From devoted daughter and teacher to dedicated wife and mother, Fumi Seshita Scantlin will forever live in the hearts of those who knew her. She left this world Tuesday, June 26, 2012 to join her parents, sisters and husband in a place without borders, where her beautiful spirit was created in peace and love. Fumi will be cremated with no services planned, according to her wishes.
Fumi Seshita was born the second of three daughters on June 21, 1922 to Yane Aoki Seshita and Goichi Seshita in Shinjuku prefecture, Tokyo, Japan. While in high school, Fumi prepared to compete as captain of the women's handball team for the 1940 Tokyo Olympics. This event is known as The Missing Olympics; canceled due to the outbreak of World War II.
Fumi went on to receive a degree in Physical Education from Tokyo University, then taught girls' high school physical education. Four years later, the Japanese Army sought her and a handful of other young professionals to serve as an administrative assistant to a Japanese lieutenant during World War II. She was stationed in Java, Indonesia, a small island in the South Pacific.
At the end of World War II orders came for all Japanese personnel to return to Japan. She returned to find that B-29 bombings had destroyed her family's home of many decades and had lost everything. Fortunately, she found her parents had escaped harm and had taken refuge in a temple at the time of the attack. They found a rent house in the country and she and her parents worked in a neighbor's rice paddy to support themselves. Years after Japan's reconstruction, they returned to Tokyo where she cared for her aging parents, supporting them with income from a clerical job.
In 1954, Fumi met Sherman Scantlin, SSgt, USAF, through mutual friends. They married at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo on December 17, 1955. They had two daughters. Fumi became a U.S. citizen in 1964 while her husband and family were stationed near Tampa, Fla. They eventually settled in Denison, Texas on December 11, 1970 in anticipation of Sherman's impending retirement.
Fumi worked from 1973 to 1986 at the now defunct Levi Strauss Company, in the hemline group then as a pants presser. She is survived by Leila Scantlin, daughter, of Denison, Renata Younts, daughter, of Dallas, and Olivia Younts, granddaughter, of Dallas.
At age 90, Fumi was still the gentle, gracious, sweet woman with the wonderful smile that everyone loved the first time they met her. She will be missed terribly.
Condolences may be registered at www.johnsonmoorefuneralhome.net.
Published in The Herald Democrat on June 27, 2012