OBITUARY: Kiyoko Kay (Taguma) Hashimoto

HASHIMOTO, KIYOKO KAY (TAGUMA), passed away peacefully at her home in West Sacramento, Calif. on Dec. 24, 2021. She was 100.

A loving individual with a lifelong dedication to caring for family, she was the eldest & last remaining of seven siblings. As the matriarch of the Taguma family, known affectionately as “Aunty Kay,” her home was a hub of family gatherings.

A native of Broderick, Calif., she was born on Aug. 16, 1921 to parents Iwakichi & Iwa (Uyeda) Taguma, immigrants from Japan’s Yamaguchi Prefecture. As her father needed help farming vegetables in Broderick (now part of W. Sacramento) in Yolo County, Calif., she quit school after her sophomore year to help sell vegetables at the farmer’s market.

During WWII, Kay & her family of nine were uprooted from their home in Broderick & forcibly relocated, first to the Merced Assembly Center — a converted fairgrounds where they spent 4 months — & then to the Granada (Amache) concentration camp in Colorado.

It was behind barbed wire where she met & fell in love with Hisao Ben Hashimoto. After camp they wed in Reno, Nev. on Dec. 13, 1946. They worked as migrant farm workers, picking vegetables and cutting & packing asparagus in rural Yolo County.

They had a son, Kiyotada Kay Hashimoto, and together they would go on to grow tomatoes for canneries such as Campbell’s Soup & Tillie Lewis until 1995, when Ben passed away. She would later help out at a strawberry farm in the W. Sacramento countryside.

In Aug. 2021, Kay celebrated her milestone birthday surrounded by family, who gathered in-person & virtually from the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento region, Southern Calif. & Japan. For this occasion, she received certificates of recognition from U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui & state Assemblymember Kevin McCarty. West Sacramento Mayor Martha Guerrero made a personal visit to present her with a certificate of recognition & resolution from the city.

She was predeceased by her beloved husband Hisao Ben Hashimoto; parents Iwakichi & Iwa Taguma; siblings Noboru (Sakaye, deceased) Taguma, Bunji Bill (Michiyo, deceased) Taguma, Goichi Bob Taguma, Shizue Susie (Jack, deceased) Furutani, Mutsuko Alice (Toru) Honda & Shingo George (Tokiko) Taguma; niece Cynthia Bruers & nephew Steven Taguma.

She is survived by her beloved son Kiyotada Kay Hashimoto, also known as “Kaybo,” numerous nieces & nephews, and numerous grandnieces & grandnephews.

A private service will be held.

Kiyotada, who had lovingly taken care of his mother for the past 26 years, thanks Suncrest Hospice & Nurse Jenny for providing additional care in Kay’s later days.

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