OBITUARY

Kyong Yi

October 30, 1927August 8, 2018

Kyongsin Yi, née Kim, 90, of Pyongyang, Korea, passed away on August 8, 2018 in Plano, Texas.

Graveside funeral services and burial will be held at noon on August 18, 2018 at Calvary Hill Cemetery in Dallas, Texas.

Kyongsin Kim was born in Pyongyang in pre-war Korea to Pyong-ik Kim and Chong-sik Chon on October 30, 1927. She was raised by her father and stepmother, Hwak-sil Chong, for most of her childhood. She married Kwawon Yi on September 5, 1944 in Anbyon, Korea.

Kyongsin Yi is preceded in death by her parents, husband, firstborn child Ilsun Yi, grandson Hyun-sam Kim, and half-sister Kyongja Kim. She is survived by her children, Heasun Lee Killeen, Youngsun Yi, and Sunnam Yi of Plano, Texas, and Sangnam Yi of Incheon, South Korea. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Michelle Lee Killeen, David Lee Killeen, Junseok Yi, Hyun-wook Kim, and Hyun-gi Kim, as well as her great-grandchildren, Tia Frances Tompkins, Dylan Anthony Svehlak and Seo-woo Yi and Chae-A Yi.

Kyongsin Kim was born in Pyongyang in 1927, during the Japanese occupation of a unified Korean peninsula. Her parents divorced while she was very young, and she was raised alongside her younger half-sister in Pyongyang by her father and stepmother; her mother returned to her hometown of Seoul following the divorce. She married Kwawon Yi, of Anbyon, (North) Korea, in 1944, and gave birth to their first child, daughter Ilsun Yi, in 1945.

The next few years were very difficult, as Ilsun died of diptheria in 1948, and political upheaval led to the start of the Korean War in 1950. Having been threatened with political persecution, Kwawon fled Anbyon for Seoul at some point during this period and sought refuge with his wife’s mother there. Kyongsin also fled to Seoul alone some time afterward and reunited with her husband and mother. She would not see her father or stepmother again after leaving what became the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, nor would she ever return to her hometown of Pyongyang, though she was eventually reunited with her half-sister in South Korea.

Kyongsin gave birth to four more children while living in South Korea; daughter Heasun was born in Seoul in 1952, daughter Youngsun was born in Wonju in 1954, son Sangnam was born in Yangpyeong in 1956, and son Sunnam was born in Incheon in 1959. In 1987, both Kyongsin and her husband moved permanently to the United States to join Heasun in Okemos, Michigan. Her son Sunnam and daughter Youngsun soon followed. For several years, Kyongsin worked as a cook in Heasun’s small Korean restaurant in East Lansing. In 1993, the family moved to Plano, Texas, where Kyongsin remained until her death in 2018.

Services

  • Graveside Service Saturday, August 18, 2018
REMEMBERING

Kyong Yi

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David Killeen

August 12, 2018

Kyongsin and half-sister Kyongja in Incheon, 2000

David Killeen

August 12, 2018

Kyongsin in Garland, Texas, 2001

David Killeen

August 12, 2018

Kyongsin at Korea House Restaurant in East Lansing, Michigan, 1992

David Killeen

August 12, 2018

Kyongsin in Okemos, Michigan, 1989

David Killeen

August 12, 2018

Kyongsin in Incheon, 1980

David Killeen

August 12, 2018

Kyongsin with son Sangnam in Yangpyeong, 1956

FROM THE FAMILY