Lt Col Matthew Kipling “Kip” Fong


Lt Col Matthew Kipling “Kip” Fong

Alameda, Alameda County, California, USA
Death 1 Jun 2011 (aged 57)
Pasadena, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado, USA
Plot Lot 6, row F, site 60
Memorial ID 70963985 View Source
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We lost a friend this past June and in a larger sense the world lost a friend too. Matthew Kipling Fong, 'Kip' to his USAFA classmates, lost a courageous battle with cancer on June 1st, 2011.

Kip was born on Nov. 20, 1953, and grew up in Oakland, CA. He came from a political family; his mother March Fong Eu was a California Assemblywoman, California Secretary of State, and U.S. Ambassador. Kip's father was an Air Force Reserve officer and dentist. Both are still living in California.

Kip was a 29er, an integral member of the leadership team that led 29th Squadron to victory in USAFA's competition for Honor Squadron in 1975. He was a friend and confidant, one who sought the greater good and saw his destiny as leadership in the political realm.

Shortly after graduation, during assignment at Luke AFB, Kip met the love of his life Paula Lee, and it was clear to all that they were destined for greatness together. Soon thereafter they married and Paula became and remained his steadfast friend and helper for life. Over the years Paula and their two children, Matthew, Jr. and Jade, became part of our extended Air Force family and our dear friends.

Kip served as an information systems officer during his Air Force years, but we knew he was yearning for something beyond military service – service in the public sector. So it was no surprise when he left active duty in1980 and enrolled in Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. After graduating from Southwestern and passing the bar, Kip practiced with the legal firm Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton in Los Angles as a springboard into a political career.

Matt (as he was known during these later years) ran for California State Controller in 1990 against Gray Davis. He lost that election but learned volumes about campaigns and elections. He was appointed to the California Board of Equalization by Governor Pete Wilson and served there until 1994 when he was elected California State Treasurer. In 1998 he did not seek re-election as State Treasurer; instead he ran against incumbent Barbara Boxer for the U.S. Senate, narrowly missing an historic upset. During his political years Matt was strongly supported by national political leaders including Newt Gingrich, Trent Lott and Jack Kemp.

After his stint in politics, Matt founded Strategic Advisory Group. There he served as a Director for TCW Group's mutual funds and on the boards of several technology companies. President George W. Bush appointed Matt as Chairman of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Advisory Board. He also served as a Regent of Pepperdine University and a Trustee of Southwestern University School of Law. In May of 2011, Matt was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Law by Southwestern. In the midst of it all Matt remained in the Air Force Reserves, retiring in 2004 a Lt. Col.

All of us who knew Kip well knew he was destined for greatness. From the beginning he lived life large and saw boundless possibilities. He held a bedrock faith in God and saw his mission in life as an extension of his faith. During his struggle with cancer, he was a leader among fellow cancer patients, helping many obtain care and treatment that improved their quality of life. Even in a life struggle he was a giver.

Kip's family, Paula, Matt Jr., and Jade, will always be members of the 29ers from the class of 1975. We miss Kip greatly but his character lives on in those who knew him.

by K.C. Schwarz and Kip's Wife, Paula | July 2011

(Source: GBNF at '75 Best Alive)


Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Air Force, Class of 1975; Beloved Husband Father and Son

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  • Created by: Perry L
  • Added: 7 Jun 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial 70963985
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Lt Col Matthew Kipling “Kip” Fong (20 Nov 1953–1 Jun 2011), Find a Grave Memorial ID 70963985, citing United States Air Force Academy Cemetery, Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado, USA ; Maintained by Perry L (contributor 47156829) .