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19 February 2019

Obituary Announcement

Shizuko Kato
March 18, 1925 – December 8, 2018
Shizuko Kato, resident of San Jose, was born on March 18, 1925 in Sacramento and passed away on Dec. 8, 2018 at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View at the age of 93. She was the younger of two daughters of Matsusaburo and Natsuye Kawasaki. Shizuko and her sister, Fumiko went to live with relatives in Wakayama, Japan when they were approximately 2 and 3 years old. They returned to the U.S. in 1940 to live in Monterey. Fumiko sailed back to Japan before the war.

The Kawasaki family of three was sent to Gila River Internment Camp in Arizona where her Father passed away. After the war, her Mom and Shizuko returned to Monterey.

Shizuko married Bud Mitsuo Kato in Sacramento on Oct. 12, 1947 and lived in Winters, CA until 1973 when they moved to San Jose. They raised four children Josie, Stan, Merv and Shirley on the Kato family ranch growing apricots, peaches and almonds on 55 acres.

Shizuko enjoyed playing slots at the casinos, her ABC soaps, the SF Giants, sewing, baking, road trips with Bud to Santa Cruz, Monterey and the Reno/Tahoe area and spending time with her family.

Predeceased by her parents, husband Bud, and sister Fumiko Matsushima, Shizuko is survived by Josie, Stan, Merv, Shirley, son-in-law Tom, and grandson Alex.

A private family service has been held.

Etsuko Kohagura, was born in Penryn, CA on Jan. 18, 1926 and passed away peacefully on Dec. 11, at the age of 92. She was born to Sentaro Mikawa and Misao Mikawa-Seo. Etsuko is survived by her son Howard (Bev) Kohagura, daughters Sharon (Wayne) Nakamura and Diane (Mark) Morimune; grandchildren Philrene (Ken) Toney, Audrey (Evan) Oda, Kim (Ben) Louwaert, Kelly and Jeffrey Morimune; great-grandchildren, Lexi and Nicky Toney, Jeremy Oda and Katie Louwaert; brothers Taka (John Alvarez) Seo, Akio (Ruth) Seo, Kazuo (Mikki) Seo; sister-in-law Carol Seo and numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Hideo Kohagura and siblings: Michiye Okamoto, Hiroshi Mikawa, Reiko Matsushita and Ben Seo. Memorial services will be held on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 11 a.m. at Placer Buddhist Church, 3192 Boyington Rd in Penryn.

May Kimi Morgan, resident of San Jose, passed away on Nov. 16. She was born May 29, 1934 in Salinas, Calif. to Ikuzo and Helen Nakamura. At the age of 8, she and her family were incarcerated in an internment camp, first in Salinas then Arizona. Although those were difficult times, May never complained and always worked hard. She graduated from James Lick High School and had a long career working in medical offices. Anyone who knew May loved her. She had a generous and giving spirit and was beautiful, inside and out. She loved to entertain, especially bbq, and hosted many events for friends and family. May left an unmatched legacy of the selfless nature of a mother. Her children and grandchildren carry that love, and each do their part to make the world a better place. She is survived by her loving husband of 57 years, Kent, son Robert, daughter Michele, sister Marion, grandchildren, Morgan, Justin, Connor, Taylor, David, and Sara. A memorial service will be held Sat., Dec. 8, at 2 p.m. at Wesley United Methodist Church, 566 N. Fifth St, San Jose with a reception immediately following.

Yuriko Lily “Yuri” Torigoe, long-time resident of San Jose, California, passed away peacefully at home on Nov. 1, at the age of 96.  She was a piano teacher, church organist/pianist, and devoted mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.

She was born and raised in Alameda, California.  Her parents were immigrants from Japan who ran a floral shop.  She entered the University of California in Berkeley after high school but was forced to discontinue her studies because of the wartime relocation of Japanese Americans.  She was held in an internment camp, but was granted release to attend the Colorado State College of Education (now the University of Northern Colorado), where she earned a B.A. degree and secondary school teaching credential.  While living in Colorado, she met her husband-to-be, Setsuo Ernest (Ernie) Torigoe, who was practicing  dentistry in Fort Lupton, Colorado due to the relocation. They married in 1945 and returned to California in 1947 with a 3-month-old child.  They settled in San Jose, where they lived for the rest of their lives except for the period from 1951 to 1953 when Ernie served in the U. S. Air Force.

Yuri was a person of many talents.  In addition to being mother of four children, she was a piano teacher, giving private lessons at her home for 36 years.  She served as organist and pianist at Wesley United Methodist Church in San Jose for many years.  Her community service included her contributions as President of the National Guild of Piano Teachers in San Jose and Lincoln Glen PTA President.  After her children left home, she earned a Masters in Music at San Jose State University.

She was a skilled seamstress who made many articles of clothing for her family.  She traveled widely, covering all fifty states and many international destinations. She kept detailed scrapbooks and photo albums of her family and travels.  Other interests included social bridge, attending concerts, knitting, gardening, taking classes, reading, and collecting  miniature pianos.

Yuri will be remembered for her many endearing qualities.  She was very devoted to her family and approached her many endeavors with great enthusiasm.  She was accomplished but most unassuming.  She was very petite but had a big heart for others.  At this time of remembrance, one of her many aphorisms that comes to mind is “good things come in small packages.”

Her husband of 70 years passed away in 2016.  She leaves her children, Wayne (Karen), Kathy, Eric (Gayle), and Marilyn (Neil); grandchildren, Kendra (Enoch), Melanie, Keith, Sharon, Jeff, and Bryan; great-grandchildren, Kayla and Evan; and many other members of her extended family.

In accordance with her wishes, a private family memorial service was held at Wesley United Methodist Church in San Jose.  Donations in her memory to Wesley United Methodist Church or your favorite charity would be most appreciated.