Polina Bun Suk Lee February 1, 1936 – April 22, 2016

Filed under: Obituaries |

leePolina Bun Suk Lee passed away peacefully at PROVIDENCE TRINITY HOSPICE CENTER in Torrance, California on April 22, 2016. The cause of death was from multiple complications due to dementia, post-surgical procedure infection of the stomach, and inability to swallow fluid and food.

Polina was born in Seoul, Korea, to Kang Young Joo (Father) and Song Ok Bun (Mother) and raised in Seoul. She is the fifth child (youngest daughter) of nine children from the Kang family. Upon graduating from Kae Sung Catholic Girls High School, Polina had the intention of answering the vocation of becoming a nun. But, God had a different calling for her when she met Benedict U. Lee, who was serving in the Korean military in 1954. Benedict and Polina married in 1955 and had three children – Cecilia (eldest), Joseph, and Egidiou (youngest). Benedict continued to serve in the Korean military until his retirement from the service in 1970.

Polina operated a knit shop to provide for herself and her younger brothers during the Korean War. She continued to utilize her skills and resourcefulness when she had to be the head of the household to provide for her children while Benedict was serving in military.

Upon retiring from military service, Benedict and Polina emigrated to the U.S. in 1970 (Detroit, MI) to start a new life. Adjusting to the new environment was difficult and challenging to everyone, especially for Polina. Through it all, she was able to overcome and adapt to the American way of life. Polina was first and foremost a mother and a housewife, but as the children grew older, she joined the workforce, first as a phone repair worker for Western Electric Company. She continued to work for a number of years as a cashier/alteration seamstress.

Upon Benedict’s retirement from Chrysler Corporation (as an electrician) in 1994, Ben and Polina moved to Cincinnati, OH to work as volunteers for the Korean Catholic Charismatic Renewal Community to do outreach work to Korean Catholics throughout the U.S.

In 1998, due to Benedict’s respiratory condition, he and Polina moved to Dallas, TX where the warmer winter climate was less stressful to his lungs. Upon Benedict’s passing in 2013, Polina was relocated to Los Angeles, CA where she was placed in an assisted living center for elderly Koreans with dementia. Sister Cecilia was able to regularly oversee her stay at the center, as her place of work/residence was in the L.A. area. Polina was at the elderly care center until recently.

Polina’s biggest and most noted accomplishment during her adult life was to participate in the Korean Catholic Church’s Charismatic Renewal Movement. Polina and Benedict, along with a small group of dedicated Korean Catholic believers, had the heart and desire to bring the spirit-filled message of renewal of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Korean Catholic Community. She had gotten to know many Korean Catholics through her travels and helped coordinate Korean Catholic seminars and retreats to help fellow Korean Catholics develop a closer relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in their daily walk. Many Korean Catholics who had met her and have worked with her will attest what a spirit filled woman she is, with a kind heart, love and compassion to do the work of bringing Korean Catholics to a closer relationship with God. The many people whose lives she had touched and influenced with God’s love will be her lasting legacy.

Polina is survived by her three children – Sr. Cecilia (Sisters of the Blessed Korean Martyrs), Fr. Joseph Lee (Diocese of Dallas), and Egidiou Lee.

jaynesVisitation with the family is from 6-8 pm, (7:00 pm, ROSARY), Thursday, April 28, 2016, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Duncanville, TX.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00 am, Friday, April 29, 2016, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church.

Interment will follow at Calvary Hill Cemetery, Dallas, TX.