MARGARET CHUN-MEI (LEE) YING, at age 85, died peacefully in her sleep on June 3, 2019, in Seattle, Washington. Throughout her life, Margaret pursued her love of music through her university and graduate studies, teaching, and countless performances.
A native of Taiwan, Margaret was born and raised in Pingtung. She attended the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, receiving a B.A. in music in 1956. After graduation, Margaret taught music at a senior high school in Taipei. In 1959, Margaret immigrated to the United States, where she pursued graduate studies at the University of Minnesota and later earned a master’s degree in music from the Indiana State University.
Margaret’s beautiful voice graced church congregations, choirs, symphonies, and intergenerational audiences throughout her life. A frequent soloist at many churches, she was also a sought after soloist for special events, most recently in 2014 at the University of Washington National Taiwanese Conference in Seattle, Washington. She conducted and directed choirs in Taiwan and youth choirs in the US Midwest. With joy and enthusiasm, Margaret gave piano lessons in her home to many students for more than 20 years.
Margaret married her beloved husband of 58 years, John Tsung-shun Ying, in 1959. They met in church during college, fell in love, and were engaged in Taiwan. They were married in Albert Lea, Minnesota after arriving in the United States three years apart. In 1963, John began his career as the first economics professor at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana, and Margaret joined the college staff as a librarian in 1977. She assisted many professors and students in finding appropriate materials for their research, teaching, and studies for nearly 20 years. Margaret received the highest honor for RHIT staff, the President’s Outstanding Service Award, in 1994.
Always outgoing, gracious, and friendly to all, Margaret was very active in the community. She served as Co-Chair of the Terre Haute Symphony League, President of the Parent-Teacher Association of her daughters’ junior high school, and a member of the Board of Directors of the United Campus Ministries in Indiana. Margaret was also an ordained Elder and Deacon at the Central Presbyterian Church, taught Sunday school, and volunteered for Meals on Wheels there. During her retirement, she participated in social justice, hospitality, and community building at Bethany United Church of Christ and Seattle’s Formosan Association for Public Affairs.
Margaret was fluent in four languages and enjoyed traveling the world. With a fierce competitive spirit, she loved playing bridge. Her energy, generosity, and integrity touched the lives of many people; she was a second mom or sister to so many. Margaret was an amazing host and cook. She, along with John, opened their home to countless students, colleagues, and friends from around the world to enjoy a delicious meal, a place to stay, and warm friendship. Yet, Margaret’s deepest love and joy by far were her extended family.
Margaret was preceded in death by her beloved husband, John. She is survived by her three loving daughters and sons-in-law, Evelyn Ying (Greg Lewis), Angela Ying (John Ruhland), and Helga Ying (Jonah Levy); six grandchildren, Henry, Olivia, Anne, Julien, Elijah and Charlotte; four brothers, two sisters, and many other relatives and friends throughout the world.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 16, at 2:00 pm at the Bethany United Church of Christ in Seattle, WA. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Bethany United Church of Christ, 6230 Beacon Avenue South, Seattle, WA, 98108, for the John T. and Margaret C. Ying Scholarship Fund with the latter noted on the memo line.
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Bethany United Church of Christ
6230 Beacon Ave S, Seattle WA 98108