Yung Gul Kim

June 1, 1934March 4, 2021

In Loving Memory

Yung Gul was born June 1, 1934 (Lunar calendar April 1st) in Pyongyang, North Korea, to Hyung Chin Kim and Dong Ok Lim. He was schooled under Japanese occupation until 1945, then two years under Russian occupation before fleeing to South Korea at age 13. He finished studies at Seoul High School during the Korean War (1950-1953).

While in South Korea, Yung Gul entered a competition for a scholarship to an American university, offered by officers’ wives in the San Francisco area. As one of 20 students who won the scholarship, he began to study Architecture at UC Berkeley in 1956. Yung Gul served as a houseboy for one year in exchange for his tuition, later transferring to the University of Oregon. In the spring of 1960, he met Elaine while in the college infirmary recovering from an ulcer. Kim (as his friends called him) and Elaine were married on April 10th, 1961, while he was still a student. In 1967, he graduated from the University of Oregon’s five-year program. Kim worked as a draftsman in Washington while studying for his architectural license, which he earned in 1973. He worked for ARCO at their Los Angeles headquarters, on their mini mart program for 24 years. After retiring in 1998, Kim moved with Elaine to Shoreline, Washington, where he lived the remainder of his years. He passed away at home, surrounded by his wife, children, granddaughters and grandson.

Kim’s hobbies included golf, sailing on his Catalina 22, playing classical guitar, hiking and gardening. He is best known for his depictions of high country landscapes, in media ranging from pen and ink, to watercolor to wood burning, for which he developed custom tools. He always loved pets, friends, and classical music. Kim was an avid reader of poetry and tales of exploration, which sat alongside his map collection. He loved the National Park System, particularly Yosemite, which inspired many sketches. He enjoyed keeping up with languages he had acquired growing up and kept his dictionaries close at hand with lists of new vocabulary.

This April 10 Kim and Elaine would have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Yung Gul Kim believed in God the Creator and the hope of eternal life through Jesus. Through all the adventures of life, he often remarked: “I am thankful to God for my life, my family and God’s goodness to me.”

Kim leaves his wife, Elaine, and three surviving children: son, Lynn, and daughters, Dawn and Jeanne. Daughter Joy preceded him in death, in 2018. He was proudest of his children and grandchildren—Allyson, David, Emma, Sammy, Thomas, Jessica, Abby, Aaron and Naomi—and recent great-granddaughter Emiko. He leaves his brother Yung Whan (wife Nancy) and sister Yung Eun (husband HakYong) and longtime schoolmates Kirho and Young-Bum whom he considered family.


  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, April 10, 2021



Yung Gul Kim

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