Peggy Chou Lee

October 03, 1919 - May 02, 2020

Peggy Chou Lee

Peggy Chou Lee, of Beaumont, left our world Saturday, May 2, 2020.

How to begin a 100 year life story?

The Chou (Zhou) surname is one of the oldest in Chinese history, dating back to 773 B.C.  to the legendary kingdoms that formed Chinese culture.

She was born a Chou, inside the walls of the Forbidden City on October 3, 1919 in the China’s capital city of Beijing, to the Hon. & Mrs. W. Chou.  She was the youngest of five children.

A young beautiful girl, raised traditionally and educated in the arts and without a care, she would watch an empire crumble while her fiancée was serving in the war against a Japanese invasion.  He was translating English for the assisting American forces along the Burma Road. His service in China’s war with Japan lasted eight long years. Ms. Lee worked as a radio anchor and kept her wits about her in those dangerous years. After WWII began in the West, Japan was forced out of China but then the Chinese Army would now face its own civil war born once the Western Allies withdrew to defend their own fronts.  

Once Mao’s communist party gained power, Mrs. Lee had to flee her home (eventually to Taiwan) with her husband and two daughters along with the entire deposed Republic of China regime (R.O.C.) or face retribution for being from a notable family. The lines to board those ships were broken with machine gunfire, but they managed to stay intact and together.

They began life anew in Taiwan where her two sons were born and educated.  She adapted and learned the skills to be a hands-on mother and wife in contrast to the life she had expected.  She cared for her in-laws during this transition and she had to swallow the heartache of leaving her country and siblings behind as mainland China (now communist) closed its borders until 1988. She had to concentrate on the immediate future of her young family.

Mrs. Lee became a Catholic in Taiwan.

They raised a wonderful family. When her son-in-law became a professor of sociology at Lamar University in Beaumont, Mr. and Mrs. Lee followed Sue Ann’s family, both becoming American citizens in their sixties and retiring to Beaumont, Texas, where they stayed involved in each granddaughter’s life.

She was never in the foreground of achievements or scholarship, her hard work, worry, planning and quiet sacrifice enabled her husband and all of her children to have the opportunities war had denied her.

She loved her retirement years in Beaumont and Houston. Spending time with her children and especially her granddaughters and staying involved in the Chinese mission at The First Baptist Church in Beaumont made her very happy.  She and her husband lived with Bryan and Mary for many years and she became a beloved “Nai-Nai” to all of their friends, leaving an indelible exposure to traditional Peking Opera to many visitors.

She eventually moved to her daughter’s homes in Houston and from there to her loving care facility in West Houston, where she saw one of her children every day, especially her daughter, Diana, who cared for her nearly every day. She was still enjoying her operas.

Mrs. Lee touched everyone who knew her and will be sorely missed. We cherish the time, stories and warm memories we were lucky enough to make with her.  She felt cherished for all of her 100+ years, and indeed she was.

Survivors include her daughters, Sue Ann Ma and her husband, Dr. Li Chen of Sugarland and Diana Siy and her husband, Dr. Frankie Siy of Houston; sons, Robert Lee of Taiwan and Bryan H. Lee and his wife, Mary of Beaumont; granddaughters Serena Ma of New York, Jennifer Ma of Dallas, Sherry Hsu of Austin, and Emily Elisabeth Lee of Austin; and great-grandchildren, Laurel Tierney and Ayrton Ludwig.

Mrs. Lee was preceded in death by her husband of sixty-five years, Wei Douglas Lee; and her beloved granddaughter, Grace Annabel Lee.

Private services for Mrs. Lee will be held on Wednesday, May 6, 2020, under the direction of Broussard's, 2000 McFaddin Avenue, Beaumont.

Memorial contributions for Mrs. Lee may be made to The Diocese of Beaumont Bishop’s Faith Appeal, PO Box 3948, Beaumont Texas 77704.


Broussard's Mortuary - McFaddin Avenue
2000 Mcfaddin Avenue Beaumont, TX 77701

Comments (4)

  • Kathy Peyton

    18 May 2020 at 22:18 | #

    How wonderful to have had your mother for so long We are so sorry for your loss. You all are in our prayers
    Kathy and Kevin Peyton


  • Jerry and Kathie Duty

    10 May 2020 at 19:58 | #

    Sue Ann, your mother had an amazing life story. May you have the peace that only God can give. With our love...


  • Marita. Duesler

    08 May 2020 at 04:34 | #

    Bryan, Mary and Emily you are in my prayers. May God comfort you in the loss of your precious mom and grandmother.


  • Robyn Peurifoy

    06 May 2020 at 14:28 | #

    What an incredible sorry for your loss.


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