AYUKAWA, Michiko "Midge" (nee Ishii) June 26, 1930 - October 24, 2013 Dr. Michiko "Midge" Ayukawa (nee Ishii) of Victoria, B.C. died peacefully with family by her side on October 24, 2013 at the Victoria Hospice in the Royal Jubilee Hospital. Michiko, was born on June 26, 1930, in Vancouver, B.C. to Kenji and Misayo Ishii and was the only sister to brothers Hideo, Yoshio, and Kazuo. Michiko attended Strathcona Public School in Vancouver, and during World War II was interned in Lemon Creek. After the war, the family moved to Hamilton, Ontario where she completed high school. In 1952 she graduated with a degree in Honours Chemistry from McMaster University, and in 1953 with a Master's Degree. In 1955, Midge married Kaoru "Karl" Ayukawa and worked at the National Research Council in Ottawa until 1956 when she started a family. She later taught chemistry laboratory to undergraduate students at Carleton University as well as at the University of Victoria after the family moved to Sooke, BC, in 1980. Following the death of her husband, in 1981, Michiko studied Japanese history and language at the University of Victoria. Her Master's and PhD (1997) focused on the lives of Japanese immigrants. She authored and edited numerous publications. Her most notable "Hiroshima Immigrants in Canada 1891-1941", was published in 2008 and later published in Japanese. She traveled throughout Asia and Europe and intensified her practice of Taoist Tai Chi, teaching health recovery classes at the Taoist Tai Chi Centre in Victoria. In 2007, Michiko was inducted into the McMaster University Alumni Gallery. Michiko was an active board member of the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre in Burnaby BC. In September 2013, she was awarded the Japanese Canadian History Preservation and Education Award. Michiko is survived by her youngest brother Kazuo Ishii; her five children Hannah (and partner Roland), Michael (and wife Dianne), Ken (and wife May), Patti (and husband Greg), and Carla (and partner Brian); and her ten grandchildren Aki, Patrick, Eric, Irene, Courtney, Emma, Chelsea, Carly, Mika and Nicholas. She will always be remembered as a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, academic, intellect, writer and dedicated contributor to her community. Her commitment to the preservation of history and to her family will be her legacy. The funeral service will be held on Tuesday, October 29, at 5pm followed by a reception from 6 to 8pm, at First Memorial on 1155 Fort Street, Victoria. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Nikkei National Museum in Burnaby, B.C. Family members wish to thank Dr J. Spence, Dr. P. Ty, and Midge's close family and friends for their dedicated help and support.
Published in The Times Colonist from Oct. 26 to Oct. 28, 2013.