Fumiko Emily Takei, 1912 - 2002
(The June installment of George Takei's monthly column has been cancelled
because of his mother's passing. George's column is scheduled to return in July.)
Fumiko Emily Takei passed away in Los Angeles on May 25, 2002, after a long illness. She was 89.
She was born in Florin, California, on September 29, 1912. She was the daughter of Benkichi and Shigeno Nakamura.
In 1922, her parents sent Fumiko to Japan to be educated. She returned to California, and, in 1935, she married Takekuma Takei in Los Angeles.
With the outbreak of World War II, Fumiko and her family together with 120,000 other Japanese Americans were placed behind the barbed-wire enclosures of United States internment camps. They were evacuated from their Los Angeles home in 1942, first to the Santa Anita Race Track assembly center, then to the internment camp at Rohwer, Arkansas, and then to the internment camp at Tule Lake, California. They returned to Los Angeles after the war.
Widowed in 1979, she was active in the Hompa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple and the Pioneer Center. She was a dedicated volunteer at the Koreisha Chushoku Kai senior citizens hot meal program.
Fumiko and her husband were avid travelers, having covered almost all the continents of the globe. They had been to the African countries of Kenya and Tanzania, Iran, Egypt, India, Singapore, Tahiti, Bora Bora, the Russian cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg, South America, Europe, and Asia. In recent years, she joined her son George on cruises to Alaska, Bermuda, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
She is survived by her children George Takei, Henry Takei, and Nancy Reiko Takei, all of Los Angeles; her grandchildren, Scott Takei of Los Angeles and Akemi Louchheim of Seattle; two great-grandchildren, Hana and Markus Takei of Los Angeles; and her sisters Yukiko Tamura of Hiroshima, Japan, and Setsuko Thurlow of Toronto, Canada. Fumiko's and Takekuma's first-born child, Furuto, died in infancy.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Japanese American National Museum, 369 East First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.