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YAMAZAKI GRACE FRANCIS YAMAZAKI (nee Giamboi) Grace Francis (nee Giamboi) Yamazaki was born April 2, 1925 in Brooklyn, NY and died November 27, 2012 in Fairfax, Virginia. Upon early graduation from high school, she attended secretarial college and went to work for the Boy Scouts of America in New York. While working there, she met Alfred A. Yamazaki, a young Scout Master, and fell madly in love. They were married on April 29, 1944 until Alfred's death in April 1992. Shortly after their marriage, Al was called up by the U.S. Army and thus began their exciting life as army folk. Grace was fortunate to live overseas several times, in Germany and Italy, where she enjoyed the experience of discovering new cultures and people. As with many, their friendship with other military people lasted a lifetime and were of great support and comfort to them. Upon their retirement from the U.S. Army, they settled in northern Virginia and began new careers. Grace began a career with the SS Administration, Bureau of Hearings and Appeals. She progressed to the position of Claims Analyst and retired after 20 years of service. She was also very active taking care of her home, loved to garden and try out new vegetable plantings, took up golf and did water aerobics. She was an vigorous reader, going through volumes of books and magazines at a rapid clip. She and Al traveled quite a bit during their retirement years, enjoyed live theater and were avid movie goers. As a widow, Grace cotinued to take cruises and road trips with friends and visited with family attending all the major events in the lives of her grandchildren. Grace was a good mother in all that the word implies and a generous woman in spirit and in her compassion for others in need. Always quick to open her checkbook without being asked, she helped many people that she knew personally, or strangers that she heard about from others. She was a lover of animals and supported many nonprofits for pets as well as people. She overcame many of her own fears - flying, driving up moutainous roads, having a necessary operation at an advanced age, forging a new life upon widowhood. She was a good friend to those she was close with; she loved her family above all else. Grace will be remembered for all of her strengths and caring qualities.......and for her abiding love. Grace was preceded in death by her husband, Alfred and brother, Joseph. She is survived by her daughter, Corinne (Larry) Senechal; grandson, Matthew (Tomoko) Senechal; great-grandchildren, Akio Michael and Miya Grace; granddaughters, Lauren (Jeff) Stark, and Annemarie Senechal; and by her son, Dean Rae (Marie), granddaughter, Dina (Matthew) Mullin and grandson, James Rae; and her sister, Marie DiBlasi. Services will be at Demaine Funeral Home, 5308 Backlick Road, Springfield, VA 22151 on December 14, 2012 at 10 a.m. She will later be interred with her beloved husband at Arlington National Cemetery. Remembrances may be made in her name to any animal rescue group, the retired Army Officer's Association, or to The Fairfax Retirement Community.
Published in The Washington Post on Dec. 12, 2012