Leonard Sherman Chong
July 27, 1946 – June 30, 2016
Dr. Leonard Sherman Chong, 69, of Fremont, California, passed away on Thursday, June 30, 2016 due to complications related to lymphoma. His sudden illness and diagnosis of cancer just two weeks earlier caught everyone by surprise.
Len was born on July 27, 1946 in Oakland, California, the eldest son of Peter and Ellen Chong. Len graduated from Oakland High School as valedictorian in 1963. He entered UC Berkeley (Cal) at age 17 and then gained early entry to the School of Dentistry at UC San Francisco. He earned his Doctorate of Dental Surgery and a certificate in Orthodontics from UCSF.
After completing his studies, Len started his orthodontics practice in the Tri-City area, first in Hayward for about 10 years and then in Union City for the past 30 years. His son, Scott, joined the practice in 2002 and the two practiced together until the day Len entered the hospital in mid-June. Many of Len's earlier patients have returned to the practice to have their children's orthodontic needs met.
Len was a passionate Cal fan with deep familial roots to the University. His grandfather, Samuel Pon, graduated from Cal in 1923 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. His father, Peter Chong, the first in his family to attend college and a World War II veteran, earned his Cal degree in Accounting in 1940. Len met his college sweetheart, Judy, in the Cal library on January 14, 1966 and they were married for over 45 years. They were longtime Cal football and basketball season ticket holders and regularly took their three children, Scott, Kristi, and Laurie to Cal games.
About 20 years ago, Len and Judy began devoting more time to supporting Cal Athletics, Cal Spirit, and the Cal Band. Since 1995, Len served as the photographer for Cal Spirit. Len and Judy enjoyed traveling to away games for the Cal football and basketball teams. They cheered for the women's basketball team at their first ever Final Four appearance in New Orleans in 2013 and followed the men's teams in their NCAA bids as well.
Len’s other favorite hobbies were international travel with Judy (including recent trips to the Galapagos Islands, Africa, and Europe), spending time with his two granddaughters, and maintaining his koi ponds.
University of California, San Francisco - Certificate in Orthodontics, 1972
University of California, San Francisco - Doctorate of Dental Surgery, 1970
University of California at Berkeley - Biological Sciences & Early Entry to Dental School
Professional Accreditations and Honors:
Member of the American Association of Orthodontists; Member of the Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists; Member of the Southern Alameda County Dental Society; Omicron Kappa Upsilon Dental Honor Society; University of California Regents Scholarship from the University of California, Berkeley; University of California Regents Scholarship from the University of California, San Francisco; Invisalign certified.
A kind gentleman and a blessing to all who knew him.
"I am floored to have found out Dr Chong has passed. I will always cherish the photography articles he sent to me and the time he took in helping me find a camera lens. Dr. made me shine so beautifully on my wedding day (fixed my front teeth) and his family and staff always made me feel welcome and valued.
I wish Dr. many beautiful skies and peaceful places to take photos of. A kind gentleman and a blessing to all who knew him.”
I remember his professional expertise combined with his kind and good-humored demeanor.
"Please accept my condolences on your loss. Dr. Chong straightened the teeth of my three children, so we saw him often over a number of years. I remember his professional expertise combined with his kind and good-humored demeanor. And, of course, his dedication to Cal - Go Bears!"
— Josette Walian
Leonard had a special gift for listening.
“Leonard had a special gift for listening. He truly was interested in learning everything he could about the people he met. He and Judy enabled my family to learn to ski at Northstar, and his skill gave my daughter a smile that was perfect! He will be in my thoughts forever.”
— Gary Tucker, DDS
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33800 Alvarado-Niles Road Ste 1, Union City, California, 94587