Phi Kappa Psi Mourns the Loss of Richard “Dick” E. Ong



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Phi Kappa Psi Mourns the Loss of Richard "Dick" E. Ong


dickong.jpgINDIANAPOLIS, IN — It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of current Foundation Trustee and past National President, Richard "Dick" E. Ong Oregon State '55 on Christmas Eve. Dick had been battling health issues for some time including congestive heart failure. These difficulties, despite his strong will and zeal for life, became more exacerbated recently and unfortunately led to his hospitalization and passing. He was 78 years old. As we mourn the loss of Brother Ong, we remember his dedication and love for our country, Fraternity and brotherhood.


"The loss of Brother Ong is a huge loss for Phi Kappa Psi," said Shawn Collinsworth, Executive Director of the Fraternity. "Whether it was his time serving the organization as the National President, a Foundation Trustee, advising members of the Oregon Beta Chapter or being a mentor to countless brothers, his leadership in Phi Kappa Psi will be greatly missed."


Following graduation in 1957, Dick spent the next thirty years as a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy, retiring with the rank of Captain in 1987. His sea duty consisted of service in U.S. Pacific Fleet destroyers and cruisers. He commanded the USS Francis Hammond (Fast Frigate 1067) home-ported in Long Beach, CA, and Yokosuka, Japan. He was a yearlong resident student at the US Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island on two occasions and earned a Master of Science degree at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.


Other shore tours included duty on the staffs of the Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet, Commander in Chief Pacific and the Chief of Naval Operations. From July 1966 to July 1967 he served as Plans Officer, U.S. Naval Support Activity, Danang, RVN and as Naval Plans Officer for the Third Marine Amphibious Force, I Corps, RVN.


Overseas assignments included Political Military Officer on the staff of the Commander in Chief - Pacific Representative in the Philippines. Dick was awarded the DOD Superior Service medal, Navy Legion of Merit, DOD Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal w/star, Combat Action Ribbon, Vietnam Service Medal with five stars and various other awards and service ribbons including the Republic of the Philippines Outstanding Achievement Medal.


After retiring from the Navy, Dick was very active in Phi Kappa Psi and various other interfraternal organizations. He served four years as chapter advisor to the California Iota Chapter at U.C. Davis. From 1992 to 1994, he served as National President of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity and since 1994 had served as a Trustee of the Phi Psi Foundation.


"Dick was a man of many legacies," remarked Ben Nicol, Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation. "Working alongside Dick provided the opportunity to witness a true leader, patriot, friend, mentor and brother. His impact on Phi Psi over the years and moreover his volunteerism interfraternally was a testimony to his servant-minded work and belief in the spirit and good works of the Greek community."


From 1993 through 1999, Dick served as a Director of the North-American Interfraternity Conference and from 1996 through 1999 Dick served as a Director of Gamma Sigma Alpha, the National Greek Academic Honor Society. Improving undergraduate Greek academic performance was a passion of Dick's. He chaired the NIC Academic Achievement Committee from 1993 to 1998.


Dick is survived by his wife Joane in Roseville, California and his two daughters Kathleen and Carolyn. Per the Ong family's requests, there will be no services held, but Phi Kappa Psi has called for an official period of mourning to be observed by members of the Fraternity from January 2, 2014 to February 2, 2014. The traditional emblem of fraternal mourning is a strip of black crepe or silk draped diagonally from left to right across the Fraternity badge.

Memorial Gifts

Gifts in honor and celebration of Dick's life and service to the Fraternity may be made in his honor to the Phi Kappa Psi Foundation (5395 Emerson Way, Indianapolis, IN 46226) or

About Phi Kappa Psi

The Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity is a 501(c)(7) association of men of integrity who strive to develop the individual in his intellect, in his involvement in the community and in his faith. Founded on February 19, 1852 at Jefferson College by William Henry Letterman and Charles Page Thomas Moore, more than 114,000 men have been initiated into the organization in its history. 

The Phi Kappa Psi Foundation was formed to "aid, encourage, promote and contribute to the education and scholastic attainments" of Phi Psis and other students across the nation. The Foundation, organized in 1914 and celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, public educational foundation whose primary mission is to assist college students in meeting their educational objectives through scholarships, grants, fellowships and assistantships, while promoting learning, high ethical standards and constructive citizenship.