Chun-Lang ChengSeptember 22, 1940 ~ October 6, 2017 (age 77)
Dr. Cheng, as he was known by many of his patients and friends, was born September 22, 1940 in Longtan, Taiwan. He was the 4th of eleven children. His father, Dr. Sheng-Chi Cheng and mother Yi-Mei Lee were both natives of Longtan, Taiwan. Dr. Sheng-Chi Cheng was a well-known family physician in the area, and he received the equivalent of the Presidential Medal of Honor in Taiwan in the 1980s. Dr. Cheng followed in his father's footsteps and attended the prestigious Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan and entered into the field of Pediatrics.
While working at a hospital in Taipei, he would meet his future wife, Shu-Tsing Lin, a nurse, and the two would marry in 1974. They emigrated to Bronx, New York to start their life together in a tiny converted garage. Their family soon grew to include two young daughters. In the Bronx, Dr. Cheng completed his residency at Fordham Hospital.
In 1979, Dr. Cheng set out to start his own pediatric practice, moving his family across the country, in his beloved metallic green Ford Torino, to California. The family finally settled in Oxnard, California in 1980, where his son was born. Dr. Cheng would establish his Pediatric practice of over 30 years in the OMAC building. Never conventional, he would decorate his office with airplanes and tanks following his childhood passion of being a fighter pilot. He would often give patients model airplanes for doing well in school and he became known as the “Gummy Worm” doctor for his penchant of giving patients gummy worms. Though his late night follow-up calls at 10pm would wake up some parents, they knew Dr. Cheng called because he cared for their children as much as he did for his own.
Although Dr. Cheng continued to work until the very last month of his life, he was a man of many passions. His childhood love of airplanes began with crafting wooden planes. This later expanded to a collection of over one hundred model airplanes displayed in aerial combat, connected ingeniously by fishing line. With the same devotion, he pursued and documented history, meticulously gathering family genealogy and photos throughout the years to self-publish a book of over 200 pages in 2016 honoring his father’s life. Dr. Cheng was rarely seen without his beloved camcorder, documenting the lives of his family and friends. An avid gardener, he transformed his home into a lush garden of exotic fruit trees and plants that he would welcome others to enjoy and harvest. His generosity and great sense of humor are also well remembered. He would dress up as Chairman Mao, Santa Claus or the Chinese Monkey King and play silly jokes on people, even at church. He was legendary for giving out over 30 watermelons from the back of his Mercedes trunk that he bought in bulk to help a local roadside vendor.
In the end though, his devotion to his children and grandchildren was his true passion. He would wake up early every day to do his rounds at the hospital then drive his kids all the way from Oxnard to Camarillo for school before making the return trip back to Oxnard to start his office practice when they were young. There was always a live goldfish to put in the garden pond, fruits to pick, trees to plant and of course gifts upon gifts for his grandchildren when they visited. Dr. Cheng was truly a kid at heart and nothing brought him more joy than hearing his grandchildren squeal with laughter as he played with them. And he would always ask his grandchildren, “Are you happy?” which, in the end, was the most important question for him about life. Dr. Cheng was a happy man, full of life and joy and always doing things with a smile or laugh that radiated genuine warmth towards everyone.
Dr. Cheng is survived by his wife, Shu-Tsing; his daughters, Ethelind and Cynthia; his son, Davin; and his two grandchildren, Eaton and Emerson.
Memorial Services will be held at Conejo Valley Memorial Park on November 11th, 2017 at 10am with burial services to follow at the same location.
In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to support the Oxnard Public Library in Dr. Chun-Lang Cheng’s name.
Oxnard Friends of the Library Foundation
Memo: Dr. Chun-Lang Cheng
Oxnard Friends of the Library Foundation
Attn: Sofia Kimsey, City Librarian
251 S. A St. Oxnard, CA 93030
...Family in the care of Erin Arteaga, Funeral Director
Oxnard Friends of the Library Foundation: Memo: Dr. Chun-Lang Cheng
251 South A Street, Oxnard...Attn: Sofia Kimsey, City Librarian CA 93030