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Mary Mitsuko Endo Tonai


1932 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Mary Mitsuko Endo Tonai Obituary
February 6, 1932 - January 15, 2017 On January 15, 2017, Mary Mitsuko Endo Tonai, great wife, mother, sister, auntie, cousin and friend, left us after her valiant battle with pancreatic cancer. We were fortunate to have had her with us for so long. Now, she can walk and run among flowers and sunshine, again. Mary was born on February 6, 1932 to Tozo and Ei Endo on a farm in Monterey County, California. Her childhood years were spent in Salinas, California and during World War II at Salinas Assembly Center and later at Poston II Relocation Center in Arizona. Upon their release, they moved to Long Beach, California where Mary graduated from Long Beach Polytechnic High School. After her family moved to their home in Silver Lake, Mary worked as a seamstress at William Cahill of Beverly Hills. She met Minoru "Min" Tonai at a Valentine's Day dance in 1950. They were married on September 8, 1956 and recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Mary unselfishly offered her full support and care to her family and was quietly very proud of each of their many accomplishments. She also enjoyed volunteering for numerous organizations, including the Japanese American National Museum, where she made wonderful friends and received their Outstanding Volunteer Administration Award. She is now with her beloved departed parents, siblings - Jerry, Bill, Jim, and Nancy Miya, and other relatives and friends. Besides her husband and children, Susan, John and Teresa, she leaves behind her sisters - Yae Nagai and Elinor Sakado; brothers - Tak, Its and George; her in-laws; many nephews and nieces; cousins; friends and their families. A Celebration of Life will be held for Mary's family and close friends at the Japanese American National Museum on February 25th at 10:30 AM. Colorful attire is encouraged. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift in memory of Mary Tonai to the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation or the Japanese American National Museum.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 12, 2017
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