SUN DOK (KIM) WATTS
Sunrise: April 14, 1955
Sunset: December 5, 2022
Sun Dok Kim, the eldest of five children, daughter to Kim, Yun Chae and Sin Young I., was born in Chungnam-do, South Korea on April 14, 1955 after the Korean War ended. When the war was over, her parents moved to Seoul, Korea where she and her four brothers continued their education and careers. She often helped her mother in their family owned restaurant while her brothers helped their father in his construction business. Seoul was demolished during the war, and had to be rebuilt. Like many Koreans, the Kim family were struggling to rebuild their lives and careers after the war. During this time, all males were required to perform at least three years of military service. As Sun Dok’s brothers went into military service, she was charged with helping in the family business. As each of the brothers completed their service, they returned home to assist their father in the construction business. As Korea began to experience socioeconomic growth, construction expanded and became strong. With the support of Sun Dok and her mother, Sun Dok’s father and brothers assisted in rebuilding their community and had several construction contracts with the Korean government, such as assisting in building the 1988 Korean Olympic Village.
On January 26, 1979, Sun Dok Kim married Warren Lee Watts, a US Army Warrant Officer, who was stationed in Korea as a CID Special Agent Criminal Investigator. They were introduced to each other by Sun Dok’s uncle, a Vietnam War Veteran who served at the same time as Warren. Warren was 36 years old and Sun Dok was 23 years old when they were married in Seoul, Korea. From the start, Sun Dok’s family accepted Warren into the family. Sun Dok and Warren quickly adjusted to each others cultures and both of their families were in complete acceptance of them. Their marriage started an adventure around the world. Warren, still being in the military, moved his family from Korea, to Indiana, to Germany, back to Korea, and finally back to Indiana, where he retired from the military. Their two daughters, Lina Marie and Mina Estelle, being Army Brats, were often uprooted but quickly transplanted and adjusted. Still having all this adventure in them, they could not seem to adjust to the quiet life in Indiana. Warren and Sun Dok moved to New York, then finally to Hawaii, where they eventually settled down in between their two worlds – US and Korea. Sun Dok was a housewife most of these years as Warren’s career required frequent travel. Prior to her cancer diagnosis in Dec 2019, Sun and her husband would go back and forth between Hawaii and Korea to visit family.
She was a member of the Korean Full Gospel Church of Honolulu, having converted to Christianity from Buddhism after marrying her husband and relished her relationship with the Lord. Despite the tragedy of being diagnosed with cancer, she continued to have faith in the Lord. To show her deep devotion, she would handwrite verses of the Korean Bible into a notebook each morning after prayer. In two years time, she completed the Bible with 1440 pages of her own handwriting in her Korean language.
Sun Dok was also an amazing cook that took great pride in presentation as well as taste. She would cook for family members, friends and the church. She always loved to throw parties at her home for the people she loved. Cooking gave her great joy.
Sun Dok loved her family. Although her family was spread out between the Continental US and Korea, she was able to communicate and see her family through technology with FaceTime and Kao Kao Talk. Through Face Time she was able to experience her grandchildren’s lives as if she was with them.
Sun Dok was a selfless woman who put others first before her own needs. She has always trusted God and followed His calling in her life. Sun Dok was very generous to the people she loved and never asked for anything in return. She was also courageous and strong, especially with her fight against cancer. She fought till the end. Her last words to her family were to take care of your health and go to church so we can be together again.
She is survived by her husband Warren Lee "Skip" Watts who she was married to for 43 years; daughter and son-in-law Lina Marie and Su Hyun Park, who reside in Long Island, New York; and daughter and son-in-law Mina Estelle and Gary Hampton, who reside in Raleigh, North Carolina; and four grandchildren, Damon, Diana, Dalia Park and Tayden Kaimana Flemmings. She is also survived by four brothers, Kim Dong Mun, Kim Dong Man, Kim Dong Won, and Kim Dong Keon, all residing in Seoul, South Korea.
The family appreciates everyone’s love and support during this time.
Thank you for coming to celebrate her life.
Services will be held at Valley of the Temple Mortuary Park located at 47-200 Kahekili Hwy, Kaneohe on January 6, 2023 at 9:00 AM followed by the burial at Punchbowl National Cemetery, located at 2177 Puowaina Drive, Honolulu at 1:00 PM. Reception to follow at Sorabul Korean Restaurant, located at Pagoda Hotel, 1525 Rycroft Street, Honolulu.
Arrangements Provided By: Hawaiian Memorial Park Mortuary