Chiyo Nao Wada

WADA, CHIYO NAO, 98, passed away on July 21, 2017, in San Francisco. She is survived by her children, Edward, Richard (Rita), Patricia (Grant) and Wayne (Loan); grandchildren, Christopher (Whitney), Katherine (Jeremy) and Benjamin; great-grandchildren, Evelyn and Magnolia; brother Isamu Nao; brothers-in-law Yorinobu (Shinako) Wada and Richard Hamasaki; and many nieces and nephews.  Predeceased by husband Yori, and six of her seven siblings.

Chiyo was born on June 2, 1919 in San Francisco, the first of eight children of Senri and Yoshino Nao.  She attended San Francisco public schools and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1941.  While attending Cal, she met her husband, Yoritada Wada.  On January 22, 1942, Chiyo and Yori were married in Boulder, Colorado. Yori was serving in the US Army (442nd and Military Intelligence Service) and Chiyo was working for the U.S. government in the Office of War Information (OWI), which was documented in the film, “Calling Tokyo.”

After the war, she and her family, that had been incarcerated in the Tanforan Detention Center and Topaz concentration camp, returned to San Francisco, where Chiyo worked for attorney Wayne Collins, assisting Japanese American renunciants to regain their citizenship and on other wartime cases.  She later worked at medical offices and Macy’s until her retirement.  A working mother, she found time to enjoy the theater, classical music, the ballet, art museums, sewing, reading and dancing with the group, The Happy Tappers.

Chiyo’s family would like to express their appreciation to the staff of Kimochi, Inc. and gratitude to her caregivers.  Her warm smile, kind spirit, elegance, and her love of family and community will be remembered by all who knew her.

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