WONG, Dr. James From Wayland, MA, passed away peacefully on October 4, 2020 at the age of 92 surrounded by his family. He is survived by his beloved wife of 65 years, Lorinda (née Yung), and their seven children: Lesley Wong and husband Chris Grande (deceased) of Lexington, KY, Corinne Wong and husband Steve Wilson of San Rafael, CA, Marcy Zenobi-Wong and husband Renato Zenobi from Zürich Switzerland, Terence Wong and wife Amy Sullivan of Wayland, MA, Jamie Wong from Montreal, Canada, Jessie Harlin and husband Brian Harlin of New York, NY, and Lori Wong and husband Rick Miller of Los Angeles, CA. He was a loving grandfather to his 17 grandchildren who were a constant source of great pride and joy for him. James was born in New York City Chinatown on October 9, 1927, the youngest of eight children. Following his older brothers' lead, he entered MIT in 1944 and discovered his calling for engineering, earning his PhD in Material Science in 1955. In 1962, he founded Supercon, Inc., to which he remained dedicated, going to work every day until March 2020.
A renowned expert in the field of superconducting materials, Dr. Wong's passion for inventing led to numerous patents that advanced the manufacturing of specialty metal alloys. In 2011, he received the prestigious IEEE Award for Continuing and Significant Contributions in the Field of Applied Superconductivity for his pioneering work in producing commercial grade superconducting cables and conductors. The award has since been renamed "IEEE Dr. James Wong Award for Continuing and Significant Contributions to Applied Superconductor Materials Technology." James was dedicated to his wife Lorinda and their family. James had a green thumb and spent his free time tending his vegetable garden and flowering plants. The yearly tomato, corn, and chestnut harvests impressed everyone who had the pleasure of sharing this bounty. He was also a great lover of the ocean and spent many holidays fishing and clamming with his family. There was no food he loved better than a platter of fried clams.
Private services were held at the Lakeview Cemetery in Wayland. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to MIT for the Class of 1948 Student Financial Aid Fund in memory of James Wong '48. Checks may be made payable to MIT and mailed to: Memorial Gifts Office; 600 Memorial Drive, W98-500; Cambridge, MA 02139.
Obituary originally published in Boston Globe 6-11 October 2020.