Ted Chang Boon Cheang

October  19th, 1947 May  19th, 2024
Corona del Mar, California
Ted Chang Boon Cheang

What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.

Obituary

It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Ted Chang Boon Cheang, Lieutenant Commander (Retired) RMN, who left us on May 19, 2024, at the age of 76. Ted resided in Corona del Mar, California, and will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

Born on October 19, 1947, Ted was known for his unwavering kindness, care, compassion, patience, and consideration. His charitable spirit, integrity, generosity, intelligence, wisdom, calm demeanor, and remarkable talents touched the lives of many. He consistently exemplified resilience in the face of challenges and was profoundly loved by those around him.

Ted’s life was characterized by a deep commitment to those he served and a dedication to making the world a better place. He was a man of many stories, and his personal tributes were always shared with warmth and wit, making everyone feel appreciated and valued.

The Family of Ted Chang hosted a Memorial with Viewing at his home in California, which included a special "TED Talk Session" for personal tributes and storytelling on June 15, 2024, at 978 Sandcastle Drive, Corona del Mar, California. And now they will be hosting a Memorial and Committal Service back home in Malaysia at Nirvana 2 or Nirvana Center KL 16, Jalan Dewan Bahasa, Bukit Seputeh, 50460 Kuala Lumpur. Level M2, Diamond Suite, Room N1, on Saturday July 6, Sunday July 7 and Monday July 8. Time and details are provided below. 

Ted's family is deeply grateful to the wonderful community in the United States for the unwavering support and care extended to him during the most challenging time of his life. Back in Malaysia, the love and support from his buddies and mates from the Royal Malaysian Navy and the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, have been a poignant testament to the profound impact he had on those around him. You have all been such a significant part of Ted's life, and the family thanks you sincerely.

As we gather to celebrate Ted's remarkable life, let us remember the many ways he touched our hearts and the legacy of kindness and generosity he leaves behind.

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June 26, 2024
Apa Khabar - How are you. I’m honored to pay tribute to my dear and longtime friend, Ted. I’ll tell you why.

Forty one years ago Ted was hosting a good by party at his place in Kuala Lumpur, sister Pearl, long time friend Charley Chan, Vladimer and myself were there. Ted was off to Chicago to get his MBA at the University of Chicago, I was heading home for Christmas. We had become friends as I had survived a Ted inquisition when he came into the Clark Hatch Fitness center open house. Ted was deliberate and thorough in his questioning as I explained the benefits and features of the fitness center. He joined and he
and Charley would come in regularly to work out. One evening I was getting ready to head home and Ted realized that I had been commuting to
work by jogging 45 minutes to and from work. He offered me a ride home and that ride started a friendship that became eternal.

We both arrived in the US in December 82 and Ted came up to my family home in Marquette, Michigan for Christmas. We have stayed in contact throughout all these years with visits to each other’s areas and occasional phone calls.

I recently told Ted that I felt he was the most intelligent guy I ever met. Ted shared his humble beginnings in Malaysia. I noticed his Malaysia Outward Bound Diploma and pin and he stated that he graduated in the top 10%. He felt that it had established a base line of confidence for future lifetime achievements. The rigors of that program had pushed him mentally and physically to a level of problem solving that gave him the inner sense of strength and stamina that defined him.

Ted was a collector of many things but I felt his favorite collection were the hearts and minds of his relatives and friends. At his memorial in his home I was told of how at EPE he responded to the needs of his employees by transforming a room into a day care nursery for the children of employees. Ted always strived to meet the needs of others. Ted would look at a problem and simply say…”We can do this”… and it would get done.

Ted was very principled, disciplined and precise in planning and execution. Ted embodied a higher standard for himself and instilled that in
others. That engineering mind enjoyed research, planning and execution.

He handled adversity bravely, yet was rational in accepting reality. In helping prepare for his memorial, I was staying once again in his
beautiful home where I found displayed a photo of myself ski jumping that I had given him. In turning the photo i found what I had written on the back dated June 13, 1983.

“Ted Boom Change
Long life, contentment and peaceful days in your future prosperity with
you and yours.
Live life with zenith and zest.
Putting forth always your best,
so you can enjoy your eternal rest.
Cheers,
Rico
6-13-83”

Ted nailed it.
Terima Kasi
Rico Zenti
June 16, 2024
"You are like the company you keep." This proverbial notion has rung true in recent weeks of interacting with Ted’s circle of friends and family. So to describe my relationship with Ted is to portray his relationship with many of you. Ted and I first met as classmates on the campus of the U of C. It's a testament to his endearing nature and the nurturing quality of his relationships that several among us have assembled today more than 40 years removed from having had just 6 quarters of classes with him. During an academic break I invited Ted on a 1000 mile drive south to visit my hometown of New Orleans and to stay at my parents’ place. He immediately became a favorite there and would be a regular visitor. By the time years later when Ted flew in to be best man at my wedding, my mother was eyeing him as a possible suitor for my little sister. Ever since then it seemed whenever I spoke with my mother, she would ask about Ted and his marital status. Typically, the conversations would go as follows. Mom: "How's Ted? Is he still single? You know he would be such a good hubbie for your sister." Me: "I know, I know. You keep saying this but I'll give you the same response. Ted's much too fine a person for sis. He's totally above her pay grade." In the meantime, my father, a lifelong scientist, very much enjoyed his company and would talk for hours on end on a wide range of topics. One night before Ted and I returned to Chicago, he carefully prepared a calligraphy board using traditional Japanese sumi ink. I would only learn about this much later but on it he wrote the slogan from Japan's last samurai, Saigo Takamori. The phrase 敬天愛人 ”Revere Heaven, Love Mankind” was the slogan Saigo used to impress upon officials of the new Meiji Government the importance of selfless service under heaven, or god, for the benefit of fellow man regardless of rank. These principles were echoed in a speech by John D Rockefeller, of which there is an inscription at Rockefeller Center in New York. When I recently went by the site and reread these words, I thought of Ted.

"I believe in the supreme worth of the individual and in his right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.
I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living.
I believe that thrift is essential to well ordered living and that economy is a prime requisite of a sound financial structure, whether in government, business or personal affairs.
I believe that truth and justice are fundamental to an enduring social order.
I believe in the sacredness of a promise, that a man’s word should be as good as his bond; that character—not wealth or power or position—is of supreme worth.
I believe that the rendering of useful service is the common duty of mankind and that only in the purifying fire of sacrifice is the dross of selfishness consumed and the greatness of the human soul set free."

Saigo’s four character calligraphy seemed to distill this message into one pithy phrase. I think this struck a chord with Ted as he took home this piece of Japanese cardboard that night and propped it up next to his bed. There it would remain for much of his career after Chicago. Many years later, soon after my father had passed, my mother had come by my place in Santa Monica on her way to take father's ashes to his home in southern Japan. Ted came to visit. Offering his sympathies he took out this calligraphy board that neither of us had been aware of much less seen and presented it to us. This simple but thoughtful gesture meant the world to us and encapsulated so much of who Ted was. Today this piece evokes an ever stronger emotion, resonating with me in combining the spirit of two men I most admire. Thank you Ted. May you rest In peace.
Mark Arimura
June 16, 2024
Farewell Ted. Thank you for your friendship and mentorship. You lived a full life and I am grateful to have known you
Alan Leong
June 16, 2024
Thank you Uncle Ted… for the books, for the appreciation, for the inspiration, for your trust and confidence, for your understanding, and for showing me a few important life lessons. I wish there had been more time. I will remember you, because of the deep impression that you left. Sending you off with love. -Lin
Lin Yao
June 15, 2024
Miss you Ted! Love and condolences to your family and friends on this sad day. All the best from Eva and family in Sweden🌷
Eva Fredriksson
June 14, 2024
FROM Q and joined in tribute by SARA my wife.
The first picture is one sent to me by Ted himself during one of our many “Ted Talks” in the last weeks of his life. This is how my memory conjures him and is how he looked when we joined Britannia Royal Navy College together in 1967. What a handsome young man! What confidence and composure, looking you straight in the eyes. But above all how SMART – in every sense of the word.
We were in the same Division (Grenville) at Dartmouth and on the same mess deck. I was straight from boarding school and knew nothing of military training. I remember vividly Chang (as I called him then) showing me how to ‘bull’ our new parade boots from dull, pimpled leather to a gleaming glass shine in which you could see your face! A matter of a few hours for Ted’s practiced hand but hours and hours for me. Over the next month or two, we got to know each other and forged in our youth a friendship that, despite 50 years of separation re-ignited instantly we were back in touch.
After our first term at Dartmouth, we were sent on Christmas leave. I asked Ted what plans he had and discovered that he had none really (most unlike him!). So I invited him to spend Christmas with me and my family in Shropshire. His stay with us for a very traditional English Christmas, has become a legend within our family. It must have been rather unnerving for Ted but everyone took an instant shine to this quiet but charming lad and have remembered his stay with us with great affection. My mother whose own childhood in a British “colonial” family had spent much of it separated from her family scattered as it was across the globe, took him under her wing. Ted’s mum sent her then, and for many years to come, a huge bag of her own recipe of spicy curry powder which my mother always used for curry dishes. Unfortunately, what was probably a month’s supply for Ted’s mother was so hot to our taste it lasted over a year, by which time the next bag had arrived!
Neither Ted nor I are ones for regret; but if I had one in my life, it was that after Dartmouth, I never kept in touch with him properly. We learnt during our Ted Talks that there were times when, geographically, we were very close. Indeed, Ted made several attempts to track me down but they never came to fruition……………..until this Christmas when I sent Ted a Christmas card with family news in it and I had a phone call………..Ted Talks began.
We spoke every week sometimes more and the sessions were rarely less than an hour. We both tried to catch up half a century of our lives relishing the knowledge that we had both forged colourful ones of curiosity and adventure. We spoke of everything – family, our navies, hibachi, swords and militaria, Willow his cat, our careers, Kunji and radicals, politics and the progress or otherwise of his cancer and its treatment. Throughout, my love rekindled for this beautiful man with his wit, his generosity, his intellect, his wisdom and his immense courage. I shall always treasure these Ted Talks – a very special time.
Although my wife Sara had been introduced to my family’s legend of “Chang”, she has never met him. But it is a measure of this lovely man that she quickly succumbed to the spell of his kindness and charm. To celebrate our 51st wedding anniversary, Ted surprised us by treating us to dinner and a night’s stay in the best suite in Inverlochy Castle; we had a lovely experience and were totally overwhelmed by this thoughtful generosity – typical Ted! Below is a photo of him 10 years earlier outside the same Castle. The ‘roller’ has gone….and so now has Ted.
Ted Chang Boon Cheang had a truly extraordinary life and was a hugely accomplished man; it is a great honour for me to be called, by him, comrade and friend….see you on the other side Ted.
Quentin Banting
June 14, 2024
Rest peacefully, Ted
You were not just my boss, but you became a great friend to me and my family. You were my boss for just a little over 5 years at EPE, but you were a dear friend for over 25 years. You showed how much you cared - from attending family birthdays and graduation parties to making your presence at the memorial services for both my parents when they passed away.
We appreciate how you checked in with us even when we moved around and out of the country. And even now as my daughter is a young woman and corporate executive, she remembers and values your advice to her as a high school student. Your encouragement played a big part in her choosing to attend Stanford University. Although you couldn’t make it to her wedding as you were recovering from your first surgery, you sent a very generous gift for their honeymoon.
We will always be grateful for your generosity and support throughout the years. We will cherish your friendship forever and we will miss you ❤️
Grace Cantero
June 13, 2024
Ted was a wonderful friend. He was kind, generous, humorous and always willing to lend a hand. He will be sorely missed and we are truly saddened by his passing.
Tian Cho Chu
June 11, 2024
I am Sheila from Slim River, Perak, Malaysia.
Ted was my late husband’s first cousin. Ted’s father was my mother-in-law’s only brother. I remember them vividly when I met their family members, Tua Ku & Tua Kim, Penny & Pearl twice at my wedding day & at my mother-in-law’s house in Taiping. My MIL always spoke fondly of them, including Ted. Incidentally, Ted was also my brother Sam’s old friend from San Francisco days.
On the summer 2019, I first met Ted for tea in Irvine ( heard a lot about him from my MIL ) I tried to introduce him to my immediate family but because of our tight schedules, it didn’t work out. The pandemic break out 2020-2022.
The next I heard from him was after his foot surgery. My daughter, Lin & me visited him and in touch frequently. Last 2 years my children, grandchildren, daughter & son-in-law get to know Uncle Ted over frequent family dinners. He is a beautiful soul! He’s thoughtful, considerate, a person of strength & positivity. He went through last 2 years of health dilemmas patiently & uncomplaining in spite of his physical discomfort. It was a blessing that his suffering ended so quickly! We all love you as our own & will missed you. May you rest in peace, Ted.

My deepest condolences to Penny & family, Pearl & family, Rupert & family for their loss. Hugs + Love

Sheila + Geh families
Sheila Yee
June 11, 2024
I met Ted in 1984 when he was working in San Francisco. I was a college student intern placed with him. He was kind, warm and very intelligent. We became friends, and I came to feel like he was an older brother. He was my best man at my wedding in 1988. After that, we kept in touch, and I saw him from time to time. When my youngest started going to UC Irvine, we were able to get together in person more often, and I feel fortunate to have been able to see him shortly before his passing. What stood out to me about Ted was that he was steadily resilient, despite circumstances that might lead others to despair. I cherish memories of him. I miss you, Ted.

Mitch Shinoki
Mitch Shinoki
June 8, 2024
My name is Jonathan, and I am one of Ted’s English friends. Ted was to me, what I’m sure he was to all gathered here, a kind, steadfast, integrity-laden, generous, and engaging friend. For many years we exchanged emails, phone calls and occasional visits. However, he was far more than the sum of these things, and I’d like to recall the gist of what may have been our last conversation, so you might share a glimpse into Ted’s psyche.



Ted attended Dartmouth Naval College, and he often drove to London at weekends. The road is the A303, and halfway along is found Stonehenge, the most important prehistoric monument in Europe erected around 5000 years ago, and where Ted sometimes broke his journeys. It has now been shown that the inner circle of standing bluestones there had earlier been erected 150 miles away in Wales, near the Pembrokeshire coast. The prehistoric people clearly thought it was worth the effort to drag the stones, each weighing up to 20 tonnes, 150 miles in order to establish their new homeland on Salisbury Plain. This herculean task was presumably required because their belief in the ancestral spirits inhabiting the stones was so strong that they felt compelled to bring them along to form part of their continuum. The monument is aligned to the summer and winter solstices, each a landmark of annual renewal, and still a magnet for pagan and druid adherents. As late as 1891 the novelist Thomas Hardy places his heroine Tess of the d’Urbervilles on the altar stone at Stonehenge to represent her sacrifice and spiritual presence. Stonehenge was famously purchased by Cecil Chubb for £6,600 ($31,000) at an auction sale held in Salisbury in 1915. He subsequently gave it to the nation just before the end of the first world war. War tends to focus our attention on what is important, and at the outbreak of the second world war Mrs Edith Pretty likewise donated the recently discovered and fabulous 7th century Sutton Hoo treasure to the nation.



Ted, Steve and Alice stayed with us in Lewes a few years back in order to witness the extensive torchlight processions of costumed bonfire societies which take place in the town each year on Bonfire Night, the 5th of November. Not so much a pagan ritual, but one commemorating the 17 Protestants martyrs burned alive during the Marian Persecutions of 1555 – 1557. You may wonder why I think recalling our conversation about Stonehenge is relevant at a memorial to Ted. As individuals we may hope to live for a hundred years, but few make it that far. The end is inevitable. Ted and I both shared a fascination for interesting things, and we both knew Stonehenge well. We liked to think of history as being a continuation rather than as a series of wars, events, dates, births and deaths. So in my mind I will leave my friend Ted at Stonehenge, to join the multitude of spirits past, present and to come, where I’m sure he will be in excellent company. In due course I hope we’re destined to meet each other there, probably on the summer or winter solstice.
Jonathan Barrett
June 3, 2024
Words seem so inadequate in moments like these. Life's preciousness stands in stark contrast to the ruthless thief that is death. The depth of this pain is beyond comprehension, yet I find solace in knowing that I am not alone in this darkness. He is cherished by many friends and family members, both near and far. If love is a bond that death cannot sever, I find comfort in knowing he remains close in our hearts.

For the past nine years, Ted has been more than just a close friend; he has been a father figure and a voice of reason and calm for me. Our paths crossed through a mutual acquaintance, and we quickly bonded over our love for our pets, our shared history of fencing, our passion for exquisite cuisine, and our philosophical outlook on life. Ted's presence was always a delight, and our friendship transcended any age differences. We celebrated each other’s birthdays almost every year, with the exception of the Covid-19 pandemic period. From 2015 to 2019, we made a concerted effort to spend time together regularly. We fenced together, and later he endeavored to teach me golf, a skill I clearly lacked. We attended jazz concerts and musicals together. At one point, I was meeting up with him and his friend Brian for lunch almost weekly. He knew all my close friends and invariably inquired, “How is so-and-so doing?”

When the pandemic struck, it brought many significant changes, yet we kept each other updated through texts and FaceTime until we could reunite. We supported each other through life’s highs and lows—from the loss of his beloved Mellow to my own heart-wrenching breakup, from my father’s fall overseas to his mother’s passing. We listened without judgment, mourned with open arms, and comforted each other with our hearts. Without immediate family in the States, we both understood that our friends were our extended family. I looked up to Ted as a father figure. He always guided me with his wisdom and calm demeanor during times of adversity. I can still hear him saying, “Angel, it’s okay. Everything will be fine. Things always work themselves out.” He was an integral part of my life and my inner circle. Losing him has been profoundly difficult. He was truly a beacon of light in my life.

I have been visiting his memorial website and finding solace in the updates on his memory wall and gallery shared by his friends. These glimpses into his life provide pockets of peace and comfort, reminding me that I am not alone in my sorrow. He truly loved his friends and family. Even between our meetups, whether near or far, he always had friends visiting, and he spoke fondly of them, sharing stories from his younger years. Ted was an extraordinary person—authentic, witty, thoughtful, and genuine. Most importantly, he had a unique ability to make people feel heard, valued, and appreciated.

By Jamie Anderson, “Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.” It’s true. Instead of drowning in sorrow and getting lost in memories, I have also come to share my love and memory of Ted.

Attached, photo of Ted, my son Enzo and me, taken from last October to celebrate his belated birthday. And a screen shot of some pictures of the years.
Angel Chao Volpe
June 2, 2024
I first met Ted at the University of Chicago in 1983. He was always a faithful friend. I will miss him terribly.
Ami Salk
June 1, 2024
Thanks for the beautiful memories, Ted. We will miss you deeply. You’re gone but will never be forgotten! The Foo Sisters
The Foo Sisters
June 1, 2024
Photo taken by Ted when we were guests staying at his beautiful home in Corona Del Mar. A toast to you, Ted, Celebration of a life well lived. Always in our hearts! The Foo Sisters.
Marie Foo
June 1, 2024
I met Ted through the Hanks family and we both shared a love of golf and Porsches. He was so kind to put me up at his wonderful home and caddy for me during the qualifying for the U.S. Open. I loved the time we spent together and I'll always have fond memories of his kindness and his love of life...
Clark Renner
June 1, 2024
Memories of Ted
Ivy and I knew the prognosis was dire. It was only when Ted first revealed the worst news over the phone (while we were traveling in Vancouver in October) that I first ever heard Ted being down. Yet by the following week, when we chatted on the phone again, he was back to his determined and optimistic self. He gladly welcomed us when I asked if we could go and spend some time with him. So glad we did it this last December. Priceless!

We’ve visited each other’s homes over the years: 1987, on our way back to Singapore when he was in Palo Alto; 2006, when he came to Atlanta to test out the Porsche Speedway, and we went to watch the final of the FedEx Cup golf with us at East Lake; 2017, when we were also visiting my daughter in Portland, and he had the best tickets with friends to watch his favorite Portland Timbers soccer team play. I had also made a few side visits to catch up with him in CdM while on work trips to LA. He would also thoughtfully call regularly to ask how I was doing after my back operations. Most of all, he always made time for Ivy and me. As he did way back in 1987. And so we had to make time for him last Christmas.

My family and I have known Ted for more than 50 years! I always admired him. Always looked up to him. Always found him to be calm and collected. Always with a gentle friendly voice, and smile. No drama. Always Ted!

Ivy and I are ever thankful to have known him. He will not be forgotten.

We wish all his loved ones much strength as they reflect on the passing of an important life.

Clifton and Ivy Foo
Portland, Oregon
CLIFTON FOO
May 31, 2024
You have been a treasure in my life.
Latifah Sheikh Emam
May 31, 2024
Dearest Ted
You fought a good fight true to your character
Go in peace and we will have our “run ashore” again.
Ongy
Ong Lam Seng
May 30, 2024
Ted was a dear friend during our school days from 1963 to 1966. He was always warm and fun to be with and we shared many tall tales growing up. We lost touch for a while during our early career period but met-up again later in our careers when he made his annual visits to Kuala Lumpur, after having settled in California. I did visited him once in Los Angeles when I had work at UCLA Berkely. We had lunch and caught up on this and that. A small batch of schoolmates from the class of 66 would often meet for lunch or dinner when he was in town. I am very sad to lose him and sadder stil as I am unable to travel to bid him farewell. I add some photos in memorium.
Nordin Hasan

Malaysia Memorial Service


Please join us to pay a last tribute in Malaysia.

We will come together to remember and pay tribute to Ted. While we mourn the loss of our dear, we also aim to cherish the moments shared and the joy brought into our lives. Your presence would mean a great deal to us during this time of remembrance and reflection.

Memorial & Committal service will be held on the following days. 
Location
Nirvana 2 or Nirvana Center KL 16, Jalan Dewan Bahasa, Bukit Seputeh, 50460 Kuala Lumpur. Level M2, Diamond Suite, Room N1,
Date/time
Saturday, July 6, 2024: 
Visitation:  2:00pm to 9:00pm                              
Ted Talk:    6:00pm - 9:00pm (CA Time: 3am-6am)

Sunday, July 7, 2024: 
Visitation:  11:00 am - 9:00pm
Ted Talk:    6:00 pm - 9:00pm (CA Time: 3am-6am)

Monday, July 8, 2024
Committal Service: 10:00 am

Contact Person: 
Pearl Chang: 012-201 8813
Irene San:      017-367 9808
July 6 & 7 LiveStream
July 8 LiveStream
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