It is with a heavy heart that we inform you on Friday, December 16, 2016 at approximately 6:10 a.m., Grandmaster Moo Yong Lee passed away peacefully at Hartford Hospital. He remained very strong, positive and resilient throughout his battle with cancer. Even until the time of his passing, he was coherent and could understand his wife, three children, and son-in-law, who were all with him. On behalf of the Lee Family, we thank everyone for their love and support.

FUNERAL INFO (Please check back for any updates):

Sunday, December 18, 2016
3:00 p.m. to 6:00 Public Viewing
4:30 to 4:45 Eulogies by Grandmaster Lemire and Jim Lee
6:00 to 7:00 Korean prayer service
Samsel & Carmon Funeral Home
419 Buckland Road
South Windsor, CT 06074

Tuesday, December 20, 2016
10:30 a.m. to 11:30 Funeral Mass
11:30 to 1:30 Reception
Sacred Heart Catholic Church

56 Hartford Ave
Wethersfield, CT 06109
Burial will be private

Posted by Michael Williams on March 1, 2021
There’s not a single day that goes by when I don’t think of Grandmaster Lee. I miss him dearly but I know he’s always watching over his students. His legacy will live on forever.
Posted by Marcos Starling on December 16, 2019
I still thinking of him and the advice he has told me... today I'm promoting the Taekwondo Old School following his advice's, he still is my inspiration to continue doing the real Taekwondo until my last day in this life. Marcos Starling, 12/16/2019.
Posted by Richard Soranno on May 23, 2019
I still miss him. Mrs. Lee and I and my wife often have breakfast, and it always seems like he is still with us. I think he will always be.
Posted by Ray Smith on May 20, 2019
Happy Birthday to KwanJangNim Lee,
I think of you often and I know you know I loved you and we all miss you. I am still teaching what you taught me. Your legacy lives on through us all. Until we are together again in heaven.
Grandmaster Ray Smith
Posted by Richard Soranno on December 16, 2018
It is hard to believe that 2 years have gone by. There is still a void in all of our lives, since losing a teacher, mentor and friend like Grand Master Lee. I know we all still miss him.
Posted by John Beckwith on December 17, 2017
I wanted to add another story, yet one with lasting relevance: It was common for Mr. Lee, after an exhausting workout, to sit on the floor with a number of students who stayed after class and talk about anything that came up. At that time we had a great student who had previously (and concurrently) earned a black belt in Kung Fu. This student felt comfortable enough with Mr. Lee to do something the rest of us probably would not, which was to ask directly which was the better martial art, Taekwondo or Kung fu? It is a tribute to Mr. Lee that the student felt fine asking the question. But further was his answer: Martial arts training can be thought of as a pyramid, with a wide base and corners very far from each other, meaning the many different forms of martial arts are at different point of the base. But all martial arts aim toward the same goal, the top of the pyramid. So ultimately those who trained might end up at the same level of accomplishment. The difference, and the key, is the quality and character of the instructor/instruction. Mr. Lee was that instructor.
Posted by John Beckwith on December 16, 2017
I trained under Mr. Lee from 1984 until 1992, short by the standards of some. But that time with Mr. Lee was formative and his impact has been felt by me for all these years. On this year anniversary of his passing, I am struck by how relevant he remains in my life. I am forever grateful for meeting him and coming under his tutelage. Thank you, Mr. Lee.
Posted by Marcos Starling on May 20, 2017
I will miss him until I meet him again... He had show me the value of honor and good will. The life he lived is my inspiration. Thank you Mr. Lee.
Posted by Jon Petoskey on January 16, 2017
When my son Richard was 12 he was overweight and had some difficulty controlling his temper. When we enrolled him in Mr. Lee's school of Tae Kwan Doe we were concerned about his being presented religious beliefs differing from ours. Mr. Lee assured us that would not happen and he began a wonderful segment in Richard's life that forever changed him. He is such a tribute to the force of Mr. Lee's character and teaching. In course of time, Mr. Lee and I became friends and he was always very kind to inquire as to our health, location and to wish us well. He was a tremendous man of character and integrity and it has been a real pleasure to have known him. We will be grateful for his influence on Richard and our lives. He also gave my eldest daughter a quite comical lesson about making snide comments to her Mother while watching one class. My wife and I still laugh about that when we recall it in our conversations.
Posted by Ray Smith on December 24, 2016
I met Grandmaster Lee in the early 1980's and he stayed in touch with me ever since. He tested me for my 6th degree black belt in 1989. We reconnected at our annual pilgrimage to support his U.S. Cup tournament and I got to coach in Korea in 2000. He was an incredible teacher, mentor and friend. I loved him and he loved you back. We played golf together a few times the day after intense workouts. I would pretend none of it affected me but the truth was my body was aching but this gentle man would right there still teaching even on a golf swing.

I saw him last year in Georgia and he held my hand and told me he wouldn't be around that much longer. I didn't understand yet that he was sick. I got the chance to hug and tell him I loved him. I am so grateful for the mark he made on my life. I will miss him so much but I look forward to seeing him again in heaven.
Grandmaster Ray Smith
Posted by Marc Zirogiannis on December 20, 2016
On behalf of the staff of Taekwondo Life Magazine we offer our deepest and sincerest condolences the passing of a Taekwondo Legend and revered man.
Posted by Master Park on December 19, 2016
I first met GM Lee in the 70s when I was a teenager and over the decades, he exemplified Honor, Generosity, and Dignity..I will truly miss his sense of humor and smile..It will forever be etched in my heart...

Master Kyung Sik Park
Baltimore, Maryland
Posted by brian kery on December 19, 2016
My fondest memory was during a private conversation I had with him when he chose to pass on to me little words of wisdom that have stuck with me to this day. He did this out of kindness in an effort to help me be a better person. He made a big impact on me. He was a great man I feel honored to have known. He will be missed. My heart goes out to his family and all of his students may god bless you all
Posted by Richard Soranno on December 19, 2016
Grandmaster Lee was an extrordinary man. To many of us, he was a teacher, mentor, friend and inspiration. He was a phenomenal martial artist, a loving husband and father. I met Mr. Lee 35 years ago, when I came into the school to find out about Taekwondo. I had the privilege of studying under him for all those years, as well as serving as the Treasurer of the United States Taekwondo Union when he was President. We became fast friends and spent many good times together. He touched so many lives in a positive way. The world is now a little worse off because he is no longer with us in body. But I know that his spirit will always be with us, and for that we will be better. I will miss him terribly.
Posted by Jacson Magno Junior on December 19, 2016
I did not have the honor of meeting Grandmaster Moo Yong Lee, but I heard of him and his incredible generosity, patience and humbleness by my Master Marcos Starling.
My condolences to the family and strength for this time of sadness.
Posted by Master Park on December 19, 2016
오랜 친구이고 미국태권도 역사에 길이남을 GM이무용씨를 잃게됨은 모든 태권도인이 애석하고 비통함을 함께 합니다.
그 가족에게 하나님이 같이 하시길 바라면서 애도를 표합니다.

Annapolis, Maryland에서
Posted by Lee Brophy on December 19, 2016
So very sorry to hear of the loss of Grandmaster Lee. When I was just beginning my career in accounting I was lucky enough to get to know Mr. Lee. He was a wonderful man and will be missed.
Posted by Marc Frantz on December 18, 2016
Grandmaster Lee: First of all, may your faithfully departed soul, through the Mercy and Love of God, Rest In Peace and may Perpetual Light always shine upon your countenance. May your family and your students continue to keep your legacy alive in everything we do and at all times.
Thank you for being such a warm, caring and outstanding Teacher and Mentor to me at United Tae Kwon Do in East Hartford for so many years when I was growing up. I'll always remember you telling our class that if you give 20 percent effort, you get back 20 percent results; if you give 100 percent effort, you get back 100 percent results.
You never tired of motivating me and our fellow students at School to become always wiser, stronger and more flexible; not just in the physical, but in the Spiritual, too. Also, Grandmaster, you taught me and all of us to apply these as well as more in all areas of our lives outside of School. I learned self-respect as well as respect for others from you from you; as well as discipline, humility, integrity and so many noble and helpful virtues.
You will be missed and always remembered in our minds and kept close to our hearts. My Dad, Mom and I will keep you in our prayers and ask that you pray for us, too-you are now in Eternity, Grandmaster; we, have yet to reach where you are now and always be at. 
With deepest sympathy, Marc and Family. 
Thank you again, Sah Bo Nim. 
Some words from class that you taught me almost 30 years ago that I will always remember: Chary-ot, Kun-ye, Chum-bi, Gi-Yup; An-Yong-A-Seo, Han-gara, and Char-aso. Kam-Sa-Ham-ni-da.
You're the Best!
Posted by Chuck Tischofer on December 18, 2016
We at Chuck's Automotive are so very saddened by the loss of Grandmaster Lee. We are proud to have known him, a quiet and humble soul. Our deepest sympathies to all of the Lee family, may you find peace in the wonderful memories he brought you,
Posted by Robert K. Fujimura on December 18, 2016
I am very sorry to hear of Grand Master Lee's passing. As a true martial artist and founding member of the fledgling Taekwondo movement in the USA and worldwide he gave much in both business and personal time, talent and treasure.

He was always proving a kind, unassuming compliment or encouragement. For the decades I knew him, he was consistently a fair individual that always took special attention to detail. In good times and hard times, he was always supportive of me personally and professionally.

He will certainly be remembered for rhe richness brought to the tapestry of the Taekwondo Community.

My condolences to the family for your loss.
Posted by Mr. and Mrs. Cartier on December 18, 2016
Where do we start? We met Mr. Lee in February, 1972, at the TKD school where he was about to start his teaching career in the Lawrence, Mass. area. We took him under our wing, as we sensed he was struggling with the English language, and needed help. He thank and encouraged us to continue. The relationship developed to the point that we became DEAR friends, with him and his family. We could write a book of the many, many happy times we had together. He (and his family),will forever be remembered in our daily prayers. God Bless,
Mr. and Mrs. Cartier (Salem, N.H.)
Posted by Thomas Mockalis on December 18, 2016
I was 39 years old when I started my training under the guidance of Grand Master Lee. I quickly realized that I wasn't as worldly as I thought. Grand Master Lee taught me life skills that I carry to this day. I am saddened by his loss yet forever grateful that I had the opportunity to sit with him and thank him for his teachings. Grand Master Lee made me a better person.
Posted by Marcos Starling on December 18, 2016
I meet Mr. Lee on March 6, 1993 in Massachusetts on a Referee clinic. He was the was a great gentlemen that aprouch me to cumpliment my skills at that time, and his words give me the impulse that I need to pursue my carrier as a martial artist. I will never forget his words of wisdom and his teaching. I will miss him very much until I meet him again... Marcos Starling
Posted by Lynnette Love on December 18, 2016
What an honor and a privilege to know GM Lee. I remember you since making my first national team in 1979. You have been there and been a main force in Taekwondo and its growth during the 1988 Olympic Games. Thank you so much.
Posted by RJ Botticello on December 17, 2016
As we remember you and your legacy sir, you were and still are so many things to all of us.  There are so many memories we all share. Some I am certain are universal....for example....not being able to walk after classes....the length of the dojang seemed longer and longer as we kept going up and down and the meaning of "one more round" meant ten more rounds. You taught us lessons in the dojang but more important how to apply them in everyday life. You pushed us to our limits and beyond. Not because you could but because you knew we had it in us and to prove to ourselves we could. You taught us to achieve the goals thats others said were impossible. You taught us to be the best we could be no matter what challenges we face. To remember the basics, not just about techniques but about life. Treat others with respect, coutesy and honor, to love ourselves, our families and those we hold close to our hearts. As we celebrate your life and our memories, I would like to thank the Lee Family for allowing us to be blessed with your presence . This is not a good bye but a see you later. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you you for everything. Thoughts, prayers and love to all of the Lee Family, fellow martial artists and to all those who were blessed to have met you. Together we are United as one. Kham Sah Ham Ni Da.  The Botticello Family and all of the United Korean Martial Arts family. We love you.
Posted by Diane Lemire on December 16, 2016
Mr. Lee was my friend over the years. my fondest memories were after tests going to lunch together and he would always have whatever I ordered. I thought of it as a n honor that he thought my taste in American food would suit him. We also golfed together and had many laughs at our own expense. I will miss this humble, kind, and loving man. The world will be at a loss without his presence. He has touched so many lives with his love.  Mrs. Lemire
Posted by Lisa Reiss on December 16, 2016
I am so sorry for your loss. I had the pleasure of knowing Grandmaster Lee for many years as my children's teacher and even prior to that. Over the last several years, I often enjoyed chatting with him at the school or with him and Mrs. Lee.  I often saw his humor during those chats, usually punctuated with the slightest of smiles. As the granddaughter of a Holocust survivor, it was always reassuring to speak with Grandmaster Lee about the value of our country's freedom.  I considered it an honor to make the video of Grandmaster Lee and United Tae Kwon Do that was shown at the 40 th Anniversary United Tae Kwon Do party in his honor. 

To Mrs. Lee, Grandmaster Lee's children and grandchildren you should know that while Grandmaster Lee was known for being humble, he was an honorable man who loved each of you very much. That is his true legacy you should take great pride in. 

Please let me know if I can be of any help. May God Bless You.
Lisa Reiss
Posted by Sherry Duvall on December 16, 2016
I pray that Grand Master Lee's family is comforted by God's love and the support of all those who will surround and join in honoring him this weekend and/or on Tuesday.

It was such an honor and a privilege knowing and being taught by Grand Master Lee. There are no words to accurately describe the sadness and emptiness I feel as I come to the realization that my kids and I will never be able to attend another class taught by him. I will always hold dear, the little talks about life lessons, support, and motivation he gave to the kids and to the adults at the end of class. One of the best things I ever did for my kids when they were little was to sign them up for class. Grand Master Lee was the best example when it came to being humble and gracious. I'm so happy to have been able to partake of a class he taught this past summer. It was just like old times and was truly a gift.

Grand Master Lee accomplished so much in his life and I can only hope I'll be able to accomplish even a quarter of what he did. He was such an inspiration, such an honorable, generous and kind man who gave of himself tirelessly. Cristianna, Mandy, Joshua and I will miss him greatly. May he rest in peace in the arms of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.
Posted by Katherine Viveiros on December 16, 2016
Bill and I are so so sorry for your loss. Grand Master Lee was a teacher, a friend, and the most humble man we know. He has taught us many valuable lessons. He will be sincerely missed by everyone who knew him. Rest in Peace Grandmaster Lee. Love, Kathy & Bill Viveiros

Leave a Tribute

Recent Tributes
Posted by Michael Williams on March 1, 2021
There’s not a single day that goes by when I don’t think of Grandmaster Lee. I miss him dearly but I know he’s always watching over his students. His legacy will live on forever.
Posted by Marcos Starling on December 16, 2019
I still thinking of him and the advice he has told me... today I'm promoting the Taekwondo Old School following his advice's, he still is my inspiration to continue doing the real Taekwondo until my last day in this life. Marcos Starling, 12/16/2019.
Posted by Richard Soranno on May 23, 2019
I still miss him. Mrs. Lee and I and my wife often have breakfast, and it always seems like he is still with us. I think he will always be.
Recent stories
Shared by Stewart Jankowitz on March 18, 2017

I was a student of Master Lee over forty years ago when I was attending Law School in Hartford. One evening after class, my car would not start. Master Lee closed the school for the night and saw me trying to fix my car. He insisted that I come home with him and stay overnight at his house. He drove me to his house where I had the pleasure of meeting his very young children and his first wife. We had dinner, and the next morning he drove me to my car and called his mechanic to tow my car. I graduated from law school that year, got married, and relocated to California. However, I never forgot his act of kindness, and we would correspond every year at Christmas. I would send a letter about what I was doing, and he would send a letter in reply. Christmas of 2015 he sent a letter advising that he was undergoing cancer treatment and he hoped that it would be successful. This year I did not receive a reply letter and I feared the worst. Finally, after waiting two months for his letter, I Googled his name and learned of his passing. It is a tribute to his charactor that I considered him a friend up to the end, and that for over forty years we kept in contact. I will miss him. My sincere condolences to his children and his wife. He was a great teacher, a good friend, and a nice human being. Because of his inspiration, I am still a student of martial arts, even at the age of 65!

Stew Jankowitz
Redding, CA 

Shared by John Beckwith on March 11, 2017

I have been away from United Taekwondo for a long time so when I stumbled on this notice of Mr. Lee's passing I was stunned and saddened. While my time at United TKD was 25 years ago, it sticks with me because of its importance in helping me to be who I am today. And I attribute that to the firm and wise manner in which Mr. Lee taught his students. His guidance, applied through instruction in TKD, helped to me to become stronger and more capable, and I attribue much of my later success and happiness to the teaching environment Mr. Lee created. There are many lessons that settled in for me, but one clear one makes sense even today - "In TKD we train our minds by training our bodies." I am heartened to see that many of my former training partners are now helping to carry on Mr. Lee's legacy. That is as it should be. Thank you, Mr. Lee. You have had a lasting and positive impact. - John Beckwith

From Facebook

Shared by Mark Kaufmann on December 18, 2016

I am posting from my Facebook page, I don't want these thoughts and memories to be lost. I hope this is the proper forum....

It was 1984 or 1986, at the nationals, Blue Dragon competitors paperwork was lost! NO ONE knew who we were despite our registering, so, none of our names were on the roster. Also, the check to pay for it was lost. Dennis went to Master Lee and explained it, Master Lee paid for it with his own checkbook.

I forgot the year, but it was the 84 or 86 Nationals. - Jim Bancroft 

Master Kaufman, my deepest condolences to you, all of Grandmaster Moo Yong Lee's students and family. He was a kind and gracious man, who worked tirelessly for Taekwondo, he will be greatly missed. - Grandmaster Gordon White

I did not know he had passed away. Grand Master Lee was always very kind and fair man. He was a special man, a martial artist and leader in the emerging sport of Taekwondo. He always had a kind word to me. Please pass my regards to his family. - Grandmaster Robert Fujimura 

So sad to hear this news. President Lee was a first class gentleman that always had a nice thing to say or word of encouragement for everyone. His contributions to Taekwondo cannot be overstated. Sincerest condolences to his family. - Grandmaster Jay Warwick

RIP, sir - Grandmaster Seunkang Yoo

My first tournament ever now I have almost 300 under my belt, wow what a great throwback!! R.I.P to a Real Legend in the Sport of Taekwondo - Master Anthony Heyl

GM Lee was a good man. Started training under him late in my career, but taught me so much in a short time. Little details that still have an impact on me now. - Jeremiah Mason

Grandmaster Lee did so much for so many… his spirit will live on forever through everyone he touched. I certainly wouldn’t be the person I am today if it weren’t for him. The world is dimmed with his loss. - Grandmaster Joel Waldron

So very sorry to hear of GM Lee's passing always a gentleman condolences to his family & friends may he be reunited with God forever ! - John Connors

Sorry about your loss. I am glad to have known him. - Phil Scudieri 

I am deeply saddened at his passing. I came to admire and appreciated his quiet strength and honor with each meeting, and realized how fortunate I am to by trained by his students. He gave so much - he will truly be missed. - Alice DiPace

Please accept my sincere condolences. - Hyeon Kon Lee

So sorry to hear this. In my experience, he was one of the great leaders that I had the pleasure to work with in my years in TKD politics. His integrity and fairness was unquestioned. He was a warm and gracious man. A great loss. My condolences to his family, instructors and students... - Jack Amsell

I was so sorry to hear of his passing today! He was such an influential man to me and many other taekwondoists. His character shone through every conversation I had with him. Even speaking to him 2 years ago, his mind was on the future of taekwondo and thinking about how to improve things. Grandmaster Lee will be missed by me and many others! - Dan Chuang

Truly blessed to have known him and to have trained with him. Always our Grandmaster, he was also always our friend. - Grandmaster Jim Montgomery

Grand Master Park just texted me the sad news. Sorry to hear that. I'll always remember his trips up to Portsmouth for our dojang's testings...and him kicking me under the table giving me a hard time about something. He always had a funny sense of humor! - Jeff Koss

One of the greatest Grand Masters in Taekwondo! He will be missed by all and never forgotten. Rest in Peace!! - Michael Gregatowicz

Deeply sorry to hear about Grand Master Lee's passing. He was one of the judges at my black belt test. Such a great gentleman. My sympathies to his family, his friends, students and his associates. May he Rest In Peace.- Jean Theodore

He is in my thoughts and prayers. Such kindness... Rest in peace, GM Lee. - Grandmaster Sung Park

This is great loss to everyone in Taekwondo! My deeply sorry to great grand master! We will missed him for good and forever! - Grandmaster Myung Cham Kim

Wow very appreciative of his contributions to Taekwondo. What an honor to know him. - Lynette Love

GM Lee Will be sorely missed. He was a great man, teacher, and a person who always made you feel great about yourself. The world is a colder place without him. - Tom Lord