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Memorial Services Set For Chinatown Activist Paul Lee This Week

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paul lee

Friends and loved ones this week are remembering Paul J. Q. Lee, a well known Chinatown activist who died after suffering a heart attack over the weekend. He was 63.  Lee’s family owned the Mott Street General Store, which he was forced to close in 2003.  Lee worked as a borough coordinator for the NYC Housing Authority. He was also an actor who appeared in many different roles starting in the mid-1980’s.  Lee ran for district leader in Chinatown in 2011 and was an outspoken advocate for the neighborhood.

There will be a wake on Thursday from 3-6 p.m. – followed by a service – at the True Light Lutheran Church, 195 Worth Street.  The funeral will be Friday at 9 a.m. at the same church.  People are asked to provide their own transportation to the cemetery on Staten island, if they plan to attend Mr. Lee’s burial.

Thanks to Darren Johnston for passing this information along.


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  1. Much appreciated that thelodown is sharing this news. Paul was a friend, an adviser a scholar and a gentleman (when he needed to be) and a street thug (when he needed to be) – he was one of those rare men in Chinatown who could break bread with Presidents or convicts. a personal Thank You to Ed.

  2. Paul was a friend and mentor to many. The suddenness of his leaving leaves a big hole in our lives. We all thought he would live forever and we’d always run into him on Mott Street or receive a phone call to give us advice or a piece of his mind! Paul is irreplaceable, a repository of Chinatown history and he made history.

    Paul was a gutsy leader with foresight, unafraid to jump into any issue and didn’t hide behind euphemisms. He was politically astute, unafraid to challenge authority figures and delighted in pulling down the ladder rungs of those he thought were working against the community’s best interests. There was a very public side to Paul, there were also the incredibly good works he did behind the scenes that not many knew. Paul made tremendous, personal sacrifices to move our community forward after 9/11. I know he loved the work of helping people at NYCHA.

    We all wish we had a chance to have that one last conversation with Paul where we told him how much he impacted our lives and we love him.

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