Yaeko “Yae” Wada

Nov. 3, 1919 – Feb. 24, 2023

WADA, YAE of Berkeley, California passed away on Friday, February 24 at 103 years of age. Survived by her daughter Lynn Matsumoto and her husband, Steve; son-in-law Peter Jan; grandchildren, Diana McCulloch (Trey), Michael Jan, Karen Iwasa (Michael), Joy Iwasa, Lauren Gentry (Nick), Bryan Matsumoto; great grandchildren, Jason Coelho (Courtney), Kiana and Leilani Jan; and great-great grandchildren, Jonathan and Landon Coelho. Preceded in death by her husband, Jun Wada in 2007, daughter Diane Iwasa in 2002, son-in-law Ralph Iwasa in 2014, daughter Kathy Jan in 2011, and granddaughter, Tracy Jan in 2005.

Yae, known to family and friends as “Mana”, grew up in Berkeley and graduated from University High School in Oakland. After attending beauty school, Yae opened a beauty shop with a dear friend until she was forcibly removed to the Topaz Concentration Camp in Utah during World War II. After the war, she relocated to Cleveland, Ohio until she could return to her home in Berkeley, California where she helped resume her father’s laundry business, Ashby Laundry. She later worked at Wells Fargo as a Personnel Officer for 13 years until she retired in 1982.

She was a generous woman and everyone that met her felt accepted. Yae was a woman of kindness, dignity, and known for her witty sense of humor. While her family grieves her loss, they are comforted by a lifetime of happy memories.

Memorial services held on Saturday, March 18. Please contact the family for a link to the recording. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Yae Wada’s memory to J-Sei, 1285 66th Street, Emeryville, CA 94608 or The Topaz Museum, P.O. Box 241, Delta, UT 84624.

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