OBITUARY: Frances Fumiye Okamoto (Koga)

OKAMOTO (KOGA), FRANCES FUMIYE, 85, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 in Stockton.

Frances was born and educated in Alameda, Calif., completing high school in the Manzanar concentration camp during WWII. Frances married Tom Okamoto in May 1947, and they made their permanent residence in Stockton.

Frances’s family legacy includes daughters Patti Yep (Kent) of Stockton, Wendy Ichiuji (John) of Danville, sisters Miyuki Inenaga (George) of Sacramento, the late Mary Kamibayashi (Ted) of Stockton, the late Doris Kawamura (Jun) of Lodi, and brother the late Davis Koga of Lodi, sisters-in-law Meri Umino (Al) of Stockton, the late Helen Chizuko Iwanaga (Reverend Yoshio), the late Alice Aiko Okamoto, grandchildren Marshall (Emily) and Derek Yep, James, Trent & Brynne Ichiuji, and nephews and nieces of the Kamibayashi, Kawamura, Koga, Inenaga, Iwanaga, and Umino families…all of whom she held so dear.

As a young adult, Frances taught Sunday School at the Stockton Buddhist Church, just down the street from Okamoto Service Station on Monroe Street. She was a modest seamstress, ikebana student, coin collector, gardener, and emotionally-bonded mom to international exchange students the family hosted from Austria, Chile, Peru and Japan. She eventually added the role of service station office assistant to support their business in the 1970s and later service station owner/manager to assist Mr. Katsumi “Kats” Uyeda in continuing the business when Tom passed away in 1982.

The family is deeply appreciative of the inspiring care from the staff at Meadowood Health and Rehab Center, Dr. K. Solanki, Hospice of San Joaquin, personal caregivers, and the wonderful support of Rev. Hasegawa, loving relatives and thoughtful friends.

A celebration-of-life service will take place on Saturday, Oct. 2, at 2 p.m. at the Stockton Buddhist Church, 2820 Shimizu Drive, Stockton, Calif.

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