Andrew Ming Lee

1926 ~ 2020 (age 93)


Andrew Ming Nee Lee, loving husband, caring father, and beloved grandfather passed away peacefully at his home the morning of September 30th, 2020, to join his wife Ruth, who preceded him by 2 months and 12 days.   Andrew is survived by his brother Ming Ying, his sons Andrew Jr. and Vincent, his granddaughter Elizabeth Ann, his daughters-in-law Yue Ding and Katrina Chan, and grandson-in-law Jeff Patzer.

Born on November 4th, 1926 to Lee Tsu-Tao and Ling Yun-Qin in Shanghai, China, Andrew was the youngest of three boys.  Even at an early age, he enjoyed reading, especially the Chinese Classic Novels, and was an outstanding storyteller throughout his life.  Described as humorous and the “most wise” by some of his cousins, he thought independently and, unlike typical Chinese children at the time, did not automatically submit to the norm or consensus.  In grade school, he often received accolades from teachers for his compositions and was recalled to be the best writer in his class.  For secondary school, he chose out of his own volition, applied, and was successfully admitted to the Shanghai High School, which was then one of the most elite high school in Shanghai.  A good debater, he went on to read law at Soochow University, one of the top law schools in China at the time.

Yet, he did not practice even one day of law!  After the tumultuous founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, he left for Hong Kong in the early 1950’s to reunite with his love, Ruth Chow.  There they wed, started a family, and remained married for over 67 years.  After a short stint at an insurance firm, realizing the needs of the coming baby boomer generation, he started a toy manufacturing business.  During that time, he travelled around the world and was the toy manufacturer of the British science fiction TV Series “Thunderbirds” and “Stingray”.  He was also interviewed on TV for winning an award at a toy exhibition in Germany. He was described as an excellent boss, mentor, and an ethical businessman. In his free time, he loved the company of friends, arranging launch picnics and hosting BBQ at home.  In 1988, he sold his business to his employees and moved to California for retirement.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, they welcomed the birth of their beloved granddaughter Elizabeth.  During their retirement, they enjoyed travelling and hosting friends at their house.   Andrew developed a passion for cooking, he was able to cook five different dishes every evening without any replications for 2 consecutive weeks!

Andrew will also be remembered by his cousins, friends and acquaintances for his kindness, humor, and sharp mind.



To plant a tree in memory of Andrew Ming Lee, please click here.


October 16, 2020

1:00 PM
Oakmont Memorial Park
2099 Reliez Valley Rd
Lafayette, CA 94549

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