Nancy Yi

“Nancy Yongcha Yi, 89, a 28-year resident of Princeton and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend, passed on early Friday, March 9, 2018, surrounded by her loving family.


Nancy was born in Mokpo City on the Southwestern tip of the Korean Peninsula on December 2nd, 1928 to her Father Bai Seokpil and Mother Kim Aekum. Not long after she was born, her family moved to Seoul, Korea where her father worked for a major shipping company.  She lived most of the next 20 years in Seoul where she attended Sookmyung Girls’ High School, the first Private Royal Educational Institute for Girls in Korea founded in 1906 by Empress Sunheon.  She went on to attend Seoul Women’s Teachers College, but her education was cut short by the breakout of the Korean War in 1950. She and her family escaped the wrath of war by relocating to Busan in the southernmost part of Korea she worked at the First Bank of Korea.


As the war came to an end, Nancy returned to Seoul in 1955 and married her soulmate of fifty-seven years, Edward Sunghyok Yi. As their marriage blossomed, she was blessed and became a proud mother of their two sons, Peter (Ilchin) and Robert (Myungjin). In 1974, Nancy, Edward, and her two young sons ventured to the United States in pursuit of the American Dream.


The dream became a reality for them in New York City as Nancy ran her own business centered around fashion, and Edward succeeded in developing an import-export business around the favored trade nation status of Korea with the United States.


After years of entrepreneurship in New York City, Nancy and Edward retired in 1990 to Princeton, NJ, where they spent the remainder of their years together enjoying much of what Princeton has to offer. If Nancy was not aggressively competing against her husband on the golf course, she was most likelypreparing excellent traditional Korean meals for her family, rendering valuable and well considered fashion advice to her many friends, attending the Korean Presbyterian Church of Princeton, or spending time with her friends at the senior center.


Nancy will be missed by everyone who came to know her for her youthful smile, optimism, great eye for fashion, sharp sense of humor, spunk, and commanding the lead of dinner conversation.


She is survived by her two sons, Peter, a medical oncologist in Princeton, and Robert, Executive Vice President of Samsung Electronics in Seoul, two daughters-in law, Alice and Grace, two brothers, Sooil and Don Bai, and four grandchildren, Justin, Lauren, Jonathan and Erin.


Join us for a memorial service held on Friday, March 16, 2018, 7:00 PM followed by viewing and calling hours at the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandeventer Avenue, Princeton, New Jersey. Burial service will be held Saturday, March 17, 2018 at noon at the funeral home followed by interment at Princeton Cemetery next to her husband.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Korean Presbyterian Church of Princeton, P.O. Box 2464, Princeton, NJ 08543.