Mitsuye Y. Sakaguchi
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Mitsuye "Mitzi" Sakaguchi, 73, Renton, Washington, passed away Saturday evening, April 12, 2014, surrounded by loving family. She was born April 7, 1941 in Pocatello, Idaho, to Y. William Yamauchi and Sanaye T. Okamura.
Her life began on her parent's farm, where she helped with the farm work, enjoyed riding horses, and raised her prize-winning Black Angus while participating in the 4-H program. She graduated from Pocatello High School where she was active in student affairs, pep club, and drill team.
She married C. Bill Sakaguchi on May 27, 1960. They moved from Logan, Utah to Seattle following Bill's graduation from college in 1962. They had three children, Jeffrey, Michele and John. A devoted wife and mother, she focused on raising her children and was involved with the Renton School District, first as a volunteer and then as an administrative assistant. She was an active member of Blaine Memorial Methodist Church in Seattle, where she played hand bells.
Mitzi had a lifelong passion for learning, and strongly emphasized education for her children and grandchildren. After one year at Idaho State University, she postponed her studies when she and Bill married, but she remained determined to finish college. As her children finished high school, she began taking courses at Highline Community College, and then transferred to the University of Washington and proudly graduated with her Bachelor's degree in Psychology in 1992 at the age of 51. Following graduation, Mitzi worked with UW researchers for several years exploring the effects of aging on first-generation Japanese-Americans. In addition to her interest in education, she was tremendously passionate about supporting and loving her grandchildren. She was a dedicated Nana and attended every recital, sporting event and symphony, always cheering them on.
Mitzi is survived by her husband, Bill, her three children, Jeffrey (Nini), Manhattan Beach, CA; Michele (Leigh Bloom), Clinton, WA; and John (Carol), Renton, WA; and by four grandchildren, Harrison, Julia, Cooper, and Samuel and two bonus grandchildren, Hana and Toby. She is also survived by her brother Ray (Marva) Yamauchi of Grace, ID; brother-in-law Tosh Yamasaki, Long Beach, CA; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents, her sister, Yoshiye Claire Yamasaki; her uncles Tsuneo Tanabe and Tetsuro Tanabe; and her aunt May Shiozawa. She will be missed by all who knew her. We are fortunate to have been blessed by her time on earth.
Gravesite services will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. on April 28, 2014 at Lewiston City Cemetery, E. Center Street (Highway 61), Lewiston, UT, under the direction of Cornelison Funeral Home, 431 N. 15th Ave., Pocatello, 232-0542. A separate memorial service will be held at Blaine Memorial Methodist Church in Seattle, WA at 2:00 p.m. on May 12, 2014.
Seattle arrangements are under the direction of Bleitz Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers or koden, condolences may be sent to Blaine Memorial Methodist Church, 3001 24th Avenue South, Seattle, WA, 98144, or online to www.cornelisonfh.com, or a donation can be made to the Providence Hospice of Seattle Foundation, 425 Pontius Avenue N., #300, Seattle, WA, 98109-5452, or online at www.providence.org/hosdonate.
Cornelison-Henderson Funeral Home
431 N 15Th Ave
Pocatello, ID 83201
Published in Idaho State Journal on Apr. 23, 2014