Dong Jo Lee
Dong Jo Lee

August 23, 1942 - June 16, 2019
Born in Jusil, South Korea
Resided in Chandler, Arizona
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Dong Jo Lee, 76, of Scottsdale AZ, returned to her heavenly home on June 16, 2019 after a courageous year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. She was a loving and devoted mother, grandmother, aunt, godmother, sister and friend who will be missed by many.

Dong Jo is survived by her son, James Lee of Grand Prairie, TX, daughter and son-in-law Alice and Robert Stevens of Chandler, AZ, daughter and son-in-law Janet and Michael McMahon of Cos Cob, CT, son and daughter-in-law, Max and Clara Song Lee of Oakland, CA, two sisters, Dong Hee Cho and Dong Ock Cho of South Korea, four grandchildren, Connor McMahon, Natalie McMahon, Alexa Stevens and Ever Lee, and countless extended relatives. She is preceded in death by her husband of 38 years, Ke Won Lee, her parents, Cho Keun Young and Kim Jong Jin, her elder sister Dong Won Cho and her brother Dong Chang Cho, all of South Korea.

Dong Jo was born on August 23, 1942 in Jusil, Gyeongsang Province, South Korea. She attended Kyunggi High School and graduated in 1961 with high honors. She then went on to graduate with top honors from Seoul National University in 1965. While studying at Kookje Fashion Institute, she met her future husband Ke Won and the two were married on January 11, 1968. After a brief stint in Taiwan, they immigrated to the United States in 1969.

Their story was the archetypal American Dream. Through hard work, sacrifice, tenacity and discipline, they bought a home in Coram, NY, where Dong Jo lived for almost 30 years. There, they raised and educated 4 children and lived a comfortable life. An avid gardener, Dong Jo enjoyed tending to her garden in her free time. She also had an eye for the visual arts and was a gifted painter and illustrator. Dong Jo was a faithful and spiritual woman who drew strength from her close-knit Korean Catholic communities in Oyster Bay, NY and Chandler, AZ. When Dong Jo moved to AZ in 2016, the St Columba Kim Catholic community lovingly welcomed her and offered tremendous spiritual support and guidance to her until her final days.

Of all of her many roles in life, however, that of doting grandmother will always be her finest and her favorite. Nothing gave her more joy than spending time with her grandchildren. She requested photos and videos of them whenever she could not be with them. Her grandchildren loved her fully and deeply in the short time they knew her.

A funeral mass is scheduled for June 20 at 11 am at Saint Columba Kim Roman Catholic Mission in Chandler with visiting hours at the church from 10-11am and a lunch reception after mass. A private interment will be held at Locust Valley Cemetery in Locust Valley, NY. In lieu of flowers, her family hopes you will consider making a memorial gift in Dong Jo’s memory to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network at




St Columba Kim Mission
1375 N McClintock
Chandler, AZ 85226
Thursday, June 20, 2019
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Mass of Christian Burial
St Columba Kim Mission
1375 N McClintock
Chandler, AZ 85226
Thursday, June 20, 2019
11:00 AM


Pancreatic Cancer Action Network