More than 300 people jammed a small funeral home chapel Sunday night to pay last respects to Steve Kim, the Korean immigrant whose life symbolized the American dream and whose death in a robbery last week epitomized the American nightmare.
He may not have been large physically, but in reality, he was larger than life. He had a heart the size of a lion, Sen. Joel Lourie, D-Richland, said in impromptu remarks to mourners at Greenlawn Funeral Home.
I was stunned, devastated to receive the news. There was a lot of love in this little man. I never met someone who was as friendly as he was, as caring as he was, said Lourie, a friend who had known Kim for more than 15 years.
When Kim died, he was 66 and the owner of Dinos on Decker, a popular inexpensive eatery frequented by people from all walks of life.
Mourners said that the 50-minute service, conducted half in English and half in Korean, brought to life Kim the person, giving him the humanity he was denied last Tuesday when he was shot in the back with a stolen pistol by a 23-year-old ex-convict, Mario Stokes, who later committed suicide with the same gun.