FRANKIE CHUNG

Posted On February 10th, 2011 -

FRANKIE CHUNG April 10, 1961 – January 23, 2011 Kauai’s Garden Island newspaper called Frankie Chung “the quintessential American success story.” Those who knew him will remember him as a kind, caring and intelligent man who always put his family and the people around him first. Chung emigrated from Hong Kong and came to Hawaii in August 1980. He spoke little English at first but was determined to make the most of the opportunities he saw in America. A month later he started his career as an entry-level crew member at the McDonald’s on School Street in Honolulu, improving his English as he worked to support his family. Through hard work, determination and a strong sense of ambition, Chung invested himself fully in his McDonald’s career. He saw the potential that his life and career could reach within the McDonald’s system and dreamed of eventually owning and running his own McDonald’s restaurant. Chung’s career advanced quickly as he became a restaurant manager, an area supervisor and eventually manager of several departments for McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii. Along the way he made a name for himself among colleagues. He earned numerous awards and recognitions, including the McDonald’s President’s Award in 1997 – an honor accorded to only the top one percent of McDonald’s employees in the nation. Chung’s McDonald’s career also turned into a love story when he met a fellow restaurant swing manager named Darlene 27 years ago. At first they competed in a friendly game of one-upmanship, but a date at the 50th State Fair broke the ice. They were married on November 21, 1991, and happily raised two sons, Brandon and Michael. In 2005, McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii named Chung its Director of Operations. This made him responsible for managing the wide range of departments and people needed to ensure the smooth operation of more than 80 McDonald’s restaurants in Hawaii, Guam and Saipan. He worked tirelessly to ensure the success of McDonald’s of Hawaii, but never lost sight of his goal. Chung realized his dream of owning a McDonald’s franchise on December 1, 2009, when he acquired not one, but all five McDonald’s restaurants on the island of Kauai. This was no small feat, but he charged straight into the challenge with great gusto and without a doubt of success. He moved his family to Lihue and quickly began playing an active role in Kauai’s business and charitable communities. Well known for freely sharing his talents, resources and skills, Chung included among his charitable interests the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Hawaii, on whose board of directors he served for six years, most recently chairing the fundraising committee. A colleague, mentor and friend to many, Chung will be widely remembered for his larger-than-life personality, humility and, among much else, enthusiastic karaoke singing. One of his favorite songs was Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” – a fitting tribute to someone who took control of his own destiny, worked hard and attained the success he had dreamed of. In addition to his wife and sons, Chung is survived by two brothers, Simon Chung and Poshu Cheng, and a sister, Gloria Lau. Services will be held on Monday, February 14, at Diamond Head Mortuary in Honolulu from 10 to 11 a.m. Burial will follow at Diamond Head Memorial Park at 1:30 p.m. Both are open to the public. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Hawaii.


- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran