Family Login:

Share This Obituary

Memories & Candles

“I was given a chance to take care of this wonderful lady though for a very short period of time. I'm glad to say that now, she's finally in heaven...Read More »
1 of 12 | Posted by: Connie Lavarias - Menlo Park, CA

“I was fortunate enough to know Auntie Pao Lin in 2006 when she showed interest in supporting the establishment of our 2nd centre in Wanchai, now the...Read More »
2 of 12 | Posted by: Elsie Chung - Hong Kong

“Mrs Lee, I am going to miss taking care of you. Every moring when I come in to take care of you, I always want to find a way so you can talk to me....Read More »
3 of 12 | Posted by: Yolanda Brown - Milpitas, CA

“Grandma Lee always had a warm heart and thought of my baby son, even though she has never met him. Her warmth and generosity touched many. I am sorry...Read More »
4 of 12 | Posted by: Victoria Hsu - San Jose, CA

“Auntie Seven was a parental figure to me. I looked up to her. She was super smart, self assured and righteous, everything that I was not. As a...Read More »
5 of 12 | Posted by: Dora - Bellevue, WA - Niece

“I only met Mdm Lee once in the Baptist hospital where she accompanied her beloved husband. We talked about Prevention of falls in the community. Mdm...Read More »
6 of 12 | Posted by: Kwok Sui Leung - Hong Kong

“ In loving memory Allan and...Read More »
7 of 12 | Posted by: Yvonne

“Dearest Family,We had the honor and privilege of meeting Pauline only three times while visiting in Palo Alto. Ms. Lee's biography is written...Read More »
8 of 12 | Posted by: Bob Elston - New Middletown, OH

9 of 12 | Posted by: Fong Shi - Bellevue, WA - cousin

“, , , ”
10 of 12 | Posted by: Ingrid Lai - Palo Alto, CA

“Dear Ms. Lee, I have fond memories of having you in my life and the lives of my children. You were a consistent friend and supporter. You raised two...Read More »
11 of 12 | Posted by: Gerald Fuller - Stanford, CA

“Dearest Ng-Na, We are blessed to have such a special Grandma. We miss you dearly but are happy that you are in Heaven with Kung Kung watching over...Read More »
12 of 12 | Posted by: Sarah & Andrew - Palo Alto, CA

In Loving Memory – Mdm. Pao Lin Lee
Mdm. Pao Lin Lee 李保玲女士 was born October 5, 1928 in Shanghai, China, and was the seventh in a family of nine children. Helpful and considerate as a child, she was her father's favorite "little darling". Upon her father's passing when she was seven, Mdm. Lee assumed the important role in supporting her Mother as she raised the family on her own. She was a straight A student and graduated from Aurora University in Shanghai 震旦學院 with a Bachelor's degree in Domestic Science. She was awarded a scholarship to study in the United States but forewent the offer to allow her younger siblings to benefit from the opportunity. After the rise of Communism in China, Mdm. Lee helped the family flee to Taiwan and eventually to Hong Kong. She met her husband Mr. Yuan Fong Lai in Taiwan but they did not start dating until Mr. Lai followed and pursued her after she came to Hong Kong. They were married in 1958, and to this union, two daughters, Ingrid and Janet, were born.
Mdm. Lee saw the opportunity for Hong Kong (a British colony at that time) as an industrial hub due to the advantage of preferential duties for exports to Great Britain and other British territories. So in 1956, Mdm. Lee established Chung Sing Dyeing and Weaving Company, Ltd. 中新染織廠 with the support and guidance from her uncle, Honorable C. C. Lee. She worked closely with her husband to establish Union Cotton Mills, Ltd. 協和紗廠 in 1960. The couple occupied adjacent offices and became lifelong business and domestic partners until Mr. Lai's passing in 2010.
At a time where the textile industry was male-dominated, it took dedication, perseverance, and passion for Mdm. Lee to establish herself. She was a visionary entrepreneur and guided her company to expand and prosper through innovative ideas and pioneering business practices. Mdm. Lee's reputation spread beyond the local textile scene as she was offered the opportunity to be the sole agent in Hong Kong for a successful line of children's clothing from Japan in the 1970s. She turned down the offer to focus more time on her family. To this date, her former staff and colleagues still respectfully call her "Miss Lee 李小姐".
One of Mdm. Lee's entrepreneurial strengths was her ability to identify and satisfy customers' unmet needs. She developed a way to easily distinguish the size of white bed sheets by weaving a color coded stripe on the edge of the sheet, thus easing the operation of hotel housekeepers. Her customers were impressed with the simple yet elegant solution and soon many major hotel chains and even hospitals were requesting these color coded sheets. On another occasion, she observed that housewives were making duvet covers by patching together 36" wide flannel sheets and therefore created 90" and 108" wide cotton flannelette. Mdm. Lee was also the first to advertise her textile products using slogans. The "Start Warm, Stay Warm" advertising campaign for cotton flannelette was a huge success, resulting in significant sales in America and European countries so familes could indeed "start warm, stay warm" through the cold winter.
The labor rate and cost of doing business in Hong Kong continued to rise in the 1980s forcing many textile companies in Hong Kong to shut down. With the establishment of Special economic zones in China, many weaving and dyeing companies moved to take advantage of the low cost labor, so Mdm. Lee and Mr. Lai ultimately closed their business and retired.
Upon retirement in the 90s, Mdm. Lee continued to showcase her business savvy and financial wizardry as an investor. Her bankers were in awe and referred Mdm. Lee as a human computer as she was able to keep track of complex derivative orders in various currencies without the use of any computer spreadsheet.
Mdm. Lee was generous in supporting many charitable causes, particularly those related to healthcare for children and elderly. In 2007, she established the "Jean Wei Center 芹慧中心" in Hong Kong to provide dementia care services. With the aging population in Hong Kong, she pledged to establish the "Lee Gene Hwa Center 李淇華中心" in 2011 to serve additional patients and their families. She was also a long time benefactor to Stanford Hospital and the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford.
Mdm. Lee had a special gift in helping to open door of opportunity and generating profound impact on the lives of those she touched. She led her life by example, always kept her promises, and never backed down in fighting for what she believed in. Many have benefitted from her strength, wisdom, compassion, generosity, high morals, and selflessness. Mdm. Lee embodied grace, courage, integrity, and above all, a deep devotion to her family.
In May 2010, Mdm. Lee was diagnosed with lung cancer and started treatment at Stanford Cancer Institute under the care of thoracic oncologist Dr. Heather Wakelee. After a long and courageous battle, she passed away peacefully on October 14, 2011 at Stanford Hospital and will be buried in the San Francisco Bay Area along side her dear husband. Mdm. Lee was a filial daughter, loyal sister, compassionate aunt and grandaunt, and beloved wife, mother, and grandmother "Ng-Na" to Anthony, Sarah, and Andrew. She will be missed dearly by those fortunate enough to have known her and will remain an inspiration to all. May she rest in peace in the Kingdom of God.