Ritsuko Suzuki "Cecilia" Lannan-Emery

Obituary
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Lannan-Emery, Ritsuko "Cecilia" Suzuki
Ritsuko Cecilia Lannan-Emery, 79, passed away on March 11 after a long battle with renal failure at the Life Care Center of Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Arizona with Norman, her husband since 1989 and her son, Bernard E. Lannan, at her side. Ritsuko Suzuki was born the 18th of July, 1934, to Yosaburo and Mitsue Suzuki, apple farmers in the town of Ebeotsu, Hokkaido Island, Japan. As a youngster, she was known to be tom-boyish, playing sports with her brothers. While studying nursing in Tokyo in 1955, she met Norbert R. Lannan, of Loogootee, Indiana, while he was serving in the Army, stationed at Camp Drake, Japan. She was a nurse at Daviess County Hospital in the 1964-65 period, while living in Loogootee, Indiana and accompanied Tsgt Lannan overseas, where she was the Child Care Center Director at Yokota Air Force Base, Japan and volunteered as a nurse to tend to wounded soldiers returning through Japan from Vietnam. In 1969 she and "Norbie" returned to Loogootee, Indiana, to own the Dairy Master for several years. In these years, "Cecilia" as most knew her by, was "Mom" to countless youth who both worked at and frequented the Diary Master, the popular fast food restaurant in Loogootee where she known to always be open on Christmas Day. In 1975, she and Norbie moved to Phoenix, Arizona, and bought the Sukiyaki Restaurant at 27th and Indian School Road and built it into the premier Japanese cuisine in the Phoenix valley. Once again, "Mom" became the center figure in the many restaurant employees lives as she hosted chefs, bartenders, and students who were going to school in the Phoenix area and nurtured the Sukiyaki "family" for many years where they became well-known to and hosted countless Hollywood stars, to include frequent guests like Neil Diamond, Dick Van Dyke, George Goble, Tommy Lee Jones, and Linda Ronstadt. Some of the Sukiyaki family went on to build their own businesses from their Sukiyaki experience. Cecilia remarried in 1989 to Norman Emery, a retired Navy Chief, who also was a customer as well as a health inspector in Phoenix, where they retired in 1991 in Paradise Valley in north Phoenix. She is survived by her brothers, Masakazu Suzuki of Hakodate, Japan, and Kaziya Suzuki and her sister, Hisako Ido both of Ebeotsu, Japan, her spouse Norman S. Emery, of Phoenix, AZ, her son, Bernard E. Lannan of Peachtree City, GA, and her daughter-in-law, Patricia Erler Lannan of Loogootee, her granddaughters Emily Lannan Vanderkley and husband Ian Vanderkley of Atlanta, GA, Joanne Eleanor Lannan of Atlanta, GA, Heather Lynn Lannan, of Nashville, TN, and her grandson, Evan Bernard Lannan, of Peachtree City, GA. She was proceeded in by her father and mother, Yosaburo and Mitsue Suzuki of Japan. Services will be at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 3801 E Greenway Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85032 at 11am, 14 Mar, 2014.


Published in The Arizona Republic on Mar. 13, 2014
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