OBITUARY: Bess Teru (Sonoda) Chang

Bess Teru (Sonoda) Chang

Jan. 2, 1927 – Feb. 26, 2022

CHANG, BESS TERU (SONODA) was born on January 2, 1927 in Longview, Washington, a logging town near the Columbia River. She died at Brookdale Senior Living in Redwood City on February 26, 2022 at the age of 95.

Bess grew up in Thomas, a small farming community in the White River Valley between Tacoma and Seattle. Bess loved living in Thomas and considered it a beautiful place to grow up. Bess was raised by her mother and father. Her father passed away when Bess was seven after a long illness. She had 3 sisters, Kathleen Shimada (George), Mary Tsukiji (Henry), Lily Ury Sonoda (Isaac) and 1 brother, Frank Sonoda (Nancy). She is survived by her younger Frank and her many nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly, Linda Kane (Jerry), Kent Shimada (Sandy), Nancy Reuter (Mike), Karen DeYoung (Frank), Glenn Tsukiji, Harry Hananouchi (Tami), Sandy Raskin (Paul), Stuart Sonoda (Jaime). She was preceded in death by her nephew Daniel Hananouchi (Kerry) and leaves behind many grand nephews and nieces. Bess also leaves her stepdaughter, Carolyn Yuen (Jay), preceded in death was stepsons, Harry Chang (Mary Chang), and Raymond Chang (Nati). Step grandchildren include Kathy, Raymond Jr, Sandra, Robert, Richard, Marisa, Gregory, Jennifer and Johanna. She also leaves behind numerous step great grandchildren.

Bess attended school in Thomas until WWII when she was interned at Tule Lake. Bess made lifelong friends while at Tule Lake. When she was released, Bess and her family relocated to San Francisco. She worked first for an Italian family living with them and then attended Heald Business College. Her first job after graduating was working for Bechtel Engineering. She loved her next job working at UCSF working for Professor Anselm Strauss, a sociologist until she met and married Harry Chang, a federal contracting officer from Hawaii. Bess relocated to Hawaii, living in an old district of Honolulu and worked for the Hawaii Medical Association. When she retired and after Harry passed, she volunteered for the St. Francis Hospice. Several years following the death of Harry, Bess returned to California where her surviving siblings resided. She loved living at Brookdale Senior Living, always enjoying the people she met and welcoming newcomers. She especially enjoyed the Tai Chi and Mah Jong groups and the friends she met along the way.

Special appreciation goes to Total Care Services who provided loving caregiving in Bess’ final days. In lieu of flowers or Koden, please consider donations to Sutter Care at Home San Mateo (Hospice) or St. Francis Hospice, Honolulu, HI.

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