TAKAHASHI, KIYO, 102, passed away peacefully on May 9, 2015 after a long and wonderful life. She was born in San Francisco in 1913 to Shigetaro and Hana (Morikawa) Takahashi, proprietors of the Kisen Company. The eldest child of the “Pine Street Takahashis,” she outlived her brothers Shigeharu and Edwin and sister Tomiko Sasaki.
Kiyo graduated from Commerce High School and attended Heald’s Business College. During World War II, she and her family were interned in Tanforan Assembly Center and Topaz Relocation Center in Utah, where she worked in hospital administration. She spent 1944-45 in Chicago, working for a professor at the University of Chicago. After returning to San Francisco at the end of the war, she worked for the Department of Housing and Urban Development until her retirement in 1980.
In retirement, Kiyo volunteered for many years at the UNICEF store in San Francisco. She remained happily single her entire life and enjoyed traveling, treating nieces and nephews to lunch at her favorite restaurants, shopping, going to the theater, family trips to Yosemite, and having lunch with friends. She was a great storyteller. Thanks to her, we know something of what it was like to grow up Japanese-American in San Francisco in the early 20th century.
She is survived by many nieces and nephews, grand- and great-grand nieces and nephews. A family celebration of her life will be held in June. Donations can be made to yosemiteconservancy.org or UNICEF. The family welcomes memories of Kiyo: send to Ruth (5916 Santa Cruz Ave., Richmond, CA 94804) or Joan (510.524.7290).