OBITUARY: Frances Masako Hoshiyama

Frances Masako Hoshiyama

Frances Masako Hoshiyama

HOSHIYAMA, FRANCES MASAKO, born on Jan. 16, 1917, in Woodland, Calif., passed away peacefully with her family at her bedside on June 10, 2012, at the age of 95.

She grew up helping her parents farm tomatoes for the Del Monte Company. She graduated from Woodland High School and completed vocational sewing school as an outstanding seamstress. During the pre-WWII years, she made silk pajamas for the Madame Butterfly label, earning $5 per pair.

Newly wed to George Hoshiyama on Jan. 16, 1942, they were forced to move to the Merced Assembly Center in California after the outbreak of WWII. Later, they were incarcerated at Amache (Granada) Colo., where they remained until the war’s end in 1945.

Their sons, Ichiro and Jiro, were born during the incarceration. After the war, they resettled in San Mateo to raise their family, which now included two daughters, Marcia and Debbe, and George’s parents and Frances’ younger brother. George was a self-employed gardener and Frances a housewife. Together, they put four children through college. They were married for 68 years and were wonderful parents and doting grandparents. Upon their retirement, they enjoyed traveling to Japan, Europe, Mexico and Hawaii.

Frances was a dedicated wife, loving mother and grandmother. She was completely devoted to her children and was enthusiastically involved with their education and activities. Teachers were always excited to see the name Hoshiyama on their class lists because they knew the best “room mother” ever, Frances, was going to be their parent helper. As a Cub Scout Den Mother and assistant Girl Scouts leader, she guided children through many fun projects and served delicious homemade treats. To the delight of her family and friends, Frances was a marvelous cook and baker. She inspired her grandson’s interest in cooking.

In 2004, George and Frances moved to their daughter’s home in Watsonville. As members of the Watsonville-Santa Cruz chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) and its Senior Center, they enjoyed making new friends and participating in the weekly social events at the JACL Kizuka Hall.  They were members of both the San Mateo and Watsonville Buddhist Temples.

Frances was the heart of her family. Her generously kind, encouraging and appreciative presence will be missed.

Frances is preceded in death by her husband, George Hoshiyama; her parents, Isaburo and Matsuno Kunitake Nakano; and brothers, Harry, Hideo and John. She is survived by sons, Ichiro (Dora) Hoshiyama of Winnabow, N.C.; Jiro Darryl (Vivianne) Hoshiyama of Rowland Heights, Calif.; daughters, Marcia (Mas) Hashimoto and Debbe (Thomas) Chan, both of Watsonville; and grandson, Nikolas Chan of Felton, Calif. She is also survived by sisters, Dorothy Matsuda of San Jose, Viola Nakagawa of Los Angeles; and several nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, June 19 at 2 p.m. at the Watsonville Buddhist Temple, 423 Bridge St., Watsonville, Calif. Mehl’s Colonial Chapel is assisting with the arrangements. Burial will take place at PV Memorial Park.

If desired, donations in memory of Frances may be made to the Watsonville-Santa Cruz JACL, P. O. Box 163, Watsonville, CA 95077.

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