'Jimmy' Chong, 81, helped his community
James Chin Fo "Jimmy" Chong, longtime commander of American Legion Kau Tom Post Unit 11, was a familiar face in Chinatown who could be found stringing up lights for a booth at a festival despite his advanced age.
"He's the kind of guy who would try to help people," said dentist Joseph Young, Chong's friend. "If you needed something, he would go get it."
Chong, 81, died April 18 at Kuakini Medical Center.
Born in Honolulu, Chong grew up in Kalihi. His education at Farrington High School was cut short by the outbreak of World War II. Chong joined the Army and eventually became a master sergeant.
After a four-decade career as an aircraft structural mechanic at Hickam Air Force Base, Chong spent his retirement helping out the Kau Tom Post, formed originally to represent Chinese-American veterans. He also served on former Mayor Jeremy Harris' Chinatown task force, participated in funding the reconstruction efforts of the Palolo Chinese Home and was active with the United Chinese Society and other organizations.
Chong is survived by his wife, Rose; son, James T.W.; daughter, Anne L. Dang; and a grandchild.
Friends may visit from 9 to 11 a.m. Sunday at Borthwick Mortuary. A service begins at 11. Burial will follow at Lin Yee Chung Manoa Chinese Cemetery.