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O'CONNELL Ida Tabuchi O'Connell Passed away peacefully at the age of 94 on Tuesday, August 8, 2018, in Black Mountain. Ida was born in Fairfield, California, the daughter of Takeshi and Ichiye Tabuchi, originally of Kurashiki, Japan. Along with thousands of other Japanese-Americans, the Tabuchi family was interned during World War II. Ida was released from their internment center in Poston, Arizona, to work in various inland cities. She returned to San Francisco, where she worked as a doctor's assistant before traveling abroad to work as a secretary for the United States State Department. While working at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran, she met and married her husband, Thomas B. O'Connell. The new couple moved to Rabat, Morocco, where their two children were born, then to Berkeley, California, and then to Mexico City. Other postings included Brussels, Belgium; Bucharest, Romania; and Washington, DC. After they retired, they moved from the suburbs of DC to Black Mountain, North Carolina. For many years Ida and Tom lived on Lake Tomahawk, next door to their lifelong friends Gay and Joe Fox (whom they met in Tehran), and Harry and Katharine Petrequin (whom they met in Rabat, Morocco). Ida's passions included travel, painting, and reading. She was a longtime member of the Sourwood Gallery artists' cooperative in Black Mountain, and continued to paint for many years. Although she never had the chance to attend college, she took many college-level courses while assisting Tom with his doctorate studies at Berkeley. In 2015, a group of friends, led by Sally Robinson and Nancy Mason of Black Mountain, arranged for Ida to receive her high school diploma from San Benito High School in Hollister, California; at the same time, she also received letters of recognition from President Barack Obama and the Governor of North Carolina. She is survived by her two children and their families, Anne O'Connell Devereaux and her husband, Doug and daughters, Katie and Alicia of Falls Church, Virginia; and David O'Connell and his wife Danielle of Hartwood, Virginia. Ida is also survived by three sisters, Sue Imagawa of Belmont, California; Lois Yonemoto of San Francisco, California; and Shigeko Moriya of Kurashiki, Japan, as well a brother, Bob Tabuchi of Fremont, California, and their families. She is predeceased by her husband Tom, who died in Black Mountain in 2013; and her brothers, Bill Tabuchi, Isamu Tabuchi, and Roy Tabuchi, and sisters, Mineko Moriya and Hana Hori. A gathering in honor of Ida will be held in the Fountain Room, Building J, Givens Highland Farms, 200 Tabernacle Road, Black Mountain, North Carolina, on Saturday, August 11 at 3 p.m. Harwood Home for Funerals is assisting the family.
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Harwood Home For Funerals
208 W State St
Black Mountain, NC 28711
(828) 669-2977
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Published in The Washington Post on Aug. 10, 2018