June 25, 2008 > Obituary: Helene Wing June 11, 1922 - June 8, 2008
Obituary: Helene Wing June 11, 1922 - June 8, 2008
A legacy of thoughts, ideals and behavior is the imprint each of us leaves for future generations. Even though a physical presence may be lost to death, life continues and so does the influence of the departed. Whether an individual's passing is noted in a very public manner or not, it has a profound impact on the lives of family, friends and acquaintances. Helene Wing is remembered for her strong spirit and kind support by many whose lives were touched by her guidance and counsel.
Helene was born June 11, 1922 to Samuel Wong and Mary Woo Shee Mendez in Calexico, California. Her family moved to Escondido and Los Angeles, finally settling in Fresno. A graduate of Fresno State College, Helene moved to San Francisco in the 1940s where she met Lawrence Wing. They were married in Fresno November 13, 1948. Son Brian was born a year later and daughter Linda arrived in 1952. The family lived in El Cerrito, Oakland and Berkeley. With a third child was on the way, the Wing family needed a larger house and the Irvington District of Fremont seemed ideal.
Kevin Scott Wing was born May, 1963; the family moved to Fremont the next month. Lawrence died of a heart attack in 1965 leaving Helene to manage family affairs on her own. "She was a mom and dad to three children for 43 years," said Brian. His sister Linda concurred and added, "She was a great provider." Kevin recalled, "On school days, she would fix breakfast every morning and then be off to work at Oakland Naval Supply Center and Alameda Naval Air Station where she served as a clerk-typist for 40 years." In 1971, the Wing family moved to the .Mission San Jose area and a home that, according to Kevin, featured Helene's favorite color, yellow. "The house was yellow, the carpet inside was yellow, some rooms were wallpapered in yellow, the kitchen countertop was yellow," said Kevin.
Her family was always foremost in her mind and even after a long day at work, Helene would put everything else aside to prepare dinner and find out what was happening in her children's lives. "She was a terrific mom, a loving mom and always interested in what her kids were doing. I always felt loved by her," said Kevin. Brian echoes these sentiments, "She was always giving and always there for her children, her grandkids and great-grandkids. She was a perfect woman." Brian recalled that his mother could be tough too. One weekend when he was in trouble and told not to leave the house, he couldn't resist the temptation to slip out a bedroom window. On his return, Brian was met by his wide-awake mother who let him know in unyielding terms of his transgression.
Throughout her life, Helene never neglected her children. Linda said her mother's primary life lesson for her children was, "Family comes first; always treat your family and others with respect, especially your elders. Treat others as you want to be treated." As an adult, Kevin remembers frequent calls from his mother which ended with repeated reminders that "this is mom" so he wouldn't forget who called. He laughs a bit when he recalls the phrase and knows that cue will always be present in his life. Kevin feels strongly that if his mother was able to give her final words today, she would reassure her family saying, 'I am fine and you will all be fine too. I am very proud of all of you. Remember me as your mom.'
Helene is survived by her children Brian Wing of Tracy, Linda Mills of Fremont, Kevin Wing of Fremont and sister, Pauline Wong of Fremont. She will also be missed by son-in-law Daniel Mills, daughter-in-law Diana Wing, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews in the Bay Area, Madera and Fresno.
Friends wishing to donate in Helene's name are asked to contribute to the Alzheimer's Association, 10 La Avenida Street, Mountain View, CA 94043.