Mary Juhn Kim, linguist

June 27, 2013

Mary Juhn Kim, a Korean-born linguist and research analyst at the Library of Congress in the 1960s who translated and analyzed public media and other materials, principally in Korean and Japanese, died June 14 at Ingleside at Rock Creek retirement community in Washington. She was 100.

The cause was arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease, said her daughter Carol K. Retka. Mrs. Kim moved to Ingleside from Chevy Chase in the mid-1990s.

Mary Soondek Juhn was born in Daegu, Korea, and grew up with the country under Japanese rule. After she married Daniel T. Kim in 1931, she and her husband received theology degrees from Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan, and bachelor of divinity degrees in 1941 from Oberlin College in Ohio.

After America’s entry into World War II that December after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Kims were unable to return to their three eldest children in Korea. With their fluency in Japanese and Korean, they worked as translators and interpreters for the U.S. government.

In 1951, Daniel Kim, a minister, founded the Korean Community Church in Washington. Mrs. Kim helped him start the church.

Her husband died in 1994, and their son, John J. Kim, died in 2005. Survivors include three daughters, Sylvia S. Kim of San Francisco, Ellen S. Lee of Chevy Chase and Carol K. Retka of Madison, Va.; a sister, Helen Lee of Columbia; 10 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.

— Adam Bernstein

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