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Karlene Nakanishi Koketsu


1935 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Karlene Nakanishi Koketsu Obituary
Karlene Nakanishi Koketsu
Jan.7, 1935 - June 21, 2018
Resident of Willow Glen
Karlene Koketsu passed away peacefully at her home in San Jose on June 21, 2018 after a 7-year battle with cancer. Karlene was born to Karl and Taka Nakanishi in the Little Tokyo section of Los Angeles. She grew up and attended school in Los Angeles, except for a 3-year period when her family was interned at Manzanar Relocation Camp during World War II. Karlene graduated from University High School in 1952 and from UCLA in 1956.
In 1958, Karlene married Masao Koketsu of Riverside, CA and together they raised 6 children. They made their home in Willow Glen for the majority of their nearly 60-year marriage.
Karlene taught school in San Jose's Union and Cambrian School Districts. During the 1960s through the 1980s, she worked intermittently while raising her children. Her career spanned nearly 50 years, first focusing on primary grades and later specializing in art and reading. Karlene was an avid reader and a gifted artist. She loved movies, music (especially jazz), good food, and travel.
Karlene is survived by her husband Masao Koketsu, children: Kristin (Jim Lozenski), Neil, Keith (Jean), Karel (Stephen Lee), Misa, Craig (Juliana Cho); grandchildren: Melinda Lozenski, Mitchell Lee, Cameron Lee, Nathan Koketsu; sister Teruko JoAnne Torimaru of Winnetka,CA; brother Dennis Nakanishi of West Los Angeles; sisters-in-law Sumiko Yamaguchi and Ayako Saito, both of San Jose; a large extended family and countless friends. She is preceded in death by father Karl Katsujiro Nakanishi and mother Taka Allene Shimotsu Nakanishi.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, donations in Karlene's memory may be made to your local PBS station or to KCSM (jazz radio station) based at the College of San Mateo: https://kcsm.org/pledge
A celebration of Karlene's life will be held at Wesley United Methodist Church, 566 North 5th Street, San Jose, CA 95112 on Saturday, July 21st at 11:00 am: https://www.wesleysj.net/location-and-directions


View the online memorial for Karlene Nakanishi Koketsu
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on July 13, 2018
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