OBITUARY: Hisako Horikoshi

HORIKOSHI, HISAKO, 99, passed peacefully into God’s hands on August 21, 2015. She was born on March 28, 1916 in Wonsan (Genzan), North Korea, the youngest daughter of Heitaro and Tama Mitamura. Hisako met her future husband, Yoshikazu (Casper) Horikoshi, an ordained Methodist minister, while living in Busan (Fusan), South Korea. She and Casper were married and came to the United States in 1938. After immigrating to the U.S., they began serving Japanese American churches — first in Salem, Oregon and then Wapato, Washington. While they were serving the church in Wapato, World War II broke out. She and her family were interned in a concentration camp for West Coast Japanese in Heart Mountain, Wyoming.

They were so moved by the faith of one Issei Japanese Christian that they decided to continue to serve Japanese immigrants. They served congregations in Oakland, Alameda, Florin, Walnut Grove, San Jose and Fresno, California; Toronto, Canada; Arvada, Colorado and Tsurukawa, Japan.

Hisako was an active member of the Lake Park United Methodist Church in Oakland, and a key person in continuing Japanese language worship services and Bible study in the Bay Area. Her faith in God and love of the church was the foundation of her 99-year life journey around the world.

She loved her ever-growing family, enjoying family trips to Yosemite, cooking special food for family gatherings and singing together, and was an encouraging presence in the lives of each new generation.

She is greatly missed by her four children — Elliot (Joan), Nancy (Hale), Katherine and Peter (Wendy); six grandchildren – Stephanie (Gaetano), Gregory (Heather), David (Cristina), Thomas (Abigail), Steven and Kevin; and five great-grandchildren – Truls, Maxwell, Cali, Payton, and Kayla. She is also survived in Japan by her half-sister, Yuriko Fujii, and sister-in-law, Yasuko Kobayashi, and nephews and nieces.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 26 at 11 am at Lake Park United Methodist Church, 281 Santa Clara Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your local church, favorite charity or to Lake Park UMC.

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