OBITUARY: Sumi Ogita Brown

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Brown, Sumi Ogita, left this life peacefully for her next adventure on June 28, 2010. Wife to Command Sergeant Major (Ret) Willie Lee Brown (dec), beloved mother to Michael (dec), Anthony (Martha), Frederick and Andrew, cherished grandmother and great-grandmother to Tyrell, Sumi Simone, Dante, Alex, Julian, Aiko Georgia, Alexis, Nico, Julius and Jiana.

Sumi was born on October 19, 1924 in Tokyo, Japan and enjoyed a loving and happy upbringing despite WWII and the difficulties of the times. She met her husband at a USO nightclub in post-WWII Tokyo, where she and her girlfriends, being too shy to venture inside, would gather outside after work to listen to American music and dance the jitterbug. Willie, who helped managed the club, heard some noise outside the kitchen window, and looking outside and seeing this lively group of beautiful women, said later that he thought he’d died and gone to heaven. He invited them in, and told his friends when Sumi passed by that she was the girl he was going to marry. The rest is Brown family history!

She traveled with her career-military husband around the world, living first in San Francisco and later in Okinawa, Japan, Southern California, Missouri and Germany, raising four boys and creating a nurturing home for her family. She and Willie settled near Savannah, Ga. when he retired after 35 years of active service. She moved to San Francisco’s Japantown after Willie’s death in 1997. She loved to travel, socialize, play bingo and poker, volunteer in the community, and spend time with her family. We will miss her so much!

Services were handled by Chapel of the Chimes, in Oakland, Calif.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Sumi’s name to Kimochi, Inc., 1715 Buchanan Street, San Francisco, CA 94115, to help support their mission of providing resources and programs for Japantown seniors (http://www.kimochi-inc.org).

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