After having been hospitalized recently with long-time pulmonary problems, Danny Hong, 90, died at home Oct. 8, 2013.
Danny was born in Taishan, China, and received his early education in a Chinese school in his village. Danny was the eldest of four brothers and two sisters. After his father died, Danny emigrated at age 13 to the United States, settling in Chicago with an uncle where Danny was home schooled by some German neighbors.
Drafted into the U.S. Army in January, 1943, Danny served in the Pacific theater (Southern Philippines) during WW II as a PFC, earning a Marksman Badge with Rifle Bar and the Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award. As the smallest soldier, 5'4 1/2", in his unit, the others called him "Junior" and watched out for him. During his final engagement with the enemy, Danny and two soldiers from Oklahoma were the only ones to survive. Wounded, Danny received the Bronze Star, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two bronze service stars, a World War II Victory Medal and the Honorable Service Lapel Button WW II, according to the National Personnel Records Center. Danny was a lifetime member of Disabled American Veterans.
Danny was sent to Van Nuys, CA, to recuperate. Although he did not like to talk about his war experiences, he loved to watch war movies, especially Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan, as well as factual PBS films. Later he added martial arts movies to his preferences.
Danny met his wife-to-be Rose Seid at her brother's house in San Francisco. Rose was teaching school in Hayward, CA, but came often to visit her brother. Rose had a difficult time understanding Danny's broken English. On a date to Fisherman's Wharf, she finally said, "Just speak to me in Chinese!" They were married in 1960 in Portland, OR, Rose's home town. They had three daughters: Jeanne, Bonnie and Janice.
After coming to Idaho Falls, Danny worked in restaurants before owning two: The Lantern in Idaho Falls and The Lotus Garden in Pocatello. In addition to cooking at his restaurants, Danny had his own kitchen in the basement of the family home where he concocted many sumptuous meals for friends. After making his home in Idaho, Danny brought his mother, four brothers and youngest sister to America, where they chose to live in Boston, MA.
In addition to cooking, Danny's passion was fishing--anywhere, anytime. He especially enjoyed this after retirement and, unlike some fishermen, he loved eating his catch.
Danny is survived by his wife Rose, daughters Bonnie of Idaho Falls and Janice of Thousand Oaks, CA, and one sister of Boston, as well as four sisters-in-law and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, four brothers, one sister and his daughter Jeanne.
Danny was a social person who enjoyed people; he had a wonderful sense of humor and loved to tease.
In lieu of a funeral, a Celebration of Life will take place from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Friday, October 18, 2013, at the Hotel On The Falls Restaurant and Convention Center, 475 River Parkway in Idaho Falls. Veterans Rites will be held at 3:00 p.m. under the direction of the Bonneville Veterans Team. Friends and acquaintances are invited to come and share remembrances of Danny. In lieu of flowers the famil suggest donations be given to the Easy Breathers Club, 3100 Channing Way, Idaho Falls, ID 83404. Services are under the direction of Buck-Miller-Hann Funeral Home in Idaho Falls.