Mitsuye Shimasaki, loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, passed away at the age of 99 on October 11, 2019. Mitsuye was born on June 15, 1920 in Cutler, California to Wasa and Sanzo Uyeda.
Mitsuye spent 14 of her younger years in Shiida, Japan. She was raised by her grandparents Chokichi and Yone Kawaguchi. There she learned traditional Japanese dancing, ikebana (flower arranging), and detailed silk embroidery although she preferred to be playing volleyball. She had a talent for sumi (Japanese writing using black watercolor).
Two years after her return to the United States Mitsuye married Tom Toshimi Shimasaki. She dedicated herself to helping Tom, who farmed strawberries, tomatoes, and other crops, and to raising her five children. During World War II Tom and Mitsuye were interned at a Japanese relocation center in Jerome, Arkansas.
Mitsuye was a talented seamstress and spent hours altering clothes and creating elaborate gowns for weddings and other celebrations. Her knitting, crocheting, and embroidering skills were to be admired. She had a knack for gardening, which included the art of bonsai. She was an excellent cook.
Once Mitsuye’s children left for college and careers, her talents blossomed. She became passionate about using watercolors to create beautiful works of art. She took up golf and was especially proud of her hole-in-one at the Lindsay Golf Course. She joined a Japanese karaoke group, which gave her an opportunity to show off her gifted singing voice.
At 80 Mitsuye decided to move from Lindsay to San Diego to live close to her daughters. She immediately began to expand her use of watercolors by taking classes. She became interested in making cards using watercolors and dried flowers. She refused to sell her cards because “that would take the fun out of making them.” She joined a golf group and played into her 90’s. She never lost her friendly spirit, her sense of humor, nor her love of children.
Mitsuye is preceded in death by her husband Tom and her three siblings, Joe, Jimmie, and Kimi. She is survived by her children, Bob, Janet, Irene, Lynn, Christine, seven grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
A funeral service will be held on Friday, October 25that the Webb Sanders Funeral Home in Lindsay at 10:00 AM. Donations may be made to the Tom T. Shimasaki Scholarship Foundation. Please send donations to Irene Cannon, 3990 Catamarca Dr., San Diego, CA 92124.
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