Yut Ming Lee was born Yut Ming Yuen on June 23, 1929 and raised in Tai Shan, China. She passed away peacefully on January 6, 2023 at home in the presence of her son, Hong, and daughter in law, Linda, in New Mexico.
Ming was a widow to Que Shih Lee, with whom she had 5 children. The eldest was daughter Sui Ying Lee (deceased) and sons Kin Ball Lee, Kin Pong Lee, Kin Tom Lee, Kin Tung Lee (Hong). She is survived by 4 sons, 5 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren. Her younger brother Chuck Yuen resides in Maryland.
Born in a small farming village, Ming was denied a formal education from the Japanese invasion, barely finishing the 6th grade. When Immigrating to the U.S. she had 2 children in tow and a newborn with only the clothes on her back and enough money for food and fare. With the total immersion into a strange world and unable to speak the language, the family was assisted by the Lee Association that was well established in the D.C. area. She obtained a job as a home interior seamstress. Ming became well respected and accomplished in her craft due to her dream of a better life and the love of family. By working two, sometimes three jobs she saved enough money to buy her first home in Arlington, VA. If not for Ming there would not have been a home for her family. In 1970 her husband Que decided to fulfill his dream of opening the Sun and Moon Chinese restaurant in Fort Pierce, FL. With no prior experience in the restaurant business, she quickly learned every aspect of it, from waiting tables, cashiering, ordering supplies, and learning to be an outstanding cook! Our mom worked that family run restaurant for 20 years until Que finally decided to close the restaurant to allow Hong and Pong to follow their own dreams. Ming and Que retired in Fort Pierce, enjoying the many Chinese fruit trees and Florida oranges grown in their yard. Our mom was the glue keeping this family together, she was a true matriarch who had a large kind and loving heart. Every cent she made she used to help her children and her grandchildren. As long as she had a paycheck she made a deposit weekly to CD’s for each of her children. Long into her life she continued sending money back to Tai Shan to make life a little easier for family and friends and was touched and loved by many. Our mom was our Rock Star growing up then, now and to eternity! We will love and miss you forever!
A gathering will be held in honor and celebration of Mrs. Lee's life 10:00am - 12:00pm Saturday January 28, 2023 at Chinese Community Church, 500 I St NW, Washington, DC 20001, where a funeral service will take place at 12:00pm. Interment will follow at Washington National Cemetery, 4101 Suitland Rd, Hillcrest Heights, MD 20746.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association at diabetes.org.