In Memory

Frances Mong (Leung)

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08/22/11 01:29 PM #1    

Kriste Harrison (Bennett)

Frances was my best friend in 7th grade at Whittier Elementary School.
The following is taken from the LDS Church News dated the week ending August 18, 1979.
    The courtship and wedding of Gary You Chen Cheung Leung, 29, and Frances Kwock Yee Mong, 26, seemed to have been lifted from the pages of a story book where the bride and groom "lived happily ever after."
    The couple, who had both served full-time missions to Hong Kong, were married in the Salt Lake Temple August 4. They died in an automobile accident Aug. 9 near Afton, Wyo. while on their honeymoon.
    They met in Salt Lake City when he came from Hong Kong to study civil engineering at the University of Utah. He was introduced into the church, was baptized in 1972 and became active in the Chinese Branch, Salt Lake Liberty Stake, where she was also a member.
    They became good friends, dated and decided to get married -- but not until they both went on full time missions for the Church to Hong Kong. Frances left for Hong Kong in April 1977; Gary left in July after he graduated with high honors in civil engineering from the University of Utah. During his mission he saw his family, told them about his experiences in the United States and abut the Church.
    As a missionary, Frances met his family and taught his younger brother and mother the gospel. Both were baptized.
    Frances completed her mission in October 1978, retuned to her Salt Lake City home, got and job and began making plans for their marriage. He returned to Salt Lake City July 3. They were married one month and one day later. They had postponed their wedding trip a few days to attend her brother's baptism and take part in a friend's wedding.

Parts from Deseret News article
Frances grew up in Salt Lake City. She was the youngest member of a  Chinese family that traces its Utah history back may decades. She was a convert to the LDS Church and was baptized May 30, 1973.

She was an artist and studied fine arts at the University of Utah, graduating with a bachelor's degree in 1975. She too was active in the Chinese Branch where she and Gary met, became friends, dated and fell in love.

Friends who knew her said she was very spiritual. She was beautiful, of boundless energy and excited about life and nature, one person said.

Another told how she loved to drive to the canyons near Salt Lake City and walk for hours among the trees and flowers, smelling the mountain air. She was a great dreamer, they said.

Those who knew Gary well said he was honest -- a man who would never take advantage of another or profit from others. "He was a man with determination. He told me once, 'If you love something, fight for it,'" a companion said.

The couple began dating at Christmas in 1976. By spring of 1977 they knew they wanted to get married, but decided to wait until they both filled church missions.

In April 1977 Frances left to serve a mission in Hong Kong. Gary graduated from the University of Utah that spring with high honors in civil engineering. In July, he too left for a mission to Hong Kong.

Fellow missionaries say the two saw each other frequently in Hong Kong but never showed any intimacy except the friendship toward one another that any tow fellow missionaries might exhibit.
"They kept it all inside. We knew they love one another," one of Gary's fellow missionaries said.

Frances came back from her mission Oct 9, 1978. She was not able to find a job in fine arts, but was employed in a Salt Lake bank and did so well the bank put her in its management training program. She was learning to be a loan officer.
She purchased a compact car and busied herself planning for the future, for Gary's return and their marriage.

Gary came home from his mission July 3. He planned to study for his master's degree in civil engineering at the U of U. after their marriage.

He and Frances made a thousand plans, waiting for the day of their marriage to arrive. They decorated and furnished an apartment and dreamed of the future.

Their marriage was a grand, happy affair. It was, for both, the culmination of years of longing and dreaming. When they finally left on their honeymoon they carried the good wishes of the city's Chinese community with them --and they carried in their hearts such great affection for each other.

At the funeral services Monday (August 12) , friends told how uncommon both had been and how both had the habit of giving up things for others. They had the habit of helping everyone around them. They radiated a special spirit," one friend said. "They were the perfect match," said another. 

08/10/12 04:23 PM #2    

Kelly Summers

Francis was a fun classmate in Mrs. Kaplans physiology class.  I enjoyed her kindness and friendlinessin class.  In fact she taught me my name in Mandarin Chinese, still a cherished experience.  She was taken too soon from us but I'm comforted that shestill lives and will be there to renewold acquaintances.  And will say, TURN AROUND, KELLY.

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