OBITUARY: Joanne Akiko Sato

Joanne Akiko Sato

SATO, JOANNE AKIKO of Mill Valley peacefully passed on January 5 surrounded by her family. Born Oct. 22, 1932 to Ichiro and Shige Kataoka, Joanne Akiko was the youngest of six children: Toshiko, Kazuo, Takashi, Hisa and Maya. The day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, her father was the first Japanese in SF to be detained by the FBI because he was an active businessman in the community. Joanne, her mother and siblings, were forced to abandon their family run business, the Aki Hotel, a landmark in Japantown. They were sent to a relocation camp in Topaz, Utah.  Joanne returned to San Francisco by way of Chicago and Sacramento. In her late teens, she helped reestablish the family business and lead travel tours.

In 1957 she married Ken Ed Sato, and a year later Matthew, their first child, was born. They moved to Sacramento, where she had daughters Kelly and Marjorie. In 1972, she returned to the Bay Area and established roots in Mill Valley. She returned to Aki Travel Service, where she enjoyed helping her customers to explore the world. In 1995, she followed her passion of photography and opened Japan Center One-Hour Photo Service.

Joanne is survived by sisters Mary (Hisa) Matsuno and Maya Mizuhara. She also leaves behind her husband of 54 years, Ken Ed Sato, son Matt Sato (Ingrid) and daughters Marta and Kristin; daughter Kelly Haechler (Walter) and children Sean and Sabrina; daughter Marjorie Bukowski (Jay) and children Trevor and Jessica. She will be missed by all, including her Jack Russell Ginger.

Friends and family of Joanne are invited to attend a Memorial Service, Saturday Feb. 4 at the Cliff House, Terrace Room, 1090 Point Lobos, San Francisco at 2 p.m.

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