Wan-Wan Li

August 5, 1932 ~ May 29, 2022 (age 89)


Wan-Wan Li (1932-2022)


Wan-Wan “Grace” Li was born on August 5, 1932 in Taipei, Taiwan and was the oldest of four siblings.  Wan-Wan’s father, Shui-Yuan Cheng, managed a local coal mine, was administrator of the Songshan District of Taipei, and was later elected to the Taipei City Council.  Her mother, Li-Tsu Cheng, was a schoolteacher, leader in the Taipei Women’s Association, and Congresswoman in Taiwan’s National Assembly.

Wan-Wan attended a Japanese elementary school when Taiwan was a Japanese colony, and the prestigious Taipei Third Middle School for Girls.  She was an excellent student in high school, was chosen by her classmates to be class president, and excelled athletically in the high jump.  She was musically talented and took piano and voice lessons.  Wan-Wan received her degree in Agricultural Economics from National Taiwan University in 1955.  Following graduation, she worked as a civil servant at the Food Bureau and Taiwan Environmental Protection Agency.

In 1959, Wan-Wan came to the United States for graduate studies at Purdue University.  She received a Master Degree in Library Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1964.  Immediately after, Wan-Wan began her career as a librarian in Subject Cataloging at the Library of Congress in Washington DC.  Her fluency in four languages – English, Mandarin Chinese, Taiwanese, and Japanese – made her an invaluable asset to the Asian Languages Division of the Library.

While at the University of Illinois, she met Tien-En Li and they were married in 1966.  They moved to Dover, Delaware, where Tien-En was a college professor.  They had two sons – Eugene and Victor.  After taking time off to raise their two boys, Wan-Wan resumed work at the Library of Congress in 1973.  She retired from the Federal Government in 1990 after 20 years of service.

During her retirement, Wan-Wan enjoyed spending time at the public library, where she learned how to use the internet and write emails.  She regularly attended events hosted by the DC Chapter of the National Taiwan University Alumni Association.  Wan-Wan traveled frequently to visit family and friends in Taiwan and toured Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines, and Japan, where she had a 50th year reunion with her elementary school classmates.

In 2010, Wan-Wan moved from Arlington, Virginia, where she had lived for 30 years, to Gaithersburg, Maryland, to be closer to her sons.  She passed away peacefully on May 29, 2022 in Rockville, Maryland, just two months short of her 90th birthday.  She was preceded by her late husband, Dr. Tien-En Li, and her brother Herman.  She will be dearly missed by her two sons, Eugene Li (Debbie) of Rockville, MD and Victor Li (Halissa) of Collegeville, PA, brother Richard (Lily) and sister Celia (Tom), of San Francisco, CA, and eleven nephews and nieces.

A private memorial service and interment will be held on Sunday June 12, 2022 at Parklawn Memorial Cemetery in Rockville, Maryland.  A live stream for viewing the service and/or recorded memorial is being planned.  Please contact the family for more information.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Wan-Wan

We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care Inc

Join in honoring their life - plant a memorial tree


Memorial Service
June 12, 2022

11:30 AM
Parklawn Memorial Cemetery, Maryland, Rockville

© 2022 Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care Inc. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility