Dorothy Hom (1932-1999) worked to preserve and share her culture and history in San Diego. She was instrumental in forming the Chinese Historical Society of Greater San Diego and Baja California. Dorothy was also one of the founders of the Gaslamp Quarter District, which resulted in the preservation of more than twenty historic buildings. Her tireless work within the community and her preservation of Chinese American history embody what it means to be a Cultural Guardian and Historian inductee.
Dorothy grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii and moved to San Diego in 1950 at the age of 18. She met her husband, Tom Hom, soon after and they remained married for forty-eight happy years. Throughout her life, Dorothy served the community via numerous organizations, notably the San Diego City Arts Commission, the Salvation Army, and the Chinese Community Church. Dorothy's passions included the history of San Diego and Chinese culture. She served as a board member on both the San Diego City Historic Site Board and the Chinese Historical Society of San Diego & Baja California. Dorothy also received numerous awards in recognition of her service to the community. Dorothy was instrumental to the revitalization of the Gaslamp Quarter District and to the preservation of the 1927 Chinese Mission located in downtown San Diego. Through her efforts the mission was preserved and designated a historic building, and today serves as San Diego’s Chinese Historical Museum. “Being with Dorothy was like being wrapped in a blanket with the warm sun shining in your face.” That’s how former San Diego Mayor Susan Golding once described Dorothy; and it was this kindness and fairness that made her a tremendous success both professionally and personally.