Peter C.C. Wang, 83, died May 31, 2020 on the Monterey Peninsula, with his family gathered together to support him.
He was born in 1937 in Yentai, China on the Shandong Peninsula. His immediate family consisted of his father (Wang, Hung Chiu), his mother (Wang, Chang Pei-Lan), an older sister, Margaret; a younger brother, Richard; and a younger sister, Catherine. Growing up, his family moved around a lot and Peter was exposed to many different languages. At age 6, his family moved to Shanghai; at age 10, the family moved to Hong Kong; at age 12, they moved to Taipei. Between the ages of 18 and 20, Peter studied math and physics at Tunghai University in Tai Chung, Taiwan. Peter was excellent with languages and picked up dialects easily. Because he did not live in any one place long enough, his vocabulary was not extensive, but his accent was always impressively native. He could speak Shanghainese and Cantonese even though he had lived in each area for only a few years. Mandarin was his native language.
In 1957, at the age of 20, Peter went to study in the United States. He was one of a very few passengers on a freight ship bound for Portland, Oregon. He completed the third and fourth years of his undergraduate studies at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, focusing on math and physics. At age 22, he met Grace Luo on campus at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon. They married the next year. Then Peter completed his Ph.D. in Statistics and Grace completed her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry.
As a young professor, Peter moved with Grace to various locations around the US. They welcomed a son in East Lansing, Michigan, while Peter was teaching at Michigan State, and then a daughter in Iowa City while he was a professor at the University of Iowa. Peter and Grace discovered California when they made another move, this time to Palo Alto, where Peter began teaching at Stanford University. They welcomed another daughter in Carmel, California, while Peter was teaching graduate-level statistics at the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey. They fell in love with the Monterey Peninsula, making Pebble Beach their home for the next 50 years.
After years of academia, Peter transitioned to real estate investment on the Peninsula and elsewhere on the West Coast. He was a passionate investor. Over the course of his life, he always did his best to optimize the results. He loved both his two countries—China and America—dearly. Peter and Grace always supported philanthropy in countless ways: Chinese student scholarships at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, the Wang Center at Pacific Lutheran University, the Monterey Bay Chinese Association, and the Poverty Alleviation and Social Services through TsingHua University, among others.
Peter is survived by his loving wife, Grace L. Wang, and three children: Phil Wang (and his wife Deborah Leon) of Burlingame, Christina Wang of Belvedere, and Amy Wang of Pebble Beach; as well as five grandchildren: Caroline (21), Spencer (20), Ella (18), Ava (16), and Henry (12).
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