The Lee Family

The Lee Family

Family Profile

We are honoring the memory of our late family members by providing financial assistance to those students who possess the values that they treasured most – a love of education, high integrity and moral character, a passion for hard work, strong family values, and generosity.

DEA GIN FOO – Born in a small rural farming village in the Guandong province of southern China, the patriarch of our family migrated to America in the early 1900’s to seek opportunities in America, referred to by the Chinese as “Gam San”, or the “gold mountain.”

Dea Gin Foo eventually settled in Globe, AZ, which was then a booming mining town and found work serving food to the miners living in tents on the hills surrounding Globe. Living in an era when Chinese were considered a threat and blocked at every turn by restrictive laws (highlighted by the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 that suppressed many human rights, including citizenship, otherwise granted to people of other ethnicities), nevertheless, over the years he became a successful entrepreneur and investor.

Over time, he facilitated bringing his children to America, two of whom chose to live long term in Globe. George K. Dea and his wife had four children, all of whom attended Globe schools and later graduated from the University of Arizona. His daughter was Chow Lee, our mother.

BING SAM AND CHOW LEE – Our parents were born and raised in the same village as our grandfather. Fueled by their dreams of realizing opportunities in America, they immigrated virtually penniless to this country in January 1939. Settling in Globe, AZ, to join Dea Gin Foo, and later moving to Scottsdale, AZ, they were “strangers in a strange land” but nevertheless instilled their values to our family members as they worked hard to realize the opportunities that America provided them. Although life was oftentimes harsh and demanding, they slowly began to prosper in this land of opportunity.

Years later, their dreams are being realized through four children, nine grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren. Our extended family has earned multiple under-graduate and graduate degrees with careers in medicine, law, ministry, business, finance, academia, etc. We have collectively prospered far beyond what our parents could ever have imagined or dreamed long ago while working behind a water buffalo in small rice paddy fields in southern China. And we, their offspring, owe whatever success we have enjoyed to a poor, semi-illiterate Chinese couple who had a dream many years ago and then had the courage to fulfill it.

PAUL K. B. LEE – Our brother, who majored in elementary education at Arizona State University, suffered from a congenital heart condition and passed away prematurely at the age of 29. He had a drive for working with young students to help them achieve their objectives, a love of being with people, and a passion for music. He embodied the values that our parents instilled into our family.

CHUCK O. LEE — Our older brother, an accounting major and a student leader at the University of Arizona, enjoyed an early career as an executive at a growing major financial services organization in Phoenix and later became a successful entrepreneur as a real estate broker and developer. He was a devoted husband and father of four children, all of whom graduated from Arizona universities. As the first son, Chuck, in his formative years, was very instrumental in helping our parents adapt to, and become successful in, fulfilling the American dream.

In keeping with our parents’ dream and values, and on behalf of the extended B.S. Lee family, we, the surviving children of Bing Sam and Chow Lee, and the siblings of Paul K. B. Lee and Chuck O. Lee, endow this scholarship for the purpose of memorializing their lives and of perpetuating the values they held so dear.

We also appreciate the Globe school system, teachers, staff, and administration for the level of quality education we received to enable all of us to achieve success later in life.

We dedicate this scholarship to future Globe High award winners and trust that this financial assistance will help enable them to be successful in pursuing their future endeavors.

James V. Lee

Helen Lee Yee