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Ted Mayr Funeral Home and Crematory

3150 Loma Vista Road, Ventura, CA

OBITUARY

Mary Bow Dong

September 5, 1925September 8, 2019
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Mary B. Dong, age 94, of Ventura, passed away on September 8, 2019. Mary was born September 5, 1925, in Arkansas, to Mr. and Mrs. Gee Bow. She was the second child of seven, and the oldest daughter. After high school graduation, Mary moved to Houston, Texas and worked for the Chinese Consulate. While she was working full-time, she also enrolled at the University of Houston. Mary was able to take three classes, one before she started work and two classes after she finished work. After one year of this rigorous schedule, she moved back to Cotton Plant when her father passed away. At nineteen, Mary was suddenly in charge of managing the family grocery store until the return of her older brother from military service a few months later. They then worked together to run the grocery store and help raise their younger brothers and sisters. None of the children were paid for their work at the store, so in order to earn money, Mary applied for one of the few jobs in town and became the secretary to the Superintendent of Schools for four years. She also taught a class in business to the returning veterans who wanted to use their GI bill for education. After she had saved enough money to continue her education, Mary and her sister, Janet, went Westward Ho via train to Berkeley, CA. Janet worked as a laboratory technician in San Francisco and Mary enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley. As part of the entrance requirements, she had a physical examination, the first one in her life, as her family never went to see doctors unless it was a life or death illness. Mary tells the story that she took a short six weeks class and the instructor continually called upon her to answer questions. Finally, Mary made an appointment to talk to the instructor. She asked him why she was called on so much. The instructor owned up that the class had put him up to it as they all got a kick out of hearing a thick southern accent coming from a Chinese person. Mary saw that her savings were rapidly dwindling, so she got part time jobs as a waitress, working at the school library and babysitting. She achieved her dream after she received her B.S. degree three years later from UC Berkeley. After graduation, she married her husband, Prentiss, and they moved to Ventura, CA. Mary worked as a teacher for three years for the Ventura School District. At that time, she and her husband became part owners of a pharmacy in Ventura and Mary spent her working time at the pharmacy. They also had two children, Fred and Lynda. Mary was active in helping at the Ventura College Co-op nursery, the PTA, class room mother, supporting the scouting program and taking classes at Ventura College and adult education. One of these classes led to her work as a travel agent for Golden Odyssey Travel. She really enjoyed her work there and did a great deal of traveling after this to many exotic locations, including a hot air balloon ride in Africa over a wild life preserve. This was a very enjoyable time of life for Mary when she finally had the opportunity to "play" and do things she had always wanted to do, including learning how to play the piano and organ. She was a Red Cross volunteer for 21 years at the Pharmacy Department at Port Hueneme Naval Base. Mary was active in the Red Hat Society, Ventura's Razzle Dazzle Diva Chapter. She learned to play golf and tennis at Ventura College, playing with young girls who were the age of her daughter. In later years, she participated in the county-wide Wi Bowling Tournament for Seniors, which allowed four participants from each organization entered. She watched major golf and tennis tournaments and was an avid Lakers fan. Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Gee and Wai Bow; her husband, Prentiss Dong; her daughter, Lynda; her brothers, Sam, Willie and Henry; and her sister, Janet. She is survived by her son, Fred Dong and daughter in law, Stephanie Gross; granddaughter, Madeline; sisters, Fannie and Anna (Robert), as well as many nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held on Friday, September 20, 2019, 11:00 am, at the Ted Mayr Funeral Home, 3150 Loma Vista, Ventura. Interment will follow at Ivy Lawn Memorial Park, 5400 Valentine Road, Ventura.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Ted Mayr Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent to TedMayrFuneralHome.com.

Services

20 September

Funeral Service

10:00 am - 11:00 am

Ted Mayr Funeral Home and Crematory

3150 Loma Vista Road
Ventura, CA 93003

20 September

Committal Service

11:30 am - 12:00 pm

Ivy Lawn Memorial Park

5400 Valentine Rd.
Ventura, CA 93003

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Mary Bow Dong

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Biography

Mary B. Dong, age 94, of Ventura, passed away on September 8, 2019. Mary was born September 5, 1925, in Arkansas, to Mr. and Mrs. Gee Bow. She was the second child of seven, and the oldest daughter.

After high school graduation, Mary moved to Houston, Texas and worked for the Chinese Consulate. While she was working full-time, she also enrolled at the University of Houston. Mary was able to take three classes, one before she started work and two classes after she finished work.

After one year of this rigorous schedule, she moved back to Cotton Plant when her father passed away. At nineteen, Mary was suddenly in charge of managing the family grocery store until the return of her older brother from military service a few months later. They then worked together to run the grocery store and help raise their younger brothers and sisters.

None of the children were paid for their work at the store, so in order to earn money, Mary applied for one of the few jobs in town and became the secretary to the Superintendent of Schools for four years. She also taught a class in business to the returning veterans who wanted to use their GI bill for education.

After she had saved enough money to continue her education, Mary and her sister, Janet, went Westward Ho via train to Berkeley, CA. Janet worked as a laboratory technician in San Francisco and Mary enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley. As part of the entrance requirements, she had a physical examination, the first one in her life, as her family never went to see doctors unless it was a life or death illness.

Mary tells the story that she took a short six weeks class and the instructor continually called upon her to answer questions. Finally, Mary made an appointment to talk to the instructor. She asked him why she was called on so much. The instructor owned up that the class had put him up to it as they all got a kick out of hearing a thick southern accent coming from a Chinese person.

Mary saw that her savings were rapidly dwindling, so she got part time jobs as a waitress, working at the school library and babysitting. She achieved her dream after she received her B.S. degree three years later from UC Berkeley.

After graduation, she married her husband, Prentiss, and they moved to Ventura, CA. Mary worked as a teacher for three years for the Ventura School District. At that time, she and her husband became part owners of a pharmacy in Ventura and Mary spent her working time at the pharmacy.

They also had two children, Fred and Lynda. Mary was active in helping at the Ventura College Co-op nursery, the PTA, class room mother, supporting the scouting program and taking classes at Ventura College and adult education. One of these classes led to her work as a travel agent for Golden Odyssey Travel. She really enjoyed her work there and did a great deal of traveling after this to many exotic locations, including a hot air balloon ride in Africa over a wild life preserve.

This was a very enjoyable time of life for Mary when she finally had the opportunity to "play" and do things she had always wanted to do, including learning how to play the piano and organ. She was a Red Cross volunteer for 21 years at the Pharmacy Department at Port Hueneme Naval Base.

Mary was active in the Red Hat Society, Ventura's Razzle Dazzle Diva Chapter. She learned to play golf and tennis at Ventura College, playing with young girls who were the age of her daughter. In later years, she participated in the county-wide Wi Bowling Tournament for Seniors, which allowed four participants from each organization entered. She watched major golf and tennis tournaments and was an avid Lakers fan.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Gee and Wai Bow; her husband, Prentiss Dong; her daughter, Lynda; her brothers, Sam, Willie and Henry; and her sister, Janet.

She is survived by her son, Fred Dong and daughter in law, Stephanie Gross; granddaughter, Madeline; sisters, Fannie and Anna (Robert), as well as many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, September 20, 2019, 11:00 am, at the Ted Mayr Funeral Home, 3150 Loma Vista, Ventura. Interment will follow at Ivy Lawn Memorial Park, 5400 Valentine Road, Ventura.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Ted Mayr Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent to TedMayrFuneralHome.com.