Hyun Sook Han

June 15, 1938November 5, 2021
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Mrs. Hyun Sook Han (6/15/1938-11/5/2021) was born in Seoul, Korea, the eldest of seven children during the Japanese colonization. She was twelve when the Korean War (1950-1953) broke out, and she became responsible for evacuating her younger siblings and their pregnant mother south. Having witnessed family separation, loss, and violence during this turbulent period, Mrs. Han decided to study social work at Ewha Women’s University and devoted her life and career to placing children orphaned by the war with families both in Korea and in the United States.

Mrs. Han along with her family immigrated to St. Paul in 1975. She worked as an international adoptions social worker at the Children’s Home Society & Family Services (CHSFS), where she facilitated the placement of more than 13,000 Korean orphans until her retirement. She received numerous awards for her dedicated work, including the Civil Merit Award in 1986 from the President of Korea; the Proclamation of Hyun Sook Han day on May 7, 1989 by Rudy Perpich, the former governor of MN; the Friend of Children Award in 2003 from the NACAC (North American Council on Adoptable Children); and in 2007 the Congressional Angels in Adoption Medal.

After her retirement in 2004, Mrs. Han served on the board of CHSFS, consulted extensively in India to promote medical care for orphans as well as establish foster care and domestic adoption in the country. She also served as the president of the Korean American Association of Minnesota (KAAM) and continued active participation in her Church, The Heaven Evangelical Church of MN.

She is survived by her daughter, Shinhee Han, Shinhee’s partner Scott Cushman and their son Sean, as well as her son Mike Han, Mike’s partner Rochelle Bayers, and his children Alex, Aaron, Austin. She is also survived by her sister Hyun Yoon Shim, Hyun Yoon’s husband Sung Kwan Hong, and their children Thomas, Will, Chris and their extended families, in addition to thousands of Korean adoptees and their families.

Mrs. Han will remain forever in our hearts as a mother, sister, grandmother, friend, as well as a trailblazer, innovator and fierce advocate of children.

Charitable Contributions can be made to Mrs. Han’s endowment at

An evening visitation for Hyun Sook will be held Monday, November 15, 2021 from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Sunset Funeral Chapel, 2250 St. Anthony Boulevard NE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55418. A funeral service will occur Tuesday, November 16, 2021 at 11:00 AM at Sunset Funeral Chapel.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Han family.


  • Evening Visitation

    Monday, November 15, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Tuesday, November 16, 2021



Hyun Sook Han

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Veronica Min Wotipka

November 29, 2021

My name is Veronica Min Wotipka. I wish to extend my condolences to the family of Hyun Sook Han. Although I did not know her, I see from her obituary that she was a very kind and generous person. I admire her work to help Korean orphans and their adoptive families, especially her efforts to help the orphans know and appreciate their Korean heritage.

Charlotte Todd

November 17, 2021

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Hyun Sook family. She was an amazing woman. We got to know her when we welcomed our two oldest daughters (Wendi Eun-Young and Marci Sun-Young) into our family on March 17, 1981. Wendi was 8 years and Marci was 6 years at the time. Hyun Sook was invaluable in helping the girls assimilate into our family. We loved entertaining the Korean dignitaries in our home that Mrs. Han sent our way. I couldn't believe that she asked me to prepare a Korean meal for them! One group that visited our home even went trick or treating that evening with our four daughters. Thank you for sharing this wonderful woman with so many of us.
Wendi Eun-Young
Marci Sun-Young
Kerri Lin
Lorri Lin
Bruce & Charlotte Todd

Kit, Carol, Matt, Molly Hoskin

November 16, 2021

We are so Grateful for Mrs. Han.
We send our Loving Thoughts, Prayers, and Sympathy to her family at this time of grief.
She spoke Truth in Love. Our time in post adoption counseling and teen group provided a firm foundation to meet the life challenges of adoption. Embracing the complicated questions of adoption, Korean traditions, food, and culture. Embracing diversity with open eyes and inclusion. No one could say “No” to Mrs. Han and her boldness, strength, and tenacity allowed everyone she met to move in a positive direction. We Loved her like a Korean Mom/Grandma and we will cherish our memories of her. If there were more Mrs. Han’s the world would be a better place. May we try to honor her by following her life example.
Kit, Carol, Matt and Molly Hoskin

Beverly Salisbury

November 15, 2021

What a huge loss Mrs. Han’s passing is to the many adoptive families like ours who received the gift of friendship and mentoring over the years. She was an extraordinary and special human being.
When Mrs. Han called to ask a favor, you always said yes and had a wonderful time working with her. Weather it was to work the kitchen for those special Korean dinners at St. Andrew’s (where I received a personal tutorial on how to cook rice properly), or being asked to host a back yard dinner for the visiting Korean dance troupe, she was a tireless advocate for connecting our Korean born children to their country of birth. Being able to take part on a Birth Country tour with our youngest daughter is an especially fond memory. For two weeks Mrs. Han worked exhaustively almost around the clock to make personal connections, if possible, for adoptees in the group.

How fortunate that our family was able to be a part of the wonderful Post Placement Dept. that CHS had at the time and Mrs. Han was a very important part of that team. What a gift her life was to so many.

My sincere sympathy to the family.

Bev Salisbury

David Chung

November 15, 2021

To the family of Hyun Sook Han,

We are so grateful of Ms Han's friendship with our mother before she passed away last year. After looking through some photos from year's past, one can't help but notice the smiles on everyone's faces around Ms Han. It's obvious there was an infectious joy that she shared with those she came across. Our sincere condolences for your family's loss.

David and Sam Chung

Cheryl Boyd

November 15, 2021

Mrs. Han was a caring and loving woman who created so many precious memories for so many families. She will be in our hearts forever.
Brian, Cheryl, Sarah and Anna Boyd

Kelly deRosier

November 15, 2021

I worked with Mrs. Han and traveled with her. She was a hard worker and we learned a lot about Korea from her. She often had us entertain Korean social workers and government staff. Those dinners were fun experiences and our kids enjoyed them, too.Blessings, Mrs. Han from Kelly, Eric, Austin, Alex, Kate and Christopher

Eileen Deitcher

November 13, 2021

Mrs. Han was a dynamo who channelled her enormous energy and compassion to make the world a better place by building and nurturing families. What could be more important? Ours is one of those families. Rest in peace, Mrs. Han.
--The Deitcher Bengtson Family

Susan Revier

November 13, 2021

From the Revier Family:

We love Mrs. Han very much and are so happy that she was a part of our lives for over 20 years. She was a great and wonderful woman and person and it has been our honor to share time with her. We will always treasure our get togethers at her home over the holidays, her gracious hospitality and, of course, her delicious Korean cooking.

We thank her for bringing our precious dear boy, Sam, to us and for all the lives that she touched and the families she has grown.

The accomplishments of her life are amazing and wonderful.

May God bless her and her family always.

All our love,
Susan, John, Julia & Sam Revier

karen tangen

November 12, 2021

You are my hero Mrs. Han. Thank you for making my life complete. I love you. Karen Tangen