Friends of China Camp – Spring 2021


Farewell to one of FOCC’s original champions

We are sad to report that earlier this year, Friends of China Camp lost one of its founding supporters, Ernest Chung. Ernest was a significant player in the creation of FOCC, allowing our organization to take over the management and operation of China Camp State Park. Ernest also helped share China Camp’s remarkable history, as shown in this YouTube video from 2012. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones. Here is his obituary.

Ernest Chung: May 29, 1952 – January 13, 2021

Ernest, the fourth of five children, was born and raised in Hong Kong. He left for the United States to attend California Institute of Technology in 1970, where he subsequently earned his Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate of Science degrees in biochemical engineering.

Ernest joined Chevron Corporation where he served in several senior management positions until 2001. He then accepted the position of managing director at KPMG Consulting/BearingPoint Inc. Along the way, he completed an MBA from University of California, Los Angeles.

Ernest retired in 2009 to devote more time to his passions, travel and cycling. He was a champion of the outdoors, dedicated to improving the public’s access to and enjoyment of California’s state parks. He helped create and chair Friends of China Camp,  successfully raising the funds to maintain the park at a time when 70 California state parks were threatened with closure. His deep commitment to Marin’s state parks led to his appointment, by Governor Jerry Brown, to the California State Park and Recreation Commission in 2013.

In 2015, Ernest had a life-altering cycling accident and moved to Monterey County. While he could no longer bike and enjoy the outdoors, his commitment to the preservation of state parks remained strong. Ernest served as board chair from 2015 to 2017, and continued his volunteer work in Monterey County. He championed increasing access to state parks for underserved groups and the creation of urban parks in Los Angeles.

Ernest never gave up or let his accident define him. He will be sorely missed.

Ernest is predeceased by his parents and his sister Lydia. He is survived by his brothers Elbert (Kathy), Richard (Cynthia), sister Joyce (Tom), nephews Brian, Dionne, Ryan, Tyler, Matthew, and Gabriel, and his cousin Daniel (Anita) and their children Anthony, Derraina, and Dorian.

Due to Covid-19, a celebration of life will be planned for Ernest in Marin, Monterey, and Vancouver when everyone can travel safely again.

In lieu of flowers, consider donating in the memory of Ernest to the following organizations that he was passionate about: