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Anna

Anna Lee

Anna Lee

March 17, 1929 – April 25, 2020

Anna Lee was a remarkable, individualistic, caring woman who was a pioneer in many ways.  Born in Windsor, Ontario, on March 17, 1929  to Ping and Lena Lee, she graduated with a University of Toronto B.Sc. in Chemistry 1952, one of only five women in Science that year and one of two in Chemistry. She worked in Windsor for the family business, Dragon Brand Foods, one of the first Canadian Chinese frozen food producers, until 1965. The next venture, Oriental Commerce Ltd., developed export ties with the People’s Republic of China in 1966, to sell Chinese giftware at the family’s Oriental Centre in Windsor and wholesale across North America including to Eaton’s, Pier 1 Imports and the Royal Ontario Museum gift shop. Oriental Commerce had the honour of arranging the first official Chinese government-sponsored Chinese Cultural Exhibition at the CNE in Toronto and maintained exhibits and sales for 10 years afterwards. In 1985, Anna became a real estate broker in Windsor and Toronto. She moved to Toronto in 1989 to live with brother Fred for 8 years, then in her own condominium until moving into assisted living at The Annex in 2011, then Wellesley Central Place in 2013.

Anna travelled widely, to almost every continent. Of note, in 1966, she was among the second group of Canadians (including father Ping and brother Fred) to visit China after Chinese Communist Party rule was established in 1949.

Anna believed in strong family ties, often caring for family members at critical times in their lives. Her biggest love was her family, including her two dogs Butch and Buster and her cat Button. She enjoyed her nieces and nephews and their partners and children as they grew up. Brother Henry Lee’s family includes Victor Guy (Jasna, and Mirko), David Guy (Dianne, and Zachary, Katherine, Chelsea), Cynthia Street (Doug Vaisey and Angela, Hilary), the late Judy Early (and Crystal, Michael, Joshua, Beverly), Gary Lee (Nancy and Joey, Robert, Ben), Marlene Han (Kyi Hla and Natasha, Kaitlyn); sister Mabel Eng’s family: Elen Eng (and Alicia), Eric Eng (Enid and Robin, Lindsay); brother Fred Lee’s family: Laura Lee (Lynne, Jonathan), Barbara Suen (Stephen and Elizabeth, Rosemary, Rebecca), Joe Lee (Linda and Jennifer, Michael, Melissa). In true Chinese fashion, she loved to eat out with her family and her enjoyment of various buffets and restaurants is legendary.

Anna participated actively as a member of the Zonta Club, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church (Windsor) and the Chinese Presbyterian Church (Toronto).

Cremation has occurred. A celebration of life will take place at a later date. Donations in Anna’s memory can be made to a charity of your choice.

Anna’s Chinese name, Lǐ Měi-Yīng (李美瑛) given to her by her father, Ping Lee, reflects the beauty, strength and integrity that was a hallmark of her life. She passed on April 25, 2020, age 91, in her home, surrounded by the love and caring of family and friends, leaving many beautiful memories. We are grateful for the diligence and attentiveness of the staff at Wellesley Central Place. Peace be with all who hold her dear in their hearts.

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