Mary Noguchi



NAGOYA, JAPAN - On Dec. 21, at 5:15 a.m., in Nagoya, Japan, Mary Frances Sisk Noguchi died of cancer. She was 56.

Though Mary lost her life to cancer, in the course of its insinuation into her body and being she lost no battles. She confronted it as she did all else in her life, wide-open eyed and straight ahead. Mary was intrepid in spirit and prone to action; she was guileless, searching and empathetic. She wanted to teach, travel and be a mother. She did, and was gifted at each.

Mary received undergraduate and graduate degrees in education from UNC-Chapel Hill, taught English as a second language at Duke University, and English in Hiroshima and, for 20 years, at Meijo University in Nagoya.

She traveled to some 30 countries. Dozens of happenstance encounters led to true friendships, many of them lifelong. Mary asked you where you came from and what you brought with you, and gazed deeply within you as you rummaged for an apt response. She truly wanted to know, and it was always pleasing to please her. Your life was of substance in her eyes. This is who she was.

Mary was predeceased by her father, William T. Sisk, of Asheville, N.C. She is survived by her husband, Mitsunori Noguchi, and her sons, Sean and Lukas Noguchi, of Nagoya; her mother, Lareen Sisk Mazzeo (Robert J.), of Asheville; her brother, Taylor Sisk, of Carrboro, N.C.; her sisters, Kathleen Sisk (Lara Wilkinson), of Mebane, N.C., and Michele Gregory (Lyman), of Asheville; six nieces and nephews; and two grandnieces and nephews.

A visitation with family will be held Saturday, Dec. 29 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Anders-Rice Funeral Home, 1428 Patton Ave., Asheville. To sign Mary's online guestbook, go to "Memorials" at

The family asks that donations in memory of Mary be made to Care Partners Bereavement, 68 Sweeten Creek Rd., Asheville, NC, 28803, or to an organization of your choosing.

Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Dec. 27, 2012