinal fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. There was no treatment. After being transported home for hospice care on May 5, 2006, Stanley Wong died the morning of May 6, 2006. He was surrounded by his family and he was home where he loved to be. 

Not all 'Poppie's" grandchildren got to know him well, but they will know him from the stories that will be told about him, and from the impact he's had on his children. His presence is always with them, no matter where his is! 
A very close friend once said to me, “You know, people use the expression ‘One of a Kind' to describe a lot of people and things. But there isn't anyone I've ever known who has earned that title more than your dad.” We love him always and miss him everyday. 
Stanley was a great provider, sending all his children to college and never failing to help them out when they needed him, whether it was money they needed to borrow or something they needed fixed, he was always there. He taught his children and all those around him about strength, acceptance, humor and most of all how to truly enjoy life. He took his children on many trips to see family, and to just enjoy being together. For many year he hauled his family in a large Ford Econline van, and when on vacation there was a pop-up camper behind him. He knew how to give his family the best of everything, and that it didn't require lots of money. The times the family shared in that camper are priceless. 
He was always a great husband, a wonderful father and especially a phenomenal "Poppie". This was the name his grandchildren used for him, all 9 of them. He had a special bond with his first grandchild, Robbie. They were best friends. He loved to teach Robbie all sorts of things, especially how to fly using the flight simulator on the computer and how to mow the lawn on the ride on mower. He loved being retired and spending lots of time with his grandchildren, napping, gardening and just enjoying the sanctuary of his home. He had certainly earned that pleasure after spending all those years driving so far to work and back. 
In the face of grief and tragedy, Stanley was strong and he led his family through it all. He held us together through the loss of his daughter, and our sister, Jodi to suicide. His strength was unwavering, through all the struggles we've faced as a family and all the struggles he faced as a person. Even through his own struggle with lung cancer, his strength was inspirational. He held up the family as we all struggled to come to acceptance of his condition. It was not until April of 2005, after several months of what the doctors initially thought was "a bad case of pneumonia", that he was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. Since he was not a smoker, we all struggled to figure out why he got this deadly disease. Was it his asthma and the chronic inflammation of his lungs or the scars left from the pneumonia he had in college or something else? No one knows, he knew that and he accepted it with grace and dignity. In October of 2005, after a hospitalization, the doctors found that the cancer had spread to his spine, he was officially stage 4. During his year battle with lung cancer he had his ups and downs. Chemotheraphy helped temporarily, and the drug Tarceva helped for quite a while after he was found to be in stage 4. It made his last months livable and full. He even went hiking with his daughter and grandson just weeks before his death. Through all of it, he was most concerned about the welfare of his wife after he was gone. He made sure she was well taken care of. Finally, a drastic turn for the worse came on April 26, 2006. He was suddenly feeling disoriented and lethargic. On April 28th, he entered the hospital. Over the next week, he slowly slipped into a coma. The doctors and his family struggled to find out what was causing his decline and if there was something that could be done. It turned out to be carcinomous meningitis, cancer cells throughout the spinal fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. There was no treatment. After being transported home for hospice care on May 5, 2006, Stanley Wong died the morning of May 6, 2006. He was surrounded by his family and he was home where he loved to be. 
Not all 'Poppie's" grandchildren got to know him well, but they will know him from the stories that will be told about him, and from the impact he's had on his children. His presence is always with them, no matter where his is! 
A very close friend once said to me, “You know, people use the expression ‘One of a Kind' to describe a lot of people and things. But there isn't anyone I've ever known who has earned that title more than your dad.” We love him always and miss him everyday.