Mina Wagman, born Mina Jung Min Lee in Seoul Korea, passed away at the age of 57 at Lankenau Hospital after a long illness. She was the daughter of Frank In Lee and Donna Mi Lee, the wife of Joel Wagman, mother of Nora, Nathan, and Micah Wagman, sister of Tony Mu Song Lee, and friend to many wonderful and interesting people.
Mina came to the United States when she was 16 years old, when political turmoil in South Korea was high. She encouraged her father to make this move, despite not knowing the language or customs of the United States, and her father followed her wishes, sacrificing much of her family’s fortune and position in her home society to make this happen. This daring and bravery was a quality Mina demonstrated throughout her life.
Once landed in the Philadelphia area, she began to learn English, achieve academic recognition at Truman High School, and eventually attended Temple University. During her high school years, like many immigrants of her generation, she helped with the family store in North Philadelphia. She often had to juggle her family store responsibilities with her studies. There were times when working in that store was dangerous for a diminutive Korean girl who barely spoke English. However, undaunted, she worked and studied, and at Temple she graduated with a degree in pharmacy and then began her career as a pharmacist.
At Albert Einstein Medical Center during her internship she met her future husband, an internal medicine resident, and they married a year later. She and her husband moved to and worked in the Nashua New Hampshire area for sixteen years before returning to Philadelphia in 2011. During that time she gave birth to three children and enjoyed life in New England. She skied, hiked mountain trails, and made many friends, but she missed her family and friends in Philadelphia. She finished raising her family in the Philadelphia area, became an avid golfer, worked as a pharmacist, travelled extensively with her best friend, Grace, and truly enjoyed the life she created for herself after returning to Philadelphia.
She was a sensitive, wise and above all, caring friend whose warm smile and laugh beautifully framed her fearless and powerful resolve. Everywhere she went, people loved her and treated her as a good friend. In her fight against cancer, she was unflinchingly brave, never once complaining, and was always grateful for the opportunity to try and continue to live, so she could continue to guide her family and friends with her love and strength. There are no words to describe how deeply missed this rare and unique woman will be, by her family and friends.
Graveside services will be held on Monday, August 1, 2022, 11:00AM, at Roosevelt Memorial Park, Trevose, PA. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Mina’s memory may be made to Fox Chase Cancer Center (foxchase.org)