May 1, 1922 - February 11, 2014 Grace Yukiye Kato Izumi will be remembered as one of the most friendly, funny, talented and kind-hearted women you'll ever be lucky enough to cross paths with. Her kooky sense of humor was a highlight of any conversation with her. Her love of life was reflected in her many travel adventures from reeling in a five-foot halibut in Alaska, to spelunking in the opal mines of Australia. Her music appreciation started as a bugler playing Reveille in grammar school, and continued on through the rest of her life playing Japanese and American folk standards on the harmonica. Born and raised in Fowler, California, she moved to Los Angeles soon after the war, and was a governess to the family of movie executive, James Nasser. While employed there she met George Izumi, and the two were married in the summer of 1949. In 1950, the couple opened up her namesake bakery, Grace Pastry Shoppe (later to be known as Grace Pastries) in the Crenshaw district of LA. A tomboy growing up, she was an avid spectator, too. She religiously followed the Dodgers and Lakers and could often be seen listening to Vin Scully or Chick Hearn's play-by-play on her transistor radio. Grace passed peacefully at her home in LA. Her sense of humor, generosity and warmth will be missed by her husband George, son Grayson and his wife Carolina, daughter Glenda, son Garret and his wife Melissa, and daughter Genelle, her grandchildren Deric, Jill, Stuart, Natalie, Claire, and Grayson, Jr., and countless relatives and friends who have had the pleasure to have known her. A memorial service will be held at The Chapel of the Light in Fresno, CA on March 8.
Published in Los Angeles Times on Feb. 22, 2014.