Louise Mitsuko Miyao (1916 - 2018)

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Louise Mitsuko Miyao passed away July 2, 2018 at her son Gene and Donna Miyao's Woodland home in their presence. Louise was born April 18, 1916 in Isleton, CA, the first child of Morito and Hanayo Nakahara, followed by Ichiro (deceased); Marie Yamada (decd); Yoshiro (decd); Ray; Sam (decd) and Sue Hara. One other girl died in infancy. While she was an excellent student, she dropped out of Rio Vista High School as a sophomore to care for her ailing mother and her young siblings. In her early twenties, she wished to return to complete her education, but was denied based on age. Louise was conversant in English, Japanese and Spanish; and enjoyed listening and talking at length to many. Louise married George Miyao in 1948 and had two sons, Wayne and Gene. George farmed in Clarksburg, where the family lived for years. Louise was active on the farm, including field work, keeping the books and filing income taxes while handling household chores. Her command of the Spanish language was valued. She obtained a chauffeur's license so she could drive a farm-labor bus at times to the family fields. She smiled at retelling a story of being stopped by a CHP officer as the concern was no driver could be seen steering the bus. She was slightly built and less than 5-feet tall- a physical challenge to reach the clutch pedal while sitting tall enough to look out the windshield. She also liked to sew, maintain a large garden, raise flowers, home-can tomatoes and fruit, process olives, make mochi on special occasions and was an excellent baker and a practical cook. She loved to read her Sacramento Bee newspaper entirely, as well as magazines such as Reader's Digest, Time and Life. She stressed education and was proud that Wayne graduated from UCLA and Gene from UCD. As the years passed, an adobe house was purchased in Winters, where Louise and George moved in 1993 after retiring from farming. They would frequently volunteer to plant, weed and harvest tomato test plots for her son Gene's University research plots. After the death of George in 2010 and 62 years of marriage, she lived with Gene and Donna. Her legacy and proudest moment came when Wayne and Sandra's son, Andre married Annie, and provided two great grandchildren. Therese Mitsuko, 4, carries her name while Sonia Hanayo, 5 months, carries Louise's mother's name. She was celebrated at her 100th birthday party by friends and relatives at an event hosted by Wayne and his close friends Harriet Roberts and Pat Expose. The Miyao family appreciated the kind assistance provided by caregiver Sandra Davis, Sutter Hospice and her Sutter physical therapists. In remembrance of her long remarkable life, a private family gathering will be held later.
Published in The Sacramento Bee on July 14, 2018
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