The CHS Alumni Association was notified through a family member about the sudden passing of a beloved CHS math teacher, Dennis Dong so we are adding him here in hopes to give other alumni the opportunity to share their memories.
“Enjoy every day as if it is going to be the best day of your life.” ~ Dennis Dong
Dennis Dong was born on April 12, 1945, to Lena Jane Chin and Gerald Dong in Bremerton, Washington. His parents divorced when he was young and he lived with his father and grandmother in Seattle while growing up, while his mother moved to San Francisco to start a new life. His older sister, Diana lived with their mother and then their mom remarried and had a daughter named Karen Wong.
As a young man, he also worked as a busboy at a long-time Chinese restaurant called The Hong Kong Restaurant in Seattle.
Dennis attended and graduated from Seattle University in June 1971 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education as well as from the University of Washington. His favorite subjects were English, science, and history. But why did he choose to become a math teacher? According to Dennis, “Because it always came easy. It is black and white; there is always an answer and many ways to get at that answer.” He was a dedicated teacher and believed that the greatest part of being a teacher is sharing his knowledge and contributing to the success of students.
He devoted over 30 years of his life as a math teacher/math department head (according to Melinda Goodleaf, Manager of Records & Archives, Seattle Schools) at Asa Mercer Middle School (1971/1972 to 1973/1974), Cleveland High School (1974/75 to 1986/87), Denny Middle School (1990/92 to 1993/94), Nathan Hale High School (1995/96 to 2001), and Ballard High School (2001 to 2007, retired in 2004 but subbed 2006/2007).
He loved seeing movies, concerts, and “getting some good eats.” According to an article from a Ballard High School newsletter, he was well-liked as he was full of enthusiasm, charm, and wit.
Dennis made such an impression on his students that former students would contact him after they completed his class. Even today, he has had a lasting impression on his former students.
He was beloved by his family and thousands of his former students. He leaves behind his two sisters, Diana (Les), Karen (Steve), a nephew, Theo, and niece, Natalie, as well as many cousins and friends.
Did you know Mr. Dong? Share your memories through the link below.
Evergreen Washelli Funeral Home & Cemetery