Lee Ming Shen, age 100, passed away peacefully at home, in Madison WI, on January 24, 2022. Lee was born February 20, 1921, in Shanghai, China, to Bu-Lan Lo and Kai-Chi Chow, the “Third Sister” with two older sisters and four younger brothers. She enjoyed a happy childhood until August 5, 1937, when her family fled Shanghai one week ahead of the invading Japanese. Spending the war years in Chongqing, she graduated from the National College of Pharmacy in 1942 and worked at the Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Ministry of Defense. She then worked for a startup and as a teaching assistant at the National College of Pharmacy until 1949, when she left China to attend the University of Maryland. After earning a MS (1950) and PhD (1952) in pharmaceutical chemistry, she took a research position at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she met and married Ching Sheng (Albert) Shen. As he pursued an academic career, Lee balanced working and raising their children, Anna and Emil. She was an instructor and researcher in chemistry and biochemisty at North Carolina State College, taught chemistry at Northampton County Area Community College, translated and abstracted articles for Chemical Abstracts, taught Chinese, and served as a translator. Lee and Albert always found time for fun, friends, and family. They enjoyed dinners, parties, and visits with relatives and friends, playing mahjong regularly and poker frequently, maintaining flower and vegetable gardens, trying new restaurants, and much more. After 30 years in the US, their lives were further enriched with the reestablishment of connections with family and friends in mainland China. Lee lived in Bethlehem PA for 45 years, caring for her family and enjoying friendships in the Chinese community, her neighborhood, the Church of the Manger, and Lehigh Women’s Club, until she moved to Madison WI in 2009. Lee faced life with practicality and a positive attitude, but her son’s illness and passing cast a shadow over her last years. We rejoice that she has been reunited with Daddy and Emil.
Lee is survived by her daughter, Anna Lee Shen (Kokpeng Yu); daughter-in-law, Helen Shen; two brothers, Lihang Chow (Lee Li) and Li-Chong Chow (Xingzi Jiang); six grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and 26 nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ching Sheng Shen; son, Emil Shen; sisters Laifeng Chou and Liguang Chow; and brothers Jinsun Chow and Liyi Chow.
We thank Panfen Zhang and the staff of Agrace Hospice for their care. Memorials may be made to Agrace or the charity of your choice.
Burial will take place at Bethlehem Memorial Cemetery, Bethlehem PA.