Tae Hyong Yi

Tae Hyong Yi, 49, passed away on January 29, in Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, VA. He was born in South Korea, to Sang Hyon Yi and Pyong Su (Kim) Yi, and immigrated to the U.S. when he was four. 

Tae grew up in the D.C. and Arlington areas, where he attended H.B. Woodlawn, graduating in 1987.  He majored in psychology at George Mason University, where he met his future wife, Jennifer Ann Hartt Yi.  They married in 1995 and were blessed with a daughter, Devon Jayin Yi, in 1997 and a son, Je-Sung Glen Yi, in 2000.

Besides writing the storyline for the 1993 Urban Decay comic, Tae channeled his life-long passion for comic books into the two successful Destiny Comics stores, which he and his business partner Scott Harris sold in 2001 to start a career in computer programming.  Tae appreciated both the stories and the artwork of comics, but he most enjoyed interacting with customers and other vendors and introducing kids to his favorite hobby; many of the people he met then remained life-long friends.  During the past two years, he had begun attending comic shows as Tae’s Comics and Collectibles with Joe Martinez, and was enjoying reconnecting and meeting with old and new colleagues.

Most of all, Tae delighted in his family, initially watching his infant daughter while running his store and ultimately choosing to be a stay-at-home dad to take care of both children.  He served as a Girl Scout Leader, as well as Treasurer for the Fairfax Service Unit.  He was thrilled to pass his love of soccer on to his son and spent many years as a coach in youth soccer, where he prioritized developing long-lasting skills and a passion for the game and sportsmanship over the short-term win.

Tae is most remembered as a true friend.  He had a rare gift both for listening and for giving advice with compassion and a sense of humor that called people to their best selves.  He was the rock for his family and a light for many friends and colleagues in comics, Scouting, and youth and adult soccer.  He was deeply loved and is greatly missed by his family and many friends, and possibly even by his much beloved cats Drew and Kismet.

A memorial service for Tae will be held on Saturday, March 9, at Noon, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fairfax (2709 Hunter Mill Road, Oakton, VA 22124). In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations in Tae’s memory to the PKD Foundation (https://pkdcure.org/tribute-donation/, 1001 E 101st Ter, STE 220, Kansas City, MO 64131). (Tae had moyamoya, a disease so rare there is little research dedicated to it; however, polycystic kidney disease is the fourth leading cause of kidney failure and is sometimes associated with moyamoya. Both diseases have impacted the family.).

16 Responses to Tae Hyong Yi

  1. David S. Anker says:

    What a beautiful tribute to a truly amazing man!

  2. Roseanna Fair says:

    My deepest thoughts to the family , Take was such a great person with a large heart , he will be missed but not forgotten . RIP Tae thank you for our talks and your support .

  3. Gene and Diane Marvin says:

    So sorry, Jen you and the kids are in our prayers.
    The write up about Tae’s life was so nice.
    Sorry, we live so far.That we can’t come to his Memerial Service.
    If you ever need to chat, just text [email protected] Diane Marvin and family!❤

  4. Denise Caracofe says:

    Jen- I’m so sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for you and your family. I pray that God wraps his love around you in the coming days and months.
    Denise Goodwin Caracofe

  5. Mark R. Erbe says:

    Dear Jen,

    You and your family have my deepest sympathy.

    may God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.

  6. J Haekwer says:

    Regrets, Gods blessings to your family

  7. jeff arch says:

    i was one of tae’s teachers at HB woodlawn. i could see right away he had a magnetic quality and great depth. i’ve thought and wondered about him a lot over the years, and thanks to facebook have been in touch with his brother doo. the shock of hearing about his illness and passing has hit hard and true. i wish only peace and comfort and grace for the family and tae’s whole world of friends.

  8. Sheila and Mike Carney says:

    We were so saddened to hear of Tae’s passing. He was truly a kind loving soul. Jenn we can only imagine how broken your heart is. We hope that all your good memories lift you and the kids up and carry you through this difficult time.

  9. Bobbye, Chris and Katy says:

    As my son’s best friend, Tae has been in our lives for over 4 decades. To me, he will always be that eight year old with a Cheshire cat grin; even at eight, Tae was an old soul who captured the essence of what was really important in life and did not hesitate to share that essence.

    At his insistence, he often attended our family discussions. While he was not invited to attend, he felt compelled to share his point of view. And more often than not, what he had to say was insightful and far more articulate than the other members of the family. Tae is family to me and I think to everyone who knew and loved him. A piece of our hearts are broken. We are so sad.

  10. Kyle Boes says:

    Jen and family,

    My sincerest condolences for your loss. I pray that you will be comforted as you mourn for and celebrate Tae’s life. Losing a loved one is never easy. May you be surrounded with love and peace in the coming weeks, months, and years.

  11. Jimmy Cohrssen says:

    Sending peace and love from Tokyo…

    Jimmy Cohrssen, a fellow Woodlawn graduate

  12. Nick Shoff says:

    Tae was a good friend and a great guy to be around. He touched many lives and will be sorely missed in the comic book community

  13. Jane says:

    Jenn. I just heard of your loss yesterday. I’m so sorry you have to walk that valley. May God’s love light your path and guide you and your family through the sorrow. If I can do anything at all, please let me know.

  14. Elisa says:

    Jennifer: I was so saddened to read this in the neighborhood newsletter. Please know that you and your children are in my prayers.

    Elisa Lueck

  15. DAVID HARGROVE says:

    Jen, I was looking to reconnect with an old friend. I saw some very bad news. Thinking of something to say. There are no words I can offer.

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