OBITUARY: Grace Kazuyo Matsuoka

MATSUOKA, GRACE KAZUYO, passed away peacefully on August 17, 2010. She was born on March 7, 1915 in Kalihiwai, Hanalei District, Kaua‘i.

Known by her relatives, friends and neighbors simply as “Auntie Gracie.” Grace Kazuyo Tanigawa Kawahara Matsuoka passed away at 12:40 a.m., Tuesday morning, August 17, 2010, in Honolulu, after a battle with lung complications. She was predeceased by husbands Lawrence Seiichi Kawahara and Roger Haruo Matsuoka, son-in-law Fred Seal, grand-daughter Robyn Shaw, great-granddaughter Victoria Shaw and all her Tanigawa siblings, save one.

Her Issei father from Hiroshima Prefecture, Sakutaro Tanigawa, worked with the cowboys of the Sanborn Ranch, while her Issei mother, Ayano Uneoki Tanigawa, also from Hiroshima Prefecture, ran the family rice farm. A young Grace and the Tanigawa family relocated to the Liliha District in Honolulu. There, she attended Likelike Elementary, Kalakaua Intermediate and McKinley High Schools and earned the nickname of the “Gray Cat of Holokahana Lane” bestowed by her brother, Jack. She was known as a wicked poker, paiute, canasta and cribbage player and well into her later years, an avid bowler.

Her two daughters, Joyce Chisato (Al) OIson of Vacaville, Calif., and Faith Haruyo (Fred) Seal of Emerald Hills, Calif., her grandchildren Sean (Nariman Nasser) Dana of San Francisco and Cara Dana of Tulalip, Wash., were at her passing at age 95. She is also survived by her sons, Saichi (Evelyn) Kawahara of San Francisco and Lance Susumu (Edith) Kawahara of Guam, grandson David Shaw of Altadena Calif., four great-grand-children Vincent, Lia Ashley and Brian Gian Shaw all of Altadena, Calif. and Jackson Dana of San Francisco, sister Eleanor Okubo of Honolulu and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews and their offspring. Visitation at 10 a.m. followed by a memorial service at 11 a.m. will be held at Borthwick Mortuary, 1330 Maunakea Street in Honolulu, Friday, Sept. 10, 2010. The family requests colorful casual attire.

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