Cathy Naomi Tanaka, a member of the Fukui family members business enterprise who was actively involved in neighborhood causes, passed away peacefully in her sleep at her property in Hacienda Heights on March 1. She was 73.

Cathy Tanaka (Toyo Miyatake Studio)

Tanaka was born in Tokyo on July 30, 1949, for the duration of the U.S. occupation of Japan, to Soichi and Ruth Fukui. As an infant, she moved with her family members to the U.S. and settled in Los Angeles. In July 1951, her sister, Chris, was born and 1½ years later, her brother, Jerry. 

About age ten, Tanaka moved with her family members to Windsor Hills, exactly where she and her siblings spent the remainder of their childhood. She graduated from Dorsey Higher College in 1968 and studied at UCLA, majoring in French. Following graduation, she spent an extended period of time in Japan to study Japanese language and culture. 

In 1979, Tanaka continued her father’s legacy by joining him and her brother at Fukui Mortuary as secretary and treasurer. A fourth-generation member at the family members business enterprise, she also became a licensed funeral director and preneed counselor. She continued operating at the mortuary till her death.

In 1978, she married the really like of her life, Masaru Tanaka. They moved to Hacienda Heights and their family members grew by two when they welcomed their sons, Eric in 1980 and Ryan in 1986. She loved supporting her little ones in their hobbies and activities, specifically basketball. Her family members continued to expand in 2012 when Eric married her daughter-in-law Traci, and when Ryan became a father to her very first grandchild, Shay, in 2015. In 2018, she was blessed with two a lot more grandsons, twins Connor and Mason.

She completely adored her grandchildren and loved spending time playing, reading books, and becoming silly with them. One particular of her most cherished achievements was becoming a grandmother.

Tanaka was devoted to the neighborhood and was involved with many organizations, such as the Military Intelligence Service Association of Southern California, National Japanese American Veterans Council, Go For Broke National Education Center, Nisei Veterans Coordinating Council, and Grateful Crane Ensemble.

The employees, directors, and supporters of GFBNEC mourned Tanaka’s passing. “Cathy was so significantly a lot more than a member of the board,” mentioned GFBNEC President Mitchell Maki. “She was a buddy to so numerous of us and an inspiration to all. She demonstrated what it meant to be sort and warm, even though at the similar time operating really hard for what you think in. We will miss her dearly.”

The Grateful Crane Ensemble mentioned in a statement, “We had been saddened to hear about the sudden passing of Cathy Tanaka, our longtime buddy, Grateful Crane board member and quantity a single dish washer at our Far East Feasts and obento sales.

“She was really a single of these ‘behind the scenes’ players who are the MVPs of each and every organization they’re devoted to. They do not seek the limelight or the glory, but they do all the perform. That was Cathy for us, and all the organizations she was involved with. We will miss her kindness, her warm and welcoming smile and her generous spirit.

“We are grateful to have recognized her, and thank her for every thing she has completed for us and our neighborhood.”

Cathy Tanaka and Archie Miyatake supported the producing of the documentary “The Manzanar Fishing Club.” (Photo courtesy Cory Shiozaki)

Filmmaker Cory Shiozaki posted a photo of Tanaka with the late photographer Archie Miyatake, noting that each supported his documentary “The Manzanar Fishing Club.” “Cathy will be significantly missed for her committment to the Go For Broke National Education Center. We will miss her power, spirit and smile,” Shiozaki mentioned.

Tommy Dyo, Tanaka’s cousin, posted, “Cathy was deeply involved in the neighborhood to preserve Japanese American stories from our previous and retell them to new generations. She served our neighborhood with joy, compassion, and generosity. She loved her neighborhood, mates, family members, but specifically her sons Eric and Ryan, and husband Masaru.

“Although she expressed her spirituality in her later years with her loving husband at the Buddhist church, her roots had been in the Christian faith. We hold on to the promises in Scripture: ‘I give them eternal life, and they shall under no circumstances perish no a single can snatch them out of my hand.’ — John ten:28.

“Her kindness is reflected in all she did.”

Tanaka was also passionate about art and loved playing the piano and organ, “paint and sip” wine nights, floral design and style, drawing, jewelry-producing, musicals, and dancing. She loved animals and more than the years, cared for a myriad of pets, such as her beloved golden retrievers, a parrot, and fish. When she wasn’t with family members or participating in a single of her numerous hobbies, she was catching up and spending time with her numerous groups of mates.

She had been significantly seeking forward to going to relatives and meeting her new daughter-in-law in Hiroshima this month sadly, her extended-awaited trip with Masaru did not come to fruition.

She is survived by her husband, Masaru Tanaka young children, Eric (Traci) and Ryan (Aya) Tanaka grandchildren, Connor and Mason Tanaka, and Shay Tanaka siblings, Chris (Kenny) Kohler and Jerry Fukui niece, Sarah Fukui nephews, Cary Fukui, and Kevin and Sean Kohler she is also survived by other relatives right here and in Japan.

Visitation was held on March 12 at Fukui Mortuary. A private memorial service will be held at Nishi Hongwanji at a later date.

By Editor

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