Katherine (Kathy) Kaoru Reyes

REYES, KATHERINE (KATHY) KAORU, 93, passed away peacefully on September 15th, 2016. Kathy was born on December 19th, 1922 in Lemoore, CA to Toshio and Tomoyo Morooka. She was the middle daughter of her two sisters; Mayme Akiko and Betty Shizue. The family lived in Chula Vista, in southern California on their celery farm until 1935 when at the age of 13, her family moved to Japan to be near her father’s family in Nagano where they remained during WWII. After her father and sister Betty passed away; Kathy, her mother and sister stayed in Tokyo where she married Norman Reyes. After the war she worked for the Red Cross and for Radio Tokyo. Following her sister Mayme’s migration home, she was able to return to the United States in 1947. Kathy eventually settled in San Francisco and fell in love with the city. She was overjoyed when her mother was able to travel from Japan to live with her in 1957. She lived with and cared for her mother until her passing at the age of 102.

Kathy graduated in 1952 from San Francisco State University and became an elementary teacher. She taught first grade for many years and loved educating young children, she continued her career in education as a school administrator in the school district from 1953 – 1983. She was active in the JACL and a passionate supporter of liberal politics. She participated in anti- war protests during the 1960s and never stopped fighting for equal rights. She was supportive of the YMCA in San Francisco. Kathy was an active member of the Christ United Presbyterian Church where she played organ and piano as well as participating in the choir and many other areas of the church. In 1964 & again in 1966 she was able to help facilitate the adoption of her nieces Katherine and Loraine to her sister Mayme and her husband Don Canham. Kathy had a loving and supportive group of friends and in her later years traveled the world with many of them.

Kathy was a loving daughter and sister, and an inspiring and loving role model for her nieces – Kathy & Lori. She is survived by her sister and brother in law – Mayme & Don Canham and her nieces. We will miss her every day and celebrate her life with great joy. She will be joyfully reunited with her beloved mother and sister and will rest in eternal peace at the Neptune Columbarium which rests at the end of the street she called home for almost 40 years on Loraine Court.

A memorial will be held at CUPC at 3pm on October 2nd. Gifts may be made in lieu of flowers to Christ United Presbyterian Church.

One response to “OBITUARY: Katherine (Kathy) Kaoru Reyes”

  1. Carole Jan Lee Avatar
    Carole Jan Lee

    Condolences to Kathy’s family. We were friends for many years and she ordered Watanabe calendars from me to give to her friends at CUPC.
    She will be missed by many in the community that she loved.
    Sincerely, Carole Jan Lee (Oakland, CA)

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