ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Gracia Lee 張敬茜, born on February 1, 1943, and passed away on June 8, 2021. We will remember her forever.

Memorial Service:
We had a virtual memorial service to celebrate her life via Zoom on Saturday, June 12, 2021. Memorial service recording:  https://youtu.be/Yjc0z95d0Jk
Word Cloud:
We are collecting meaningful words from you that describe Gracia to create a word cloud.  Please contribute words that embody her to the following until July 12, 2021
https://PollEv.com/tzielanlee605

Donation:
In lieu of flowers or gifts, you can make a tax deductible donation to the Gracia Lee Memorial Scholarship Fund to the Association of Chinese Americans 32585 Concord Drive, Madison Heights, MI 48071, 248-585-9343, Payable to Association of Chinese Americans with a memo "for Gracia Lee Memorial Scholarship Fund". Gracia served on the scholarship committee for over 35 years since its formation.
Posted by Shenlin Chen on June 15, 2021
On behalf of the Association of Chinese Americans, I'd like to thank Gracia, our former Board of Directors, Treasurer, and Scholarship Committee Member for being such a loyal supporter and generous contributor to ACA. We thank her for her exemplary passion and commitment for the organization and for the beautiful legacy she left behind.

Gracia never hesitated to share her praise, encouragement, and advice with me. I have fond memories of spending time with her during a day full of interviews with 40 some scholarship applicants. She was focused, she was logical, and she was always willing to offer her valuable insights. She joined many classes at the Chinese Community Center and every time I ran into her, she would chat with me with great smile on her face. 

ACA mourns the loss of a family member. Personally, I mourn the loss of a dear, dear friend.
Posted by Roland Hwang on June 13, 2021
With Gracia's passing we have lost a big piece of the Chinese American and Asian American community's foundation. Her contributions to the Association of Chinese Americans since Tony and Gracia's arrival here from Pittsburgh, her steady advice, presence at so many ACA events, work on the creation of the Chinese Community Center, and her place on the scholarship committee over 38 years are beyond measure. Beyond all of that, I will treasure her warmth and friendship. We will all remember Gracia for all she did for us and with us.
Posted by Colette Sun on June 12, 2021
To Tony and the Lee Family,

What a touching memorial!!

Truly a most beautiful celebration the life of a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, friends, neighbor and colleagues !!

Why so short? Could it be because she had completed all the goodness that a human could give on earth ?

She has left a wonderful family: : her children and grandchildren and you !! Do take care !

We will add to the words in the word art. What a lovely tribute !!

Much love 
Shan and Colette Sun 孫善齊張問禮

PS Would it be possible to share the recording with friends?

Posted by Jeanne Chow on June 12, 2021
We are heartbroken by the shocking news. Please accept our deepest condolences for your loss. Not long after Gracia and Tony moved to Detroit area from Pittsburgh, we have been friends since then. Gracia was a kind, conservative, happy and loving lady, always have a big smile on her face. We will really miss her. Our Prayers are always go with Tony and Gracia's family. May memories of Gracia's comfort you and your family at this difficult time.
Paul & Jeanne Chow
Posted by Lucy King on June 12, 2021
A letter to Gracia:

Your huge smile is always refreshing, warm and welcoming. 
Your voice is always calm and collected even in the face of disagreements. 
Nothing seems to perturb you, and your smile stays steady.
You always have a refreshing idea to offer, not being afraid to be different.

How do I know? It was pleasant having been with you in the ACA Scholarship Selection Committee, and of course organizing many other functions of ACA.

P.S. To Tony, our prayers are with you. You contributed a lot to ACA as well. 
Posted by Tom Chang on June 12, 2021
While I was growing up, Mrs Lee (as I always called her) was definitely one of the cool parents in our Pittsburgh Chinese family community. She and Mr Lee helped to initiate and coordinate so many activities to create a wonderful and memorable childhood -- fun camping trips to every single state park within a 200 mile radius of Pittsburgh (or it felt like), first-time skiing at Boyce Park, and Laserdisc karaoke to name just a few. Because of her career at VW, I got my first ride in a Porsche 944, and our family drove a Jetta and a diesel Rabbit for many, many years. She was such an integral part of our community, and she will truly be missed. 
Posted by Frank Liu on June 12, 2021
Never a shortage…

Rice flour anyone? Dark soy, light soy, fermented soy, soy paste, rock sugar, dried shrimp, black bean garlic paste, cooking wine, black vinegar, white vinegar, dried mushrooms, dried tofu, and endless bags of spices.  I didn’t even know sesame oil came in large metal containers.  And though we have several 99 Ranch grocery stores within 10 miles of our home, these are a few of the many items my mother in law made sure we had an ample supply of.  You can only imagine the sheer output of her cooking from 酱牛肉 to dumplings and baos of every flavor which only a secondary refrigerator as well as a stand alone freezer could accommodate.  

Not only in food, my mother in law never had a shortage of family, career, investment, marriage, and golf swing advice.   She raised an amazing family with two strong and independent daughters that I am forever grateful to know and be a part of their family.  I have been treated from the beginning as her own son which I could not ask for anything more.  Even in sickness when the focus should only be on herself, she still asked how my work was going.  
Now regarding the golf swing, all 3 of our kids actually have a pretty decent swing that is credited to her.  

Thanks mom. I miss you and will continue to try my best to replicate the dishes you cooked that our kids have grown to love and take our kids golfing in remembrance of your love for the game.

-Frank
Posted by Cathy Jen on June 12, 2021
Dearest Gracia,

It was such a shock to realize that we will never see your big smile and enjoy your hospitality again. We are still trying to make sense of this sudden loss. Our hearts and prays go to Tony, Tzeilan, Seimay, and all other family members.

When we think of you, it is always your devotion to your family and friends. You spent so much time in CA and CO to be with your two wonderful daughters’ families. You were so proud of your grandchildren. We often received emails from you either with links to your grandchildren’s performances or your son-in-law’s TV appearances. You loved shopping “as-seen-on-TV” products. You were so enthusiastic about those products that we have picked up those habits too. We have joked that you should be hired by those companies as spokesperson. Once you were in our house and recommended a winter jacket from Costco. The next day, we all went to Costco to buy that jacket. And in one Costco store, it sold 10 jackets to our friends in 30 minutes, just based on your recommendation. We trust your judgement and if you loved something, it must be really good. So just follow your lead.

Your hospitability was famous among our friends. You were a first-class chef. Dinner parties in your house was guaranteed to be a feast. You always prepared so many delicious dishes to feed an army, and we were all so stuffed at the dinner. Then there were games. Your basement would be filled with sound of dice-rolling, laughing, arguing for the outcome, mourning for losing a game. A good time had by all. We sure will miss those good times we spent together.

Dearest Gracia, we mourn our loss of a true friend. All those wonderful memories may lesson our pain a little bit. We also find comfort in knowing that you are no longer suffering, and have become a shining light in eternity. Rest in peace, my friend!

Paul and Cathy
Posted by Chun-Ju Lin on June 12, 2021
Gracia was always an enthusiastic, kind and generous person, as well as a good friend. We could always count on her to do an excellent job as our tour planner for our traveling group. The memory of Gracia will be with us forever. ( Chun-Ju and Lee-Whei Lin)
Posted by Yolanda W on June 12, 2021
I am heartbroken to hear of Aunty Gracia’s passing. Growing up, she was a role model for me and so many other Chinese girls. She was intelligent, beautiful, successful and extremely “cool!” I remember how she was so approachable and always there to offer encouragement and advice. My parents often spoke so fondly of her and her family. Over the years, I have heard many stories of how she and Uncle Tony have been very good friends to my parents and others. I am grateful to have known her. My deepest condolences to Uncle Tony, Tzielan, Siemay, and her extended family. Sending you love and strength.
Posted by David Feng on June 12, 2021
We met Gracia and Tony at a party after they have moved from Pittsburg to Michigan. We found out that Tony and David went to the same school, Drexel University in Philadelphia.
We visited with Gracia and Tony many times at their home in West Bloomfield. Always treated us with delicious food and great conversations. We found out how they met and many interesting stories about them. Gracia told us that one time when she was visiting Taiwan, she and her mom went to the bank to do banking transactions. While filling out the forms, she found out that she could not remember how to write the 'proper' Chinese characters for the dollar amount and had to ask her mother loudly how to write them and it was so embarrassing, according to her.
Gracia and Tony invited us to join them to spend Christmas with their old friends in Pittsburg and for Thanksgiving when the 'Pittsburg Gang' came to Michigan. We also joined them on a camping trip in Ohio. During those gatherings, Gracia always made sure we all had enough to eat. One of the things that left an impression was that she always arranged to have the kids joining the parents in group discussions and to hear opinions from them on different topics. She always had the young people on her mind.
We will always remember her friendship, huge smiles and humors. We will miss a dear friend. Rest in peace, Gracia.
Our condolences to Tony, Tzielan and Siemay and their families.

David and Kimberley Feng


 
Posted by Ching Wu on June 11, 2021

悼念親爱的好友张敬茜女士千古

敬業樂群奉公守法盡職負責熱心公益造福人群
茜顏娟秀才華天賦仁爱喜捨敦親睦友情誼長留

 二〇二一年六月十二日  吳靖雄 林素媚 敬輓

Translation:

To our dear friend Gracia Lee

You always work diligently yet enjoy being with friends. You are an honorable citizen who follows the laws. You are very responsible and fulfill your jobs well. You are enthusiastic in public welfare and have accomplished much for the benefit of others.

You are graceful and talented by nature. You always show benevolent love and give unconditionally.  You maintain harmony among friends and relatives. Your warm friendship will stay with us for forever.

June 12, 2021                 George and SuMei

Posted by David Chang on June 11, 2021
A Tribute to My Dear Friend Garcia Lee   
                                                 David Chang    6-11, 2021

       Gracia and Tony are our old and close friends; interestingly, their Troy house is less than ¼ mile from ours in Rochester Hills. So, on June 8, when Tony informed us that Gracia passed away in CA, I was utterly shocked and could not accept the news-- I was sad speechless for the whole day; it was just too hard to believe, a dear close friend had passed away!
        Gracia was a very health-conscious person and very picky about her diet. As a result, she looked healthy, energetic, happy, and always greeted people with a smiling face.
        She was a fortunate lady, and her greatest treasure was her other half Tony--a true gentleman in nature, a great scientist and engineer in wisdom, a devoted husband in love. They were always together and inseparable, and Tony was forever behind her. Her second treasure was her two daughters, Tzielan and Tziemay, -- two outstanding medical doctors; they were very closed to Gracia, and Gracia was always their essential, irreplaceable adviser. Her third treasure was her three grandsons and one granddaughter—they had her devoted love to them to become the best grandma in the world. It sure made many people envy that.
        There were many interesting little secrets of her personality. She liked junk snacks such as crackers, chips, popcorns and always purchased large quantities from Costco, but she must have some secret way to keep her from gaining weight. She loved to buy new staff from online shopping on TV, especially the new cooking device, to support her gourmet cooking, such as brad machine and noddle machine. And you name it, and she had bought it.
       She loved to have friends and parties, a very people-oriented person, and very generous to her friends. She loved to invite friends to their house for dinner; inevitably, she always worried that there would not be enough food to serve, so she always prepared three times more food. 
       The Lees and we took many trips and played weekly golf as a group; attended many parties together, and we always shared ride. When she found out I had Glaucoma, they would always pick us up to go to any outing or party to avoid me driving. What a considerate and caring effort! One of her grandsons, Max, was born on the same birthday as mine on June 23; she asked me to be his God Grandfather, and it was a great honor for me.
       Gracia and Tony loved to dance, singing Karaoke, and dinner parties; Misty Club fitted perfectly as their favorite Club. But, of course, we can never forget the delicious Lee’s Special Cantonese Fry Noodle they prepared for the party. We all love Gracia and will miss Gracia forever!

Posted by Theresa Leung on June 11, 2021
It’s so sad to learn about our dear friend Gracia’s prematurely passing. Gracia was a beautiful,talented, generous and well respected friend! I will miss you so very much.
Posted by Dean Chang on June 11, 2021
Our family reunions won’t be the same without you for so many reasons. One of them is that you and my dad were the “elders” and have incredible stories about every single family member across all 3 generations. You and my dad are the only ones who saw every single one of us grow up starting as babies. You saw Mao Shu Shu and Shao Shu Shu grow up from babies to kids to adults to parents and then to grandparents. And you’ve seen me, Tzielan, Siemay, Joyce, Eileen, and Jodi grow up from babies to kids to adults. And you’ve been there every step of the way for me, Tzielan, and Siemay as we became parents ourselves and you became an amazing Puo Puo and Gu Puo Puo for our kids.

For every one of us across all 3 generations, not only did you see us grow up starting as babies, but you also gave us unconditional love and support that had a big influence on who are we today.

Yeh Yeh and Nai Nai would be so proud of how you and my dad have looked after and nurtured everyone and made us into an even more amazing family today from what they started from 1939 to 1943 when the two of you entered this world. We are forever indebted and grateful to have had you as one of the cornerstones of our family, and we all have eternal love for you!
Posted by Nancy Hsu-Law on June 11, 2021
Dear Auntie Gracia,

It is inspirational to read about your life. You have always made me feel comfortable, capable and important. Learning about your past experiences helps me understand where and how you developed your strength and tenacity. I am so glad that my children spent time with you when we were in MI, and I am extremely grateful for the close friendship that you shared with my parents — filling their lives with humor, adventure and joy. Life feels different now, but I smile when I think about the innumerable lives you have touched and changed for the better.

My deepest condolences to Uncle Tony, Tzielan, Siemay and their families.
Posted by JOHN HAYNES on June 11, 2021
We are so, so sorry to hear about Gracia's passing. What a shock.
She was the most wonderful co-worker I ever had the pleasure to work with. She was kind, smart, conscientious and, as everyone knew so well, a truly beautiful woman, inside and out.
She truly lived up to her name - a gracious person.
Our hearts are heavy. We are glad she had her loving family with her then.
Our deepest sympathies-
John & Linda Haynes
Posted by Janilla Lee on June 11, 2021
In Loving Memory of Gracia Lee

Patagonia, Yellow Stone, Red Rock, Metahorn……….
We climbed mountains following you, searching for beautiful sceneries……..
We did it, drinking our happy wine; where are you now?

Hawaii, Baltic Sea, Danube, Rhine, New Zealand……….
We sailed the oceans, rivers following you, waiting for the sunrise/sunset……..
We found them, drinking our first cup of coffee, eating midnight snack; where are you now?

Link of Novi, Remington GC (FL), Texas, Sedona……….
We played golf together, sharing our live stories……..
We laughed, finding our balls surprisingly on the green; where are you now?

Beethoven’s 9th, La Boheme, Beetles, line dances……….
We sang all songs together, old, new, classical, rock n roll, doing folk dance, line dance, Zumba……..
We sang our hearts out, enjoying them all; where are you now?

Cold dish of 8 treasures, Dong-puo meat, fried noodles, rolled egg pancake cookies……….
We dined at your house, tasting restaurant-grade banquet and packing leftover home……...
We enjoyed our lives together, treasuring our friendship and laughter; where are you now!!

Dear Gracia, you are not here to lead us in life pleasure anymore, I am lost now……..
We all miss you, my friend. May you have eternal peace with the God in your heart!

So sorry, I am on the road, cannot access to all my picture files to attach a few. But these pictures will always be in my heart.

Janilla Lee, June 11, 2021
Posted by Barbara Kalb on June 11, 2021
Gracia and I were lunch buddies at the V W plant in P A and then, later, at the V W of A headquarters in Troy,MI. We spent many lunches together, over several years. She was my dear friend and she will be missed. Tony,  Chuck and. I are so sorry for the loss you and your family are experiencing





Posted by David Kaufman on June 10, 2021
Gracia was a beautiful, intelligent, selfless, conservative, compassionate and loving woman who enriched our lives and will be in our hearts forever. Her smile brightened each and every room into which she walked! Gracia, I am sure that one day we will play Bingo yet again and you’ll let me win. Love you always.
Posted by Karen Chou on June 10, 2021
To me, Auntie Gracia was always one of the kindest aunties I knew growing up. She showed me warmth and gentleness, but also strength and encouragement when I was in high school, which I believe made her the perfect person to be involved in the high school scholarship program in the ACA. She truly wanted to see you succeed and did all she could to help make that happen. This is one of my fondest memories of the type of person she was. My heart aches for Uncle Tony, Siemay and Tzielan, but know that she will always hold a special place in our lives.
Posted by Theresa Shen on June 10, 2021
Remembering Gracia

You, a kind, graceful lady, likes a rose bud wrapped in morning dew.
You, a filial daughter, caring sibling, loving wife, mother, and a royal friend.

On a rare occasion, we met. I couldn’t tell where.
Your beauty and warmth impressed me. ‘Is she a God sent celestial angel?’

Many years, many days had passed. We met rarely, yet we have kept in touch.
You brought me a woven scarf when you were away.
You gave me your back-recliner when you saw me suffer from back pain.

When I heard a fatal disease had struck you, I was shocked and worried.
‘It shouldn’t happen to Gracia. She is too kind and too sweet to people.’

Yet the cruel illness took you away without saying good-bye.
My heart aches, tears flows, I can’t help but say “Gracia, I love you wherever you are.”

Theresa Shen 6/20/21
Posted by Melanie Miao on June 10, 2021
I am so sorry and saddened by this news of Auntie. I met her through my son who is friends with Max, and I remember feeling so at home with Gracia because she and Tony are so much like my own Chinese parents, who also called the midwest our home during my youth. I loved hearing Gracia's stories of traveling the world with Tony, and over the years, whenever I saw them at Tzielan's house, I would never miss the opportunity to ask them which corner of the globe they were exploring next, because she was sure to have an adventure planned! Not only was her zest for traveling contagious, but she also brought that same sense of adventure for life into Max and his friends' lives. Our family sends our deepest sympathies, love, and prayers to your family. 
-Melanie, Oliver, Aiden, and Eliana
Posted by Nora Chang on June 10, 2021
Dear Tony, Tzielan, Tziemay and family: SC and I are deeply saddened to learn of Gracia's passing. I have always considered her one of my best friends. I had always thought she was in excellent health. When she was working for VW plant in Pittsburgh, she had told me that she would work thru lunch hour straight thru all day. That was how dedicated she was to her work. Her same dedication and devotion were applied to her family, friends and community.

In my mind, Tony and Gracia were a perfect couple, both very competent and compatible with each other. They used to plan and lead us on weekend camping trips, almost every weekend. My two boys, now grown men, still remember those fun days while they were growing up. They had to finish homework on weekdays, so they were free to travel on weekends. Later Tony and Gracia led us to venture out West to national parks.  Wow! such sensational and beautiful nature and red rocks in US West just overwhelmed me to become a lifelong lover of national parks. SC and I have been to more than 20 national parks.  They also planned a cruise trip to South America. Till this day I have had fond memories of those lovely penguins and llamas.

Gracia was also devoted to community volunteer work. We used to do volunteer work at OCA in its early days in late 70's till mid- 80's, organizing seminars to raise our awareness, especially our children, of being Asian Americans in a democracy, attending city's downtown parades, summer family camps, parties for relaxation and fall trips to see foliages. Gracia's two girls would do traditional Chinese dances on stage and my boys would do lion dance and played drum. In addition, we were also volunteers at Chinese School. Those were the busy fun days for us two working mothers. But reminiscing now, those were the happiest years of my life: with the boys home, busy yes, but doing meaning volunteer work with good friends.

Since Tony and Gracia moved to the motor city, at first we kept in touch. But later for sometime we would lose touch with each other. But each time we got reacquainted, our old warm friendship resumed in no time. The last time we saw Gracia in person was 5 years ago in San Francisco. We had luncheon with a group of old friends from this old city. She was a picture of perfect health. This year I last saw her in our Zoom meeting in April. She was still in charge of our Zoom meeting. 

Who would have thought Gracia would be gone by June? Sweet Gracia, you have had a fulfilled life on this earth. Please rest in peace! Your two girls will surely take good care of Tony. I will join you later in the afterworld!

Nora Chang

Posted by Vem Chuang on June 10, 2021
Gracia and Tony and us, Vem and Marisa Chuang, have been friends for a long time. When we lived in Detroit area we worked on the projects for the Association of Chinese Americans (ACA). Gracia was always happy, energetic and friendly. We had many many memorable moments together. We'll thoroughly miss her.
Vem and Marisa Chuang
Posted by Ching Tsai on June 10, 2021
I knew Gracia since we were in junior high and high school. We stayed friends even though we went to different universities we have a lot of fun memories. Gracia was a movie fan, she can memorize all the name of movie stars. Sometime , she convinced me skipping the class to see the movies.
When I left Taiwan to U.S. the second stop was N.j at their home for few days to looking for the job in the New York City . I really appreciated for their help. I Was shocked to hear of her sudden passing. I spoke to her just a couple of months ago and she didn’t tell me her health condition.
Gracia is my dearest and longtime friend, Tony and family Please know that you are in my thoughts as you mourn the loss of your loved one.

Ching




Posted by sarinna ping on June 9, 2021
We are heartbroken for the loss of Gracia. Please accept our heartfelt sympathy.  Our Prayers are with Tony and Gracia’s family. 
Gracia is such a happy, active, fun loving lady. She brought so much joy to us when we were together.  She will always remain very much alive in our memories. 
I would love to share a story with you. A few years ago, Tony was invited to teach in Hong Kong University. It happened I was in Hong Kong to take care of my mother during the time Tony and Gracia were in Hong Kong. Gracia and I met couple times while Tony was at work. She told me all the stories about how local Cantonese are not very nice to someone does not speak Cantonese. A sales girl laughed at her because she prefers to buy dead shrimp instead the fresh shrimp jumping in the water. I really enjoyed the time we were together, shopping; lunch, side seeing. 
She will be deeply missed by all of her friends. May she rest peacefully in heaven till we meet again. 
Sarinna and Alfred
Posted by Colette Sun on June 9, 2021
June 8, midnight
Dear 李信,(i just got up to turn off my iPad...and saw your email , so so saddened ! )

What a unbelievable shocking sad news even for friends to accept ! And, I can not even begin to imagine the emotions you and the family must have gone through in the recent weeks.

We are comforted to read that Gracia passed peacefully in her sleep with you and all the family members by her side and she no longer endures physical suffering.

We will join the memorial service on Zoom to celebrate her beautiful life on earth. She has indeed made so much positive impact to everyone who had the fortune to know her.

Our deeply heartfelt condolences to you all...Take care!!

With Love, Colette 張問禮 and Shan 孫善齊
Sent from my iPad Pro
Posted by Kathleen Chang on June 9, 2021
GuGu’s beautiful smile and youthful spirit were such a source of light in the Chang family. Whether it was playing mahjong for hours upon hours during family visits to LA, dancing with Gu Zhang at a New Year’s Eve party, or playing with our children when they were babies, she was always smiling and laughing. Her energy seemed boundless and she was always up for an adventure.
GuGu welcomed me into the family so easily and was always so generous with her time and attention. Not only with me, but with our children as well. We will miss her dearly, but I’m grateful that we have so many wonderful memories of time spent together.
Posted by Ting Yu on June 9, 2021
I will always think of Mrs. Lee from our cherished years hiking and canoeing with the Pittsburgh camping group. I was the youngest of the kids and could usually be found following around Siemay and Tzielan (and trying to peek inside that cool car tent)! Mrs. Lee was always so kind to me. I remember her most for her natural beauty (she always looked lovely) and her warm smile, sense of humor, and adventurous spirit. When a lot of other moms stayed back, Mrs. Lee always forged ahead. I remember thinking to myself, that's how I want to be when I grow up. I can still hear her voice calling me "Ting Ting." Although my parents Victor and Deborah won't be able to share here (they are both suffering from advanced dementia), I know they would want to express their love and support for the Lee family--you are among our dearest lifelong friends. You will be missed, Mrs. Lee. Lots of love to you all.   
Posted by Nora Tzou on June 9, 2021
Kent and I are shocked and saddened by the news, less than two month ago, we talked on the Zoom, Gracia looks so vibrant and healthy.
Gracia was beautiful, thoughtful and unselfish to serve friends, community, organized all kinds events, big or small, joyful or sad occasions, always with a smiling face, never complain, we will really miss her, but it is comforting to know that I will see her again, when I leave this world, I can hear her soft and lovely voice saying "how are you? haven't see you for a while.
Posted by Connie Chang on June 9, 2021
I was so very sad to hear about Auntie Gracia's sudden passing. She was a close family friend, but truly more like family. Her warm smile is a bright light I'll always remember. Growing up she was one of the cool parents who helped coordinate dance parties and social events and throughout the years it was wonderful to keep in touch. My heart goes out to Uncle Tony, Tzielan, Siemay and their families.....she will be missed so very much. 
Posted by Chin Wei Chang on June 9, 2021
To my sister Jeh:

As my brother would say, you were not just my sister; you were 10 years older than I was and like a mother to me.

When I left Taiwan to study in the US, my first stop was Pittsburgh. I applied to school around there because you were in Pittsburgh and I knew you would take care of me. It came to no surprise that your home was just like my own home in Taipei. Whenever I was out of school, I would go to your house and enjoy delicious home-made Chinese dishes.

I shared everything with you, whether happy or sad. When I got my first job, the first thing I did was call you to share my happiness. I hope you see how important you are in my heart.

Even though you’ve left us, I believe we will see each other again sometime. 
When you see mom and dad, please let them know we are fine and we all miss them.

Love you,
Sho Dee
 
Posted by Chen Yu on June 9, 2021
So sorry to hear the news... We have great memories of her from all those Pittsburgh camping trips.  Condolences to everyone in the family. 
Posted by Ke-Kang Wu on June 9, 2021
Gracia will be missed by all the old friends from Pittsburgh. Her spirit will always be there to lead us. We knew that she is resting in peace and she will want all of us, Tony & family stay strong and do not let her down.

Kelvin
Posted by Lilian Siak on June 9, 2021
Garcia,

It is our fortune to have known you! You are such a dedicated, honorable, and loving person. You are always so positive and good natured. Our shared ventures with ACA had not been easy, but memorable. And we benefited so much by your presence on the Scholarship Committee. You always found us the perfect fit! You are going to be so so sorely missed, especially those cosy dinners we had to reminiscent the old days!

Lilian and John
Posted by Tara C. on June 8, 2021
I was incredibly saddened to hear about Auntie Gracia's sudden illness and passing. My heart goes out to you, Uncle Tony, and to Tzielan and Siemay and the rest of your families. I am very thankful that she was able to spend her last weeks surrounding by those who loved her the most, and whom she loved in return. I loved reading the story about her first road trip with Uncle Tony. I'll remember Auntie Gracia for being very kind and warm, while also being no-nonsense and straightforward, which I always respected. You will be greatly missed, Auntie Gracia!
Posted by Anthony Lee on June 8, 2021
Gracia was an extremely generous person to everyone. She was smart and understanding. She went to visit my mother in nursing home in Hong Kong.
She took me to see her home in Hong Kong and shopped at her favorite bakery. She came to my house to comfort me when my brother had an accident. She had large parties and how she could cook elaborate feasts. Her conversation about politics, finance, family, and children were intersting. She would be greatly missed by everyone and Chinese community.

Theresa Sun
Posted by Sandy Dalforno on June 8, 2021
We were stunned by the news of Gracia passing away. We were looking forward to having Tony and Gracia as neighbors (across from us) once they moved to Rossmoor permanently. Gracia had a wonderful smile. We always loved listening to her stories about their travels and life in Michigan. Our deepest sympathies to Tony and her family.
Sandy & Phil Dalforno
Posted by Emily Hsu on June 8, 2021
I am so saddened by the news of Auntie Gracia but will try my best to honor her by remembering all the joy she brought to everyone around her. When I think of Auntie Gracia I always picture her with a huge smile on her face. I cannot actually imagine her face without that beaming grin. She was always so full of energy and life and happiness. I just see her rushing up to me whenever we met at Fuji Buffet after a long time and giving me a big hug and being so warm and genuine. I love seeing all of these photos of her on this page and reading the stories, and I look forward to returning and seeing all the photos and stories that are added. It is obvious that she lived such a full life of adventure and one that was always surrounded by family, friends, and love. I will miss you Auntie Gracia.

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Shenlin Chen on June 15, 2021
On behalf of the Association of Chinese Americans, I'd like to thank Gracia, our former Board of Directors, Treasurer, and Scholarship Committee Member for being such a loyal supporter and generous contributor to ACA. We thank her for her exemplary passion and commitment for the organization and for the beautiful legacy she left behind.

Gracia never hesitated to share her praise, encouragement, and advice with me. I have fond memories of spending time with her during a day full of interviews with 40 some scholarship applicants. She was focused, she was logical, and she was always willing to offer her valuable insights. She joined many classes at the Chinese Community Center and every time I ran into her, she would chat with me with great smile on her face. 

ACA mourns the loss of a family member. Personally, I mourn the loss of a dear, dear friend.
Posted by Roland Hwang on June 13, 2021
With Gracia's passing we have lost a big piece of the Chinese American and Asian American community's foundation. Her contributions to the Association of Chinese Americans since Tony and Gracia's arrival here from Pittsburgh, her steady advice, presence at so many ACA events, work on the creation of the Chinese Community Center, and her place on the scholarship committee over 38 years are beyond measure. Beyond all of that, I will treasure her warmth and friendship. We will all remember Gracia for all she did for us and with us.
Posted by Colette Sun on June 12, 2021
To Tony and the Lee Family,

What a touching memorial!!

Truly a most beautiful celebration the life of a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, friends, neighbor and colleagues !!

Why so short? Could it be because she had completed all the goodness that a human could give on earth ?

She has left a wonderful family: : her children and grandchildren and you !! Do take care !

We will add to the words in the word art. What a lovely tribute !!

Much love 
Shan and Colette Sun 孫善齊張問禮

PS Would it be possible to share the recording with friends?

her Life

Her beautiful life

Gracia was born in Chengdu, China in 1943 during the Second World War. She was a descendent of the distinguished Hsiung and Liu families on her maternal side. Her maternal grandfather was a medical doctor and her great grandfather was the governor of three provinces Sichuan, Yunnan, and Guizhou. Her other great grandfather was a prominent general in the Chin Dynasty and was regarded as an influential person and national hero in modern Chinese history defending Western China. When the Chinese communists took over mainland China in 1949, the family escaped to Taiwan with the National Forces and her father became a 2 star general in the Chinese Air Force in Taiwan. She graduated from Shin-Ju High School (新竹) and National Cheng-Tsi University (政大) majoring in accounting and statistics. After graduation, she came to the United States on scholarship to study business at Illinois State University. She met and married her husband Tony Lee, who was working on his doctoral degree in physics in New Jersey. Subsequently she completed her MBA at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey.


Gracia’s career started while in graduate school when she was hired by Chase Bank as an accountant with their international banking operations. She then took a few years off to care for her 2 young daughters, Tzielan and Siemay, while Tony was launching his career in plasma physics. The family settled down in the Pittsburgh area and when their younger daughter Siemay was in preschool, Gracia reentered the work force as a staff accountant with Volkswagen of America. She was promoted several times becoming an accounting supervisor. In 1985 Tony was recruited by General Motors R&D Center in Michigan and Gracia was able to transfer to the Volkswagen US headquarters in Michigan. There she became a financial analyst and eventually joined the controller’s office as an assistant controller and oversaw all fiscal operations for Volkswagen in the US. Gracia retired in 2002 after a successful and fulfilling 25 year career.


Under her guidance her daughters became successful medical doctors, and she provided endless sage advice, wisdom and insight throughout their lives.


Gracia was highly principled and valued loyalty, perseverance, integrity, family, and friendship. She was full of empathy even towards complete strangers. As a young girl, she would share her new year’s red envelope money with the homeless. She taught her daughters the importance of kindness and generosity. These characteristics led others to seek and trust her friendship and advice.


Gracia’s overwhelming selflessness and strive for perfection were two of her most prominent traits. She was devoted to the welfare of her family and took on the responsibility to care for everyone. Her preparedness allowed her to anticipate and avoid adversity.  She was always thinking ahead of how to improve everyone’s life.


She volunteered time with Chinese American organizations advocating community service and equal rights. She loved the outdoors and organized summer camping and fall color trips for family and friends. She visited over 40 national parks and over 50 countries on 6 continents along with taking over 30 ocean cruises. She also enjoyed playing golf, cooking delicious homemade meals, and spending time with her four grandchildren, Tyler, Vienna, Maxwell, and Zun.


She passed on June 8, 2021 and is missed tremendously by family and friends.

Final chapter of a beautiful life

With great sadness we share that our dear mom has departed this world on June 8, 2021  As some of you may already know, our previously healthy and vibrant mother, Gracia Lee, was unexpectedly diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer on May 8th.  She was having symptoms of fatigue, decreased appetite, and weight loss for only a few weeks in April.  We became concerned about her health and flew to Michigan to see how she was doing and we subsequently brought her to the ER for evaluation.  There she was found to have a pancreatic mass with metastases to the liver.  She was at first hospitalized in Detroit but then we decided to bring her to California to be closer to family and pursue palliative treatments at Stanford.  Just before more evaluation could be done she suffered multiple strokes on May 17th. This was likely caused by the cancer making her at higher risk for blood clots.  She was hospitalized again and given her worsening weakness and effects from the stroke, we honored her wishes to bring her home with hospice to pursue comfort care and be surrounded by family and love.  The quick onset of symptoms to her diagnosis and eventually to her passing was unbelievably short.  Our family is devastated but we cherished the time we had with her at the end of her life.  Thank you to all who reached out and were worried and concerned about her health.  We deeply appreciate everyone's love, prayers, and support for her and our family.  
She would not want any of you to be sad thus please take time to reflect on the wonderful memories you had with her.
Tzielan and Siemay
Recent stories

My Little Sister: 我的妹妹 - 張敬茜

Shared by Dean Chang on June 14, 2021
(My dad wrote the following tribute to his little sister)

My Little Sister: 我的妹妹 - 張敬茜

From our early years in Taiwan, my sister and I went everywhere together. We walked together, or I would carry my sister on my bicycle … to school and to other places together. Then in the United States our families always lived near each other, so our children (Lan Lan, Mei Mei, and Ding Ding) could share the same closeness and love that my sister and I had.

When my sister was younger, she always followed me around. I would take her to places and events all around. I took care of and looked over her to assure her wellbeing and happiness and to protect her. She had all the happiness in the world, and she deserved it. Then when she got older, she did much, much more for me as if she were my big sister, not my little sister. She had a kind heart and was a giving person to me, to her families, to her friends and even to strangers because she had strong compassion and empathy towards less fortunate ones.

We shared many happy days, as well as difficult times, and sometimes even differences. But through it all we always knew how much we loved each other. For example, when we had a fight, sometimes a big fight because we were both being stubborn, she would be the bigger person and reach out to her elder brother. And she was always there when I needed her most. In 2019, she reached out and regularly called me up to check on me after I was diagnosed with a form of bone marrow cancer. Just a couple months later, she flew her entire extended family to DC to celebrate my 80th birthday with me, which meant so much to me. And then just four months after that, she single-handedly organized a Caribbean cruise for just the siblings and spouses in January 2020. My sister is the only reason that cruise became a reality, and that also ended up being the very last time all of the siblings were together in person.

My little sister was also extremely motivated and competitive, excelled as a leader, and drove herself toward perfection in her work, her life and everything she touched. This is precisely the reason she had a successful career, had a beautiful marriage, and raised an exceptional and accomplished family.

My little sister was a beautiful, talented, kind, compassionate, and empathetic person. She was a giving person who took care of others, especially families, and she could work herself to the bone to take care of everyone or to just make a feast for everyone to enjoy.

I am very proud of my little sister and her accomplishments and will cherish her love eternally. I am saddened that she left us too early. However, I am happy that she is in heaven with our parents who had an abundance of love for her during her lifetime and will continue to have an abundance of love for her in heaven forever.

In memory of a dear friend - Gracia

Shared by Rebecca Li on June 11, 2021
Gracia was a special friend to many of us. When I think of Gracia, I think of a few unique things. 


We shared many similarities. We both have the same last name (Chang) and married a Lee/Li. We both got married on the same day (1/25/69), she in Pittsburgh, me in Ann Arbor. Our children went to the same high school, Andover High in Bloomfield Hills. Tzielan and Albert were in the same year, while Siemay and Karen were two years apart. We both hold business degrees and worked for auto companies, Gracia with Volkswagen and me with General Motors. Both Tony and Chin-Hsiu worked for General Motors in Engineering. And, we both love chocolate!


Gracia cared about all her friends, especially friends in need. For the first year following his brain surgery in 1991, Chin-Hsiu was unable to drive to work. Gracia and Tony generously offered to give Chin-Hsiu a ride every morning from West Bloomfield to Warren. They did this for a whole year until Tony was transferred to Packard Electrics in Ohio. I am forever grateful for their selfless devotion to friends.


Gracia’s love for travel was contagious. In the summer of 2003 when Chin and I lived in Taiwan temporarily for his work, Gracia and Tony happened to be in Hong Kong for Tony’s work. Gracia thought we should get together. So I made the decision to go to Hong Kong a couple days later. Gracia gave me a pretty complete tour of Hong Kong during my two days there. She was familiar with the local public transportation and points of attraction. I was so impressed with Gracia’s efficiency as a tour guide. After all, she had only been there for two months! 


Gracia loved to dance. She had a flair for dancing the jitterbug. One night during one of our cruise trips I was walking towards the dining room when I saw a woman from afar dancing a few casual steps to the music. I could easily tell, even from a distance that it was Gracia by the way she moved. She had a big smile on her face, when I told her what I saw later that night.


Gracia is a generous, fun loving and devoted friend. When I think of her, I will never forget her big smile.


Our Friend - Gracia

Shared by Han Sheng Lee on June 11, 2021
It was a shock when we learned that Gracia passed away.  Just two months ago, we saw and chatted with her in our April zoom meeting, and it looked like things were fine at that time.  It is so sad and difficult to accept that she is no longer with us.

           

When we think of Gracia, we think of her smile, so pleasant and happy.  Especially when we talked about her grandchildren, it was a favorite topic of conversation for us.  Even though we didn’t hear anything different from her tone of voice, the smile on her face always showed how much love and pride she had for them.  To her friends, she was a great host, always wanting her guests to have the best combination of a relaxing atmosphere and delicious food (lots and lots of gourmet food!).  Mei-li and I have always enjoyed spending time with Gracia and Tony, especially when Gracia was in charge of hosting.  She had a way to make people feel welcome.  Even during the pandemic, Gracia showed her kindness and thoughtfulness by preparing snacks for her singing/dancing club members, which Tony delivered and dropped off on members' porches.  They are the kind of friends that constantly show their appreciation for others.

                                              

In 2016, she organized a trip to South America.  She spent a tremendous amount of time talking and negotiating with the travel agency so that the group could travel to specific locations that we liked.  The trip that she took the time and effort to plan was one of the best and most enjoyable trips we ever had.
    
Above is a picture of our white water rafting in Peru.  On the left of the boat was Tony with Gracia behind him.  You can see a happy time that we had together.  A short video clip of this activity is at the gallery section.

It is so heartbreaking to lose such a good friend.  Gracia, you will always be in our hearts, we think about you often, and we will miss all of our times together.  We miss you.  Rest in peace.