July 18, 1927 - November 4, 2021
Resident of Richmond, CA
After a brief illness, Grace Yatabe Goto passed away peacefully while sleeping November 4, 2021 in the presence of her daughter and son, Jacki and Greg, in the house she lived in for 65 years.
Grace was born on July 18, 1927 in Sebastopol, California, the eighth of nine children born to Japanese immigrants Kuranoshin and Ito Yatabe. Her family rented property in various locations in the north peninsula and all the children worked very hard as farmers. Grace's sister reports she cried when she didn't get what she wanted and was a "goof-off".
When Grace was 15, her schooling was interrupted by the forced evacuation of Japanese and Japanese-Americans, first to the Merced Assembly Center in Santa Rosa, then to the internment camp in Amache Colorado. Grace, two sisters, her brother, and her parents all lived in one room. Her older sisters (adults with their own families) were sent to other camps all over the country. They were released in the spring of Grace's senior year, and she earned her high school diploma in Fresno, California. Grace then moved to the Bay Area where she met Joe Goto. They were married in March 1953, resided in Richmond, and had 2 children. They traveled extensively and had many exciting experiences until Joe passed away in 2013 after 60 years of marriage.
Grace worked part time at Capwells department store so she could always be home when her young children got out of school. Later, she worked as a teller, then in the personal department at the Mechanics Bank. She retired after 21 years but she didn't stop working. Grace volunteered at Kaiser Permanente Richmond for over 25 years, sat on the boards of several organizations serving Japanese Americans, and was an active member in her church, Berkeley Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple.
Grace was a people person who loved to bowl, spend time with friends and family, was famous for her lemon meringue pie, and passionately cheered on her teams, the Oakland Athletics and the Golden State Warriors. She loved her children and her grandchildren. She travelled to Japan, Oregon and Indiana to help after the births of all 4 grandchildren. Grace's 94 years were filled with love and laughter, and she will truly be missed by all who knew her.
Grace was preceded in death by her husband, Joe, and all of her siblings. She is survived by her daughter Jacki Wolf (Steven), son Greg Goto (Sakiko), grandchildren, Braden Wolf (Katrina), Taylor Wolf, Rika Goto and Stanley Goto. No public service will be held. Family will gather for a Celebration of Life. Any gifts of remembrance may be sent to Berkeley Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple. View the online memorial for Grace Goto
Published by East Bay Times on Nov. 11, 2021.