Takako Ishizaki

ISHIZAKI, TAKAKO, 91, was born in San Francisco in 1924 and livedynearly her entire life there..She was the oldest child to Koshi and Kiyo Suzuki. Koshi was the principal of the well known Japanese language school, Kinmon Gakuen. Takako had two younger siblings, Sonoko and Mikio.

On Pearl Harbor day, their life changed dramatically as their father was taken away (Kiyo had already passed away). Takako became responsible for Sonoko and Mikio – just as she was graduating from Girl’s High in San Francisco and entering City College of San Francisco. They soon prepared for internment to Tanforan (where they were reunited with their father) and Topaz, Utah. After only a few months at Topaz, the family moved to Boulder, Colorado, where Koshi taught Japanese at the Naval Language School. Takako attended the University of Colorado and graduated from their Business College in 3 years (class of 46), while also working in their library and caring for the household.

The family moved back to San Francisco in 1946. Through a contact of her father’s, Takako started work as a reservations agent at Pan American Airlines, the start of a long career in the travel industry.

Takako attended Pine Methodist Church, where she met Koichi (Kobo) Ishizaki and they married in January of 1952. Kobo and Takako had 3 children: Gregory, Edward and Audrey.

After retiring from Pan American in 1980, Takako worked for Kosakura Travel, where she also guided tours all around the world. Working for both Pan American and Kosakura Travel enabled Takako and Kobo to travel the world: Egypt, Greece, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, China, Russia, Argentina and Yugoslavia were just a few of the countries they visited.

Kobo and Takako also enjoyed time with their three grandchildren: Claire (Edward’s daughter) Dale and Lyn (Audrey’s children). Kobo passed away in 2001, after nearly 50 years of marriage.

While still able to travel, Takako took her grandchildren to Japan (Claire in 2004, Dale and Lyn in 2003).

Though Takako was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2008, she was able to continue living (along with her son, Gregory) in San Francisco Japan Town where she grew up.

She continued taking classes at the JCCCNC (watercolor, shibori, ukulele and senior fitness) and walking the neighborhood.

Takako Ishizaki passed away peacefully under hospice care at CPMC on April 23, 2016. She is survived by her brother, Mikio Suzuki and her children, Gregory, Eddie and Audrey and her grandchildren, Claire, Dale and Lyn.

The Ishizaki family thanks Dr. Aileen Watanabe for her considerate and respectful care in her latter years.

A memorial service was held on May 23, 2016 at the Pine United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Takako’s honor to the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California.

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