HYDE, AYAKO (AYA), 96, of East Palo Alto passed away peacefully on Wednesday, December 17, with many relatives at her side. She will be remembered always for her strong spirit and unwavering devotion to family.

Aya Funabiki was born on September 18, 1918, in Mountain View, the fifth of eight children of Sanichi and Masuyo Funabiki, who were pioneering Issei (first-generation Japanese American immigrants) in the San Francisco Bay Area. She grew up on the family’s Mountain View farm and attended Mountain View Grammar School and Mountain View Union High School.

World War II and the forces of history dramatically impacted her life in many ways. In 1942 during World War II, the U.S. government relocated the Funabiki family first to the War Relocation Center at the Santa Anita Racetrack and then to a concentration camp at Heart Mountain, Wyo. They were among 120,000 Issei and Nisei (second-generation Japanese Americans) who were forcibly evacuated from their West Coast homes amid the anti-Japanese hysteria and racism that prevailed during the war with Japan. Aya was able to leave Heart Mountain in 1943 after securing a job at Northwestern University in Illinois. When her brother, Mason, was drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to Fort Snelling, Minnesota, for training, she moved there to help his wife, Grace, take care of their two children.

When World War II ended in 1945, Aya returned to Mountain View, where she took on clerical jobs at Bay Area naval hospitals, including Letterman General. In 1948, Aya moved to Yokohama, Japan, this time to help her eldest sister, Dorothy Mitsuko, who was raising three children there.

Aya returned to the Bay Area in 1952, living many decades in East Palo Alto. She held jobs at the Presidio, U.S. Geological Survey, Veterans Hospitals in Menlo Park and Palo Alto, and at Hiller Aircraft Corp. In 1955, she married John Richard Hyde, who passed away in 1989.

Aya is survived by her sisters Florence Itano and Claire Haratani Chambers; 14 nephews and nieces; 26 grand-nephews and nieces; and 7 great-grand-nephews and nieces.

Services were already held at the chapel of Alta Mesa Memorial Park in Palo Alto. The family requests that in lieu of flowers or monetary gifts that donations be made to Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Palo Alto or any other charity.

One response to “OBITUARY: AYAKO (AYA) HYDE”

  1. Ed Mack Avatar
    Ed Mack

    Aya was a wonderful friend and neighbor. She loved her dog abd was extremely energetic to the very end.

    I will miss her.

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