Memorial services held for Chinese studies director
John B. Wong, MD, JD, PhD, ThD, MA
Memorial services for John B. Wong, MD, JD, PhD, ThD, MA, director of the Chinese studies program, LLU School of Science and Technology, were held Saturday, June 17, at Eternal Hills Memorial Park in Oceanside, California. Dr. Wong passed away on Monday, June 12, after a six-month bout with cancer.
“Dr. Wong’s broad interest in ethics, theology, and medicine have been an inspiration to many,” shares Richard Hart, MD, DrPH, chancellor of LLU. “His support of the University through teaching, consulting, and philanthropy have been deeply appreciated.”
Dr. Wong was a vascular surgeon with a deep interest in theology, ethics, and philosophy. He was an author, a university professor, and a seminary lecturer. In 1956 he earned his BA degree from Pacific Union College, and four years later he graduated from LLU School of Medicine with his MD.
After practicing medicine for 30 years, Dr. Wong decided to expand his academic interests, and in the 1990s he earned four degrees: a JD in 1990 from Western State University Law School and Western Sierra Law School, California; a ThD in 1995 from Trinity Evangelical Seminary, Florida; an MA in 1996 from Fuller Theological Seminary and Westminster Theological Seminary, California; and a PhD in theology and ethics from the same school in 1998.
Affiliated with many professional organizations, Dr. Wong was a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and the International College of Surgeons, an active member of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Christian Ethics, and belonged to the Honorary Staff of Loma Linda University Medical Center. He is listed in the IBC’s International Who’s Who of Intellectuals, and 2000 Outstanding Scholars of the 20th Century, Cambridge, England. He is the author of The Resurrected Body, 2000; God in Life’s Splendor and Shadows, 2001; Christian Wholism—Theological and Ethical Implications in the Postmodern World, 2002; Ethics Today—for Ministers and Healthcare Professionals, 2003; Introduction to China, 2004; and Healthy Prayers, 2005.
Dr. Wong founded the Chinese studies program for health professions at LLU. This unique program prepared health professionals to work with Chinese people, and it included an immersion experience providing health care in China at a facility he and his wife built in Zhongshan, People’s Republic of China.
Charles Lee, DDS, assistant professor in oral and maxillofacial surgery in the School of Dentistry, completed the certificate in Chinese studies for health professions. “I knew him for only less than four years, yet the impression he has left in me is so deep,” says Dr. Lee. “Like the Chinese saying goes, ‘conversing with him overnight is far better than reading a thousand books.’ I feel that the knowledge he has imparted to me is by far greater than all my years of going to school to learn under many teachers. He inspired me to walk after his footsteps in carrying his missionary work in China at the clinic he has built, hoping that one of these days the clinic can become the medical evangelistic arm to bring the gospel to the Chinese people.”
As founder and president of the U.S.–China Christian Institute, Dr. Wong involved himself in mission outreach and language instruction. His hobbies included music, singing, portrait painting, Chinese calligraphy, architecture, race-walking, and tennis. He is survived by his wife, psychologist Alice L. Wong, PhD, and seven children.
“Dr. Wong was visionary, passionate about taking Christ to China, and a wonderful human being,” says Lisa Beardsley, PhD, MPH, vice chancellor for academic affairs. “He brought his keen intellect, exuberance for life, and love of learning to the classroom in a unique way. Dr. Wong was a renaissance man, and a man of God. He will be sorely missed at Loma Linda University. The full result of his positive influence, his work, and his generous philanthropy will only be realized in heaven.”
By Patricia Thio