Lorencita “Milana” Wong-Ramos died unexpectedly of natural causes on April 6, 2023, in Meridian, Idaho. Her passing leaves an immeasurable void in the lives of all those who loved her, especially her husband and sons, extended family, and close friends whose lives she touched and enriched. Her warm, bright, loving, friendly, playful, and fierce personality will be greatly missed.
Born on March 26, 1960, to Chinese parents who emigrated from Taishan, China to Santa Marta, Colombia, she grew up in a loving home alongside her two older brothers Tony Wong and Tuly Wong, Jr. Her entrepreneurial parents, Tuly Wong, Sr. and Lorenza Wong, opened a corner store and restaurant in Santa Marta, as Milana fully immersed herself in Colombian culture. It was in Colombia that her friendly and outgoing disposition began to take shape. Milana always made friends wherever she landed. When Milana was sixteen years old, her family decided to emigrate to the United States to Boise, Idaho, a city and state with a long history of Chinese migration. Milana became trilingual, speaking Taishanese, Spanish and English, and her unfolding identity—Chinese, Colombian, Latina, and American—were always an essential part of her being, which she embraced and affirmed without reservation.
Milana attended Caldwell High School, and later Boise State University, before leaving for California in her early twenties. It was there that she met the love of her life, Michael A. Ramos, Jr., who was a United States Marine stationed in Tustin, California. They met at a Tustin based celebration when Michael said something complimentary in Spanish to a friend, which Milana overheard and later responded in Spanish, to the surprise of her future husband. They dated for several years while residing in California. It was during their early courtship that Milana began to meet Michael’s family, especially his mother Rosa A. Rodriguez de Ramos who Milana beloved. When Michael decided to return to his hometown of New York, Milana soon joined him. Living in New York, she became very close to Michael’s family. Milana’s Spanish language speaking skills easily immersed her in Michael’s Dominican American family. She learned to cook Dominican/Caribbean food from her future mother-in-law and befriended and loved Michael’s extended family—sisters, cousins, grandmother, aunts, and uncles. Milana and Michael were married in Glenridge, New Jersey on November 24, 1991. They had two beautiful sons, Michael Ramos III, and Brandon Ramos, who were Milana’s pride and joy. She also adored her brother’s children, which she helped guide once she returned to Boise, Idaho with Michael and their children in 1998.
When her husband was recruited to work as a search and rescue flight engineer in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Milana continued to raise their children in Boise, Idaho. In 2019, after her husband was promoted and needed to be stationed permanently in the UAE, she joined him and provided support and much needed companionship. True to her outgoing and friendly nature, she found and became part of an expatriate Colombian community in the UAE. They would often meet in different Emirate states, exploring the historical and natural sites, enjoying their friendship and cultural bonds. She enjoyed life as an ex-pat, going out and meeting people from all over the world. She returned to Idaho in 2021 and reconnected with old friends that were near and dear to her heart. Her community of friends were a constant source of support and joy. Together, they celebrated life’s milestones, including Milana’s last birthday on March 26, 2023.
Milana was an intelligent, effervescent, hard-working, and motivated person. She was beautiful and petite, and always had a great sense of style. Anyone who visited her home noticed her eye and flare for interior decorating. In Colombia, she loved and played sports, including soccer and volleyball. Her favorite songs included Debbie Boone’s You Light up My Life and Billy Idol’s White Wedding , which became her and her husband’s signature tune.
When her family first emigrated to the United States, she worked alongside her parents and brothers as a fieldworker cleaning beets, vegetables, corn, and onions. She was very devoted to her parents and their businesses. She worked at both of her parent’s restaurants, helping them open Shanghai Restaurant in 1981, and Confucius Restaurant in 1989, both in Idaho. When she moved to California, she worked at Bank of America. Her expertise in the Wang processing system landed her a job at the prestigious New York law firm of Bryan and Cave McFadden and McFetters, located on Park Avenue. When she relocated back to Idaho with her own family, she worked for DirectTV and Saia Trucking Company.
She is survived by her husband of thirty-two years, Michael Ramos, Jr. and their sons Michael Ramos, III and Brandon Ramos, of Meridian, Idaho; her mother Lorenza Wong, and brothers Tony Wong and Tuly Wong, Jr., of Boise, Idaho; sisters-in-law Yu Ye Wong, Mei Wong, Rossy Ramos-Kwok, Rosario Ramos, and Evelyn Ramos-Alfred. She is also survived by her father-in-law Miguel Ramos, and many nieces and nephews including Larry Wong, Michael Wong, Aime Wong, Sasha Wong, and Eric Wong, Alana Placido, Corey Kwok, Robert Gomez, Anthony Gomez, Maya Kwok, Esteban Alfred, and Miles Alfred. She was predeceased by her father Tuly Wong, Sr. (2000) and mother-in-law Rosa A. Rodriguez de Ramos (2022). Milana will forever live in our hearts.