Shih Wang Obituary (2022) – Vallejo, Ca, CA

Dr. Wang was born in Wuxi, China to father, Chuan-Pi Wang and mother, Fung-Ying Lok in 1924; later that year the family moved to Shanghai, where he grew up and went to university. As a teenager taking English classes at the China Inland Mission, he got his western name of John and was introduced to Christianity, a faith he strongly maintained to his last days. He began medical studies at St John’s University during the Japanese occupation, and graduated in May 1949, just as the Communists were taking control. He fled first to Hong Kong and then in November 1949 departed for the United States to train in Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, first at St Francis Hospital in Peoria, IL and then at Bellevue and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospitals in New York City; he also did an internship in Poughkeepsie, NY. Afterwards he got a job at the City of Hope Medical Center, in southern California, as a chest physician and later as a radiologist. He met Hong Ying Tom by chance on a train, and they were married in 1959.In 1962, they moved to Vallejo where he became the second radiologist at the Kaiser Hospital, alongside Dr. Shou Nan (Sherman) Tai; he was at Kaiser Vallejo the rest of his career. In 1969, he and Ying and her parents opened a Chinese restaurant, The Cathay Inn. After a full day at Kaiser, in the evenings he worked at the restaurant as host, where he enjoyed chatting with the guests. They ran the restaurant for ten years. He continued on as a radiologist, adopting the new technology of ultrasound when it came along. In the late 1970s, he made trips to Asia to learn acupuncture, and became Kaiser Vallejo’s second acupuncturist, in addition to his radiology duties. Although he officially retired in 1991, he continued his weekly acupuncture clinic until 2011, well into his eighties. He was active in retirement, doing tai chi exercises every day, learning ballroom dance with Ying, and traveling — including three family tours to China ( with visits to the Shanghai house he grew up in, still standing). He was always a voracious reader, spending several hours a day reading books and newspapers, even sometimes reading random sections of the encyclopedia or dictionaries. Both he and Ying were core members of the Vallejo Chinese Christian Church (hosted within the First Baptist Church.) They were also very active in the Vallejo-Napa Chinese Club, the social hub of the local Chinese community. He was regarded as generous, kind and gentlemanly by all who knew him.His wish was to age in place at his home in Vallejo. Ying had several strokes, and passed before him in 2017. He continued without any major health issues until 2020, when he suffered a hip fracture and then a heart attack. The timing was perversely serendipitous, coinciding with the onset of Covid-19 and the societal shift to working-from-home, allowing his sons Peter and Gordon to stay with him in Vallejo, with his son Clifford and family visiting frequently. He remained comfortable at home for two more years, finally passing at home in his sleep from heart failure, at the age of 98.He is survived by his three sons; daughter-in-law, Felicia Wong and grandson Sébastien; sister, Dr. Catherine Wang; sister-in-law, Carol Wang; and brother-in-law, Frank Tom and family.The family is grateful to his dedicated caregivers over the years: Chao-Ming Lin, Jume Wongdee, Khoun Keopramy, and Alicia Barrozo.A private funeral was held on August 6, 2022. A Celebration of Life will be held September 17, 2022 at 11 am, at the First Baptist Church Vallejo. For donations in his honor please consider: Vallejo Chinese Christian Church, 2025 Sonoma Blvd, Vallejo, CA, 94590; Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano County; or Doctors Without Borders.

Published by Times Herald Online on Aug. 28, 2022.

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