COLUMBIA — For Chong Mi "Anna" Sin, taking a rest was a luxury for much of her life. She raised two kids, ran an Asian food market and led a local church group called the Legion of Mary.
"She was a very hard worker," her son, Daewun Sin, said. "At least when I was in elementary school, she ran this store all by herself and at the same time took care of us."
"I can't believe how she did this." her daughter, Michelle Chong, said.
Ms. Sin of Columbia died Saturday, April 7, 2012, after a two-year battle with cancer. She was 56.
Ms. Sin was born March 28, 1956, in Seoul, South Korea. She moved to Columbia in 1990 and started running the Chong's Oriental Market in downtown Columbia.
Ms. Sin devoted a lot of time to her two children and her store. Before her children were old enough to help out, Ms. Sin worked almost nonstop every day from 5:30 a.m until she finished her work and put her children to bed in the evening.
Chong and Daewun Sin took over the store when Ms. Sin fell ill.
"Even when she was terminally ill, when she felt she was OK, she came here, checked if everything was OK and worked for a couple of hours, " Daewun Sin said.
Chong said Ms. Sin always saw their needs as her priority.
"She was a very, very loving mother and tried to protect us all the time," Chong said. "Because she grew up in a hard time in Korea, she didn't want us to have that."
Daewun Sin said his mother always wanted him to get excellent grades in school, but she was supportive when he decided to pursue a degree in culinary arts.
"She always pushed us to work hard," Daewun Sin said."But we were very close. "
Chong said her mother also cared a lot about the community.
"Church is an important part of her life," Chong said. "She was always there when someone was in need."
Chong said the most precious thing her mother taught her was the will to fight through any hardship.
"She never gave up," Chong said. "She always believed there is light at the end of the tunnel."
As busy as she was, Ms. Sin still managed to spend some time playing golf and hiking on the MKT Nature and Fitness Trail. Chong said she loved being outside.
Ms. Sin is survived by her son, Daewun Sin, and her daughter, Michelle Chong. They have no other relatives living in Columbia.
Visitation will be from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday, April 13 at the St. Thomas More Newman Center, 602 Turner Ave. Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 14 at the church.
Memorials contributions can be given to the St. Thomas More Newman Center.
Condolences can be left at www.parkerfuneralservice.com.