Ocean Beach 07
Official Obituary of

Yao Wu "Sam" Lee

May 8, 1932 ~ March 2, 2024 (age 91) 91 Years Old

Yao Wu "Sam" Lee Obituary

Dr Yao Wu (Sam) Lee O.M.D, PhD, A.P

May 8, 1932 – March 2, 2024

Dr. Yao Wu (Sam) Lee, 91, passed away on March 2, 2024, at his home in Boca Raton, Florida, after bravely battling a long-term illness. The youngest of ten siblings, he was born on May 8, 1932, in Shantung, China. At the age of 8, he was sent out of China with an older brother, to Taiwan where he grew up and was educated.

Sam’s journey began in Tiawan, where he attended the Chinese Medicine Acupuncture Institute, completing a 6-year program in Acupuncture studies. He earned his B.S. degree in medical electronics from Taiwan Chung-Cheng University. He taught and researched at the Chinese Naval Academy and the Naval Post Graduate School where he received an award for “Outstanding Professor”. He served in the Navy as an engineer, professor, and researcher, retiring as a Navy Commander in 1968. The Republic of China awarded him several national awards and medals for his development of acupuncture and medical instruments.  Sam then attended Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, where he became fluent in the Hebrew language while earning his M.S. and PhD degrees in medical electronics and control science.

In 1972, Sam made history by opening the first acupuncture clinic in the United States, located in New York City. His introduction of Chinese Medicine and groundbreaking inventions were celebrated by numerous radio stations, talk shows, and newspapers worldwide. He graced the screens of millions during a week-long appearance on the Barbara Walters TV show, where he demystified acupuncture and demonstrated two of his medical inventions, an acupuncture point locator and an electro-acupuncture stimulator. His groundbreaking work not only brought relief to countless individuals but also played a pivotal role in legalizing acupuncture in the United States.  

Sam later settled in South Florida in 1976, opening three clinics where he worked as Director and Acupuncture Physician for over 40 years. He was a dedicated and competent physician who was loved and respected by the many local and international patients who sought his healing expertise.

Sam is survived by his beloved wife of 44 years, Louisa Lee; and by his loving children; Donna (Po) Lee, M.D., Nancy (Ed) Lee, M.D., Kristina (Tony) Jimenez, Heather Lee, A.P., Shawn (Jessica) Lee, M.D., Jenna (Ben) Ross, Shannon Lee, and Brian Lee; his stepchildren, David Coover, Dan (Carmen) Coover, Cathleen (Doug) Tveten, and Scott (Wendi) Coover; as well as his cherished grandchildren, Leanne, Ethan, Asher, Alex, Ryan, Lauren, Mason, and James. His nurturing spirit and wisdom also touched the life of his nephew, Paul (Ginger) Lee, M.D.

Sam is predeceased by his parents and siblings in China and his brother from Taiwan, Shou Kwei Lee.

Sam was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He will be remembered for his unwavering dedication to his family, his emphasis on education for his children, his passion for his profession and patients, his love of the Chinese culture and his generosity to those who knew him. He leaves behind a legacy of compassion, innovation, and boundless love. His memory will forever remain etched in the hearts of those who had the privilege of knowing him.

A private family viewing and service was held in Boca Raton, FL and a Celebration of Life will take place during the month of April in St. Petersburg, FL.

Professional arrangements by:
Gary Panoch Funeral Home
6140 N. Federal Highway
Boca Raton, FL 33487

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