November 26, 1922 - September 23, 2015 Ai Oizumi Shay, Ai-San also known by her nickname Aiko, beloved widow of Edward A. Shay and mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, passed peacefully on Wednesday the 23rd of September 2015 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles at the age of 92. Services will be held on Sunday, the 4th of October 2015 commencing 1pm at Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary, 6001 W. Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045. Telephone (310) 641-0707. Reception following service and internment at the Shay family home. Ai-san was born in Tokyo, Japan on November 26, 1922. Her grandfather, Alexander Stephanovich Yahovich, a Russian Count was the Russian Ambassador to China and Japan under Czar Nicholas. He met his wife, Kay Oizumi, in Japan together they had one son, Kiyoshi. Kay died in childbirth so the newborn, Kiyoshi went to live with the wife's family and took the last name Oizumi. Kiyoshi became a very well respected writer of philosophy. His pen name was Kokuseki Oizumi. Kiyoshi then married Miyo Fukahura, they had nine children. Ai-San, the fourth child developed an early love for the performing arts as a child actor, singer and pianist. Her artistic talents grew to encompass the fine arts, as a painter and woodcarver. Ai-san and Edward shared the same passion and owned one of the most extensive Japanese art collections. Including Netsuke, Imari, Inro and woodblock prints. She was a survivor of World War II. After the war, Ai-san became an entrepreneur exporting pearls and silk flowers. She patented plastic scissors designed to prevent children from injuring themselves. Ai-san's first marriage produced her eldest son Jun, in 1948. Her marriage soon ended thereafter. She then met and married Edward Albert Shay, together they had two children Anna and Allen. Her husband Edward Albert Shay, an American businessman and Engineer had moved to Japan in the early 1950's. He went on to found Pacific Architects and Engineers (PA&E), an international engineering company where he remained Chairman and CEO until his death in 1995. Ai-san's quiet strength greatly helped her husband to grow the company and was an integral part of PA&E's success as well as Halifax, an international real estate company. In 1968, the family moved from Tokyo to Los Angeles. Although they kept their family home in Tokyo they made Los Angeles their primary home. Ai-San resided in the Hancock Park residence until her death. A devoted wife, loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother and matriarch of the family, Ai-San was a pillar of strength. Ai-san had an enormous love for her family and grandchildren Mai, daughter of Jun and Yasue; and Kenneth, son of Anna and Ken Kemp. Ai-san is survived by her eldest son, Dr.Jun Oizumi, her daughter Anna, and her youngest son Allen (Kirsten Hansen), her granddaughter Mai Oizumi and her husband Leonardo Perez, her grandson Kenneth Edward Shay-Kemp, her twin great-granddaughters, Kira and Lena Perez-Oizumi, her favorite and faithful pal Ferris, the Labrador, her sisters Sumi Okajima and En Oizumi, her nieces and nephews, their children and grandchildren, her God-daughter Mia Zhao and Ai-San's companion Alicia. Ai-San was preceded in death by her husband Edward and her siblings Kiyoshi, Ken, Po, Rei, Yo and Ei. She was much beloved by all, her family, friends, the community and members of the PA&E extended family. Ai-san will always be remembered for her love of family, her strength and compassion and will remain alive in the memories of all who loved, respected and treasured her. To those who knew her, she is the epitome of beauty and elegance. To honor Ai-San's memory and the passion both she and her husband Edward shared, donations to continue their charitable works may be made to The Edward A. and Ai O. Shay Family Foundation, 888 S. Figueroa St, Suite 2150, Los Angeles, CA 90017. Please contact Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary for any additional information regarding the service.
Published in Los Angeles Times on Oct. 1, 2015.