OBITUARY: Misao Murakawa

MURAKAWA, MISAO, passed away on March 27, 2010 at the age of 95. Born in Watsonville, Calif., on March 20, 1915, she sailed to Japan with her parents and 4 siblings in 1919. She was raised and educated in Yanai, Yamaguchi Prefecture, returning to CA as a picture bride for Toshio Murakawa in 1934. With the exception of the WWII years when she was incarcerated with her family at Tanforan, CA and Topaz, UT, Mrs. Murakawa lived and worked in Oakland and later in Berkeley. She and her late husband operated several businesses in Oakland over a period of 50 years, the last being the Murakawa Nursery on Telegraph Ave., until 1989. The nursery carried plants and garden supplies, and sold Christmas trees during the holiday season. The business also specialized in serving a resale clientele comprised of many gardeners in the East Bay

She enjoyed good health most of her years caring for her husband — who suffered from Parkinson’s disease for 10 years — while she continued to operate the nursery. In 1988-1989, she was stricken with and survived colon cancer. She lived alone in Berkeley for almost 20 years following the death of her husband, and enjoyed an active retirement of cooking, sewing, gardening, listening to Japanese music and watching Japanese TV. She interacted with her 6 grandchildren and later with her great grandchildren. She learned and practiced yoga in her 80s.

She was affiliated with the Buddhist Church of Oakland, Yamaguchi Kenjin-kai, Kokusei-kai Shigin, the Michiya Hanayagi Koen-kai, and the East Bay Gardeners’ Assoc.

Predeceased by her husband Toshio and daughter Takako, Mrs. Murakawa is survived by her son Yoshio of El Cerrito, daughters Katsuyo Murakawa (Walter Jan) of Moraga and Yasuko Nakamura (Phil) of San Francisco, and grandchildren: Lori Van Sloten (Will Warden), Matt Van Sloten (Carrie), Chris Capriotti, Dina Pecceu (Franck), Naomi Murakawa and Elaine Nakamura. In addition she leaves 6 great-grandchildren and a niece Tsuneko Seiki (Richard) as well as relatives in Japan. She was close to the Murakawas and Morihashis of Iwakuni and the Sakai family of Yamaguchi Prefecture. She enjoyed visiting them and received numerous visits from these relatives over the years.

In her final years she suffered from Alzheimer’s and was a resident at Cypress House in Hayward. She passed away peacefully with her family at her bedside while preparations were under way around her for all the residents to be relocated following an eviction and closure action by the owner and JASEB, community caretaker of the building.

Private services have been held. The family would like to thank family and friends for their love and support. Memorial donations may be made to Kotobuki Services Inc. (a nonprofit for care of elderly Japanese), P.O. Box 3315, Hayward CA, 94540 or to Buddhist Church of Oakland, 825 Jackson St., Oakland 94607.

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