In Memoriam: Cuong Chau

Cuong Chau
Sr. Recreation Director II
Rec and Parks

Rec and Parks held a memorial service Aug. 13 for beloved employee Cuong Chau, Sr. Recreation Director II, who died July 6. He was 50 and had served the City officially for 24 years.

The Rec and Parks memorial service was held at the Cabrillo Beach Bath House in San Pedro. Chau served in many recreation centers, including Cheviot Hills, San Pedro, Sherman Oaks, East LA and others.

The funeral program included the following:

“Cuong Chau was a man of wisdom and service.

“He was a true lover of food, travel and life.

“His radiant smile, his sharp wit and his good nature brought joy and happiness to all those he knew.

“Cuong Chau was a Dodgers fan, and he loved his Super Bowl squares – but there was nothing he loved and adored as much as coaching volleyball. Coach Chau led the Girls Volleyball program at Gabrielino High School for more than 25 years, leading the team to 21 league championships and numerous playoff wins.

“He also founded and ran the San Gabriel Starlings chapter, providing quality volleyball to those who may not have otherwise had access. He served as not only a coach, but also a mentor, a father figure and friend to students, staff and families.

“‘Chau,’ as he was known to many throughout the City, served the City of Los Angeles Dept. of Recreation and Parks for 30 years. He was beloved by each and every one of the communities he worked with. From San Pedro to Sherman Oaks to East L.A. to Cheviot Hills – Chau took every site he worked at and made it a family.

“He was a leader, an adviser, and someone everyone could count on. He mentored countless coworkers and youth across the City. His imprint is immeasurable.

“Cuong Chau made friends and allies wherever he went. Whether it was giving people nicknames, taking them out for a meal, or lending a listening ear – he showed
compassion and enthusiasm toward everyone he met.

“His generosity, warmth and good humor will be deeply missed.”
A posting on the Cheviot Hills Recreation Center read:

“Chau was the heart and soul of Cheviot Hills Recreation Center.

“He joined the Cheviot Hills RC family in 2015 and was beloved by the community, the West Region and the City of LA Dept. of Recreation and Parks.

“He brought CHRC much growth and prosperity in his time here, and led us through some of the darkest days when he managed the emergency shelter during the pandemic.

“Chau was a man of wisdom. He was a leader, a mentor, a jokester, a coach and a true friend. He was a lover of food, people, and life.”

Chau’s work trajectory:

  • November 1994: Recreation Assistant II (Glassell Recreation Center)
  • July 1994: Assistant Youth Employment Specialist II (SYETP)
  • October 1999: Recreation Coordinator (Alpine Rec Center)
  • December 2003: Commendation for Acting Director in Charge (Ardmore Recreation Center; Seoul International Park)
  • 2005: Ross Snyder Recreation Center
    January 2006: Sr. Rec Director
  • December 2008: Commendation (Kick it in the Park) Cabrillo Beach
  • December 2008: Commendation (Fourth of July event) Cabrillo Beach
  • 2011: Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Recreation Center
  • 2015: Cheviot Recreation Center
  • 2022: Notice of Commendation

The Club offers condolences and sympathy to those who knew and loved Chau. The Club thanks Club Board Member Jackie Koci Tamayo, County of Santa Clara, and Sonia Young Jimenez, Superintendent, Rec and Parks.