Wei Wei Lee Yang (李薇薇), after a sudden and unexpected illness, decided to join her parents in Heaven on February 14, 2023 during her visit in Taiwan. Born on the Lantern Festival (元宵節) in 1945 in Anhui (安徽)Province, China, to Han-Wen and Mei-Lin (Wu) Lee, both of prominent families in Shang-Tung (山東) Province, Wei Wei spent the first four years of her life in the aftermath of the Sino-Japanese War. At age four, as the Chinese Communists were taking over her home, she escaped China with her parents and a brother with Chiang Kai-Shek’s Kuomintang by boat to Taiwan. Growing up in the post-war Taiwan, Wei Wei helped her parents raise her younger siblings while attending school. Her younger siblings always revered her as their “Little Mom.”
Wei Wei had worked in various government positions before and while attending the university. An accomplished Human Resources administrator, Wei Wei gave up her promising career in the Taipei and R.O.C. governments and chose to relocate to the United States to be a full-time mother to her daughters and a diplomat’s wife in 1985, a choice for which her husband and daughters are eternally grateful. Having made her home in Honolulu, Hawaii, Los Angeles and San Diego, California and Boston, Massachusetts, Wei Wei made Syracuse, New York her home in 2012.
Wei Wei was an avid globe trotter. In addition to travelling all over the mainland China and the United States, she had visited England, France, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Germany, South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, India, Egypt, Greece, South Africa, Turkey, Mexico, the Bahamas, and Canada.
Wei Wei was an accomplished artist of traditional Chinese watercolors. Wei Wei held many art exhibitions in Taiwan, mainland China, Japan, France, and different cities in the U.S., including Syracuse, New York. Wei Wei had been an ambassador of Chinese art and culture to those around her. Wei Wei had always lived by the motto, “Life is short but art is forever.”
Wei Wei was predeceased by her parents, Han-Wen and Mei-Lin Lee, and her sister, Rong Rong Lee, and is survived by her husband of more than fifty-two years (whom she dated for over seven years), Dr. Chien-Chen (James) Yang, her daughters, Josephine (Frank) Yang-Patyi and Jennifer (Timothy) Yang-Kwait, her grandsons, Nathaniel and Benjamin Kwait and Matthias Patyi, her brothers, Guang-Lu (Yu-Chu) Lee and Guang-Fu (Bin-Bin) Lee, and sisters, July (Dwight) Lee and Jen-Jen (Ji-Ming) Lee, and her nephews and nieces, and many cousins.
A Christian memorial service was held in Taipei for Wei Wei’s friends and family in Taiwan on February 24, 2023. A Christian memorial service will be held at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, 46 N. Main Street, Cortland, New York on March 13, 2023 at 1pm for Wei Wei’s family and friends in the U.S., followed by a burial at the Virgil Rural Cemetery, Virgil, New York. A celebration of Wei Wei’s life will be held at The Century Club of Syracuse, 480 James Street, Syracuse, New York on March 13, 2023.
In lieu of flowers, please share your friendship with and memories of Wei Wei with her love, James. Online condolences may be made to Wei Wei’s family at www.perkinsfh.com.
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