James M. Wong, 69, of Glen Ellyn, IL, passed away peacefully on September 29, 2023,
surrounded by his loving family after a four-and-a-half-year battle with glioblastoma brain
Jim was born in Hong Kong on September 30, 1953, to Chung Tsang Wong and Yin Ching Lam.
In 1986, he was united in marriage to Celia Knowles and was the loving father of daughters
Megan and Haley. He is also survived by two brothers, four sisters, and many nieces and
nephews. Preceding him in death were his daughter Grace and his parents.
Bravely voyaging to the United States on his own in 1974 to attend college, he graduated Magna
Cum Laude with a BBA in accounting from Michigan State University. He became a Certified
Public Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner and Chartered Global Management Accountant.
He was a member of the Illinois CPA Society, the American Institute of Certified Public
Accountants and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
He began his career at Arthur Andersen & Co. in Chicago. He and his wife Celia eventually formed
their own public accounting firm, Wong & Knowles, CPA, P.C. in 1990, specializing in litigation and
claims consulting, forensic accounting and fraud investigations, business management consulting,
accounting software consulting, auditing and taxes. He loved providing personalized service to
his clients, and they valued him as a trusted advisor.
During his career, he was active in a number of professional, nonprofit and civic organizations.
He served as a director on the board of the Illinois CPA Society. He also served as a director,
treasurer and chairman of the finance committee of the Chinese American Service League. Jim
was also director and chair of the finance committee of CASL Senior Housing. Additionally, Jim
had been a co-chair of the Criminal Justice Sub-committee of the Cook County Citizens Budget
Review Committee. He was also recruited to be on the advisory committee of the Chicago
Mayor’s Energy Task force.
A natural athlete, he played soccer and was a championship swimmer in his youth. He enjoyed
coaching Megan’s youth soccer team years later. He was a legend among his family and friends
for his expertly grilled steak. He had a great sense of humor and even laughed at his father-in-
law’s corny jokes. He loved nature and found excuses to further manicure the already lovely
yard, then sit back and admire his hard work. He unflinchingly braved Chicago’s winters,
shoveling the snow while wearing shorts.
A celebration of life will be planned at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests those
who desire to remember Jim to please make a contribution in his memory to the American
Brain Tumor Association online at bit.ly/DonateABTA or via mail:
The American Brain Tumor Association
8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. #550
Chicago, IL 60631
Arrangements entrusted to Chicagoland Cremation Options of Schiller Park, Illinois.