DR. WILLIAM CHUN-HOON
Born on September 8, 1928 in Honolulu, Dr. William "Bill" or "Buddy" Chun-Hoon, the former principal of Castelar Elementary School in Chinatown, Los Angeles, passed away at age 91 on October 1, 2019. He was the twelfth of 15 and last surviving child of Chun-Hoon and Lee Oi, founders of the Chun-Hoon Market, which was one of the first supermarkets in Hawaii. This family-run operation enabled the Chun-Hoons to combine a close family life with a successful retail business. Bill attended St. Louis School until the eighth grade when World War II broke out. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Bill and other siblings were sent to California because their mother felt it would be a safer place. With their sister, Marion Mar, as their guardian, the Chun-Hoon siblings lived at Lake Merritt Hotel in Oakland, where Bill enrolled in Westlake Jr. High School. When WWII ended, he returned to Hawaii and graduated from Iolani School in 1946. Bill then studied American History and English at the University of Colorado graduating in 1952. After serving four years in the U.S. Air Force in flight service administration, he received a Master's degree at Columbia University in school counseling. He furthered his graduate studies by earning a Ph.D. in Education from Claremont University. In 1973, Bill became the first Chinese-American principal in the Los Angeles Unified School District and led the Castelar School in Chinatown. Ever the visionary, Bill sought to establish the Castelar School as a hub for the Chinatown community and eventually succeeded in opening a public library branch at the school. Bill served on the California Community Colleges Board of Governors under Governor Jerry Brown. He was an active supporter of the Chinese Historical Society and a Director of the Friends of the Chinatown Library where he was a member on its scholarship committee. His service to the community did not go unnoticed. In 2005, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Chinese American Museum. Bill also served twice as the Honorary Grand Marshall of the Chinatown Golden Dragon Parade. Bill was always a friendly, easy-going and sociable person throughout his life. Deeply interested in carrying on the philanthropic work of his father, who had funded the creation of a school in the early 1930s in his ancestral Chinese village of Ha Chuck, Bill continued the relationship with the school's staff, even visiting the school twice. Today, it continues to be an outstanding school in the Lung Doo District in southern China. Bill's passing brings an end to an era: Chun-Hoon, Lee Oi and their fifteen children lived through periods of historical upheaval and uncertainty yet persevered because they valued hard work, initiative, family, generosity and gratitude.Their sacrifices have allowed later generations to enjoy myriad opportunities and pursue their own education, careers and personal interests. Although the Chun-Hoon and Everybody's Supermarkets have long since closed, it is hoped that the enduring values of those early generations will continue to live on in the family. Bill is survived by his wife of 62 years, Marjorie, children Craig (Dale) Chun-Hoon and Kristina (Kent) Kawakami of Los Angeles, and four grandchildren. He was preceded in death by sisters and brothers Kam Quon Chong, Henry, Clarence, Marion Mar, Karen Mau, Kenneth, Jane Kau, Arthur, Mabel Chang, Marjorie Tom, Thelma Zen, Harry, Albert and Mimi Ching. A Celebration of Life was held in Los Angeles on November 9, 2019. Donations can be made in his memory to the Friends of the Chinatown Library, 639 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased