EHS Notable Alumni

From Farmer in China to Engineer in the USA – A Life of Honor and Achievement.

English High School graduate How Ming Wong, ’54 passed away on April 1, 2021 at the age of 93. Known in his EHS days as Leo, he began life as a farmer living in a village near Toisan, China.

Leo immigrated to the U.S. as a young adult to escape famine and conflict during WWII. He resided in Boston’s Chinatown neighborhood and attended English High School where he excelled at math and track. In the 1954 yearbook Leo stated his ambition was to become an engineer and attend MIT. Later, he was drafted into the US Army to fight in the Korean War.

Returning to Boston after his Army service, he attended MIT where he met his future wife, Helen Nee, a chemistry student from Boston University, at a dance for Chinese students. Leo graduated from MIT with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and later received Master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Northeastern University. Leo and Helen married at Old South Church in Copley Square and went on to raise a family of four children.

Leo was employed as a mechanical engineer at the Boston Naval Shipyard and General Dynamics, before he started work for the U.S. Department of Transportation where he worked to improve safety on trains. He was active with the Liu Family Association and the Hoy Ting social club in Chinatown, and helped raise money to build a school in China.

He leaves behind wife of 62 years Helen Yee Wong; children Linda Wong, Lisa (David) Clark, Susan (Bailey) Long, and John Wong; and his grandchildren Daniela Wong-Chiulli, Alyssa Long, Tyler Long, and Tiana Long; and his sisters Ethel Wong Halloran and Judy Wong; nephews, and extended family; as well as lifelong friends Joe Chou and Bob Carver and many other friends. He was predeceased by his father Gin Fun Wong, his mother Louie Sim Hoy, and his brother Fon Ming Wong.

EHSA President Mike Thomas represented EHSA at the wake held for Leo Wong where he met with the family including wife Helen and three daughters. EHSA presented the family with a letter of condolence and a commemorative 1821 lapel pin.