Cover photo for Won Joo "Margaret" Lee's Obituary
Won Joo "Margaret" Lee Profile Photo
1938 Won 2022

Won Joo "Margaret" Lee

June 9, 1938 — September 28, 2022

Won Joo “Margaret” Lee passed away on September 28, 2022. She was born in 1938 to a deeply Catholic family in Korea, then under Imperial Japanese rule. She hailed from a small village named Waegwan, near the Nakdong River. She lived through the independence of her motherland, then through the Korean War which rent her country into the North and South. Thrice-divorced, she immigrated to the United States in her thirties with her daughter Kun-Hye, who was three years old at the time. She was half-blind and suffered from mental disabilities for her entire life. Although she survived almost all her life on private and public assistance and even spent a stint homeless, she succeeded in imparting a deep love of literature, Korean culture, storytelling and catechism to her daughter, who grew up to attend college, and graduate from Yale Law School. She spent her last years at a very peaceful senior community in Boca Raton, Florida, where she enjoyed the balmy weather, watching the ducks in the community pond, reading the Bible, and cooking simple meals for herself. She is survived by her daughter Elizabeth Lee Beck (née Kun-Hye “Eliza” Lee), son-in-law Jared Beck, beloved granddaughters Vesper “Joan” and Myfanwy “Benedicta,” sisters Sae Hwan “Helena,” Un Joo “Philomena” and Gun Hwan “Lucia,” brothers Suk Hwan “Raphael,” Soo Hwan “Majia” and Duk Hwan “Moses,” and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her mother Bun Da “Benedicta” Choe, father Sang Woo “John” Lee, brothers Gyu Hwan “Stephano,” Baby Matthew and Ik Hwan “Andrew,” and sister Hyun Joo “Maria.” A private memorial service will be held for family only in Los Angeles and Miami. In lieu of donations, the family requests that money be handed directly to the homeless, which Won often did herself throughout her time on earth.
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