A photo of Kangyoon Joanne Rhee

Kangyoon Joanne Rhee

December 16, 1946 - January 28, 2020

Kangyoon Joanne Rhee, age 73, passed away peacefully at home in Newark, DE, on Tuesday, January 28, 2020, surrounded by her loving family.

Kangyoon was born in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, Korea, on December 16, 1946, the youngest daughter of Gisun Rhee and Oksun Chin. Despite growing up in a country devastated by war and extreme hardship, she earned the highest marks in school and came to the United States for college, working her way through and obtaining her BS from the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science in 1988. Thereafter, she returned to Korea and tried out a number of professions, ultimately settling on supplementary education, tutoring, and investments.

Following the severe economic downturn in East Asia in 1997, Kangyoon returned to the United States where her children were already attending school. She worked tirelessly to support her family and saw them receive training to begin careers in the medical and dental professions. Having interrupted her own study during those years, she resumed her professional training to achieve a Master of Social Work degree at Temple University in 2012, and had nearly completed the work for her Doctorate in Behavioral Health at Arizona State University by her untimely death. The bulk of her professional career (16 years) was spent at the Center for Asian Health of Temple University in Philadelphia, where she worked as a Clinical Coordinator/Project Manager, examining disparities in healthcare outcomes in the Asian-American and other communities.

Kangyoon was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, and brought immense joy, energy, and purpose to those around her. She loved to cook, do gardening, travel, go skiing, hiking, watch historical dramas, and spend time with family members and friends. When she identified a goal, she worked diligently to achieve it, and she had a unique gift for empathy and guiding people to a consensus. Kangyoon left a lasting positive impression on everyone whose lives she touched, and she will be sincerely missed!

Kangyoon is survived by her husband, Matthew Schlecht; sons, John Jun (Hyunmi Song) and Isaac Schlecht; daughter, Sohyoun Jun (Brian Kim); grandsons, Christian Taeon Jun and Christopher Taehi Jun; sisters, Connie Hassis, Kangju Rhee, and Jinok Rhee; nephews, Youngjae Lee, David Sharp, and Daniel Lee; and numerous cousins. She was predeceased by her parents; brother, Kanghyeon Rhee; and first husband, Pyoungya Jun.

A Catholic Mass will be held at 10 am on Monday, February 3, 2020, for family and friends at Holy Angels Catholic Church, 82 Possum Park Rd, Newark, DE, and a memorial reception will follow.

In lieu of flowers, college fund contributions on behalf of her grandsons may be made to, www.ugift529.com, codes Q33-K6A and H0N-B6E.


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One Condolence for Kangyoon Joanne Rhee

  • Joanne,
    We miss your presence. Your significant contributions and impact on many people in Asian American communities over the past 16 years will always be remembered. Your foot steps of diligence and charming negotiation skills will be followed by the next generation team staff. On behalf of Center for Asian Health, Temple University, I want to sincerely thank you for what you did and your family for the support. Rest and Peace.
    – Grace