OBITUARY: Alice Hanako Kato Murakami

Alice Hanako Kato Murakami

Alice Hanako Kato Murakami

MURAKAMI, ALICE HANAKO KATO, 103, passed away peacefully in Berkeley, Calif. at the age of 103. Born and raised in Sacramento, she was married to Robert Murakami of Florin, CA who predeceased her in 1968 as did her siblings Akiko, Taro, Jiro & Takeshi “Tak” Kato.

Before WWII Alice and Bob worked for the Wheeler Family where Alice looked after the children, John and Short Wheeler in Walnut Grove, CA. They later moved to Southern California, and eventually started a gardening business. At the outset of WWII Alice and Bob moved back to Florin thinking they would be safely removed from the coast and nearer family, but subsequently they were relocated by the Defense Department to Tule Lake and eventually ended up in Heart Mountain, Wyoming, where their only son Michael was born in 1944. In camp Alice taught in the camp elementary school, while Bob was a block Captain.

The Murakamis had to store some valuables and a truck before they left for Tule Lake Relocation Camp so the Wheelers offered to keep them for the duration.  After the war was over (June 1945) Bob went to the Wheelers to thank them and retrieve their possessions. The Wheelers suggested that he contact the Stewart Browns for a possible gardening job. Bob was hired by the Browns and the Murakamis relocated to Walnut Grove. They lived in a small cottage on the J.S. Brown’s estate property just north of Clampett Tract.

A graduate of Sacramento High she was a longtime resident of Walnut Grove, CA. and a founding member of the River Road Art Gallery in historic Locke, CA. Alice was also a member of the Water color Association of Sacramento Horizons (W.A.S.H.). Alice’s book “Greetings from Alice,” a collection of New Year’s cards based on the Japanese Zodiac (Year of the Tiger, Ram, etc.), is published by Lulu.com. She enjoyed following the Cal Bears sports teams as well as gardening and cooking with her family.

Alice is survived by her son Michael Tadashi (Nancy) Murakami of Oakland, CA, grandson Michael Hughes Murakami of Washington, DC, grandson “Jack” John Robert (Laura) Murakami and great-granddaughter Alice Agia of Indianapolis IN.

Alice’s memorial service will be on Saturday Oct 17 at 3 P.M at the Berkeley Buddhist Temple, 2121 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA 94704.

Donations in her memory may be made to: the Center for Elder Independence (CEI) 1497 Alcatraz Avenue, Berkeley, CA  94702 and/or  Alzheimer’s Services of the East Bay (ASEB) 2320 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA 94704.

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