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Etsuko "Betty" Yoshioka

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Etsuko "Betty" Yoshioka Obituary
May 12, 1940 - October 7, 2015 The earthly world lost Etsuko Yoshioka on October 7, 2015 when she surrendered to a prolonged battle with stomach cancer. She was 75. Known to her close friends and family as both Etchan and Betty, she left behind a loving network of friends and family. Betty was born on the eve of World War Two. Like all others of Japanese ancestry in the U.S., FDR's federal government stripped her family of its property and belongings once the war began. They were sent away to Poston, Arizona. Betty, her sister Hatsuko, and her parents Goro and Kiyoko Yoshioka were imprisoned for 3 years. A sister, Mitsuko, was born a few months after their arrival to Poston. Tetsuo, the brother of the family, arrived two years later. After the war, the Yoshiokas rebuilt their lives, farming in Lawndale and eventually in Torrance. Betty's father died of heart failure at the age of 45, leaving Kiyoko to support four children alone. Betty graduated from Torrance High in 1958 followed by UCLA. Her passport soon had many stamps and her wanderlust never faded. In her twenties she lived on the tiny Greek island Skiathos, harvesting olives for a year. In her seventies, she returned for a visit. She loved to run marathons, eat rich meals, and dance. Betty was a macramé artist, avid reader, and loved to take photos. She built a successful legal transcription business, served as land lord and property manager to her real estate investments, and was always her own boss. Betty is survived by her long time companion Denzel Simon, sister Mary Higuchi, nieces Sachi Cunningham and Mari Higuchi, and nephew Mark Higuchi. Friends and family gathered at Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes on Saturday November 7 to celebrate Betty's very full life. Donations in her memory can be made to the East West Players theater troupe at 120 Judge John Aiso St, Los Angeles, CA. 90012.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Nov. 8, 2015
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