Joan Hiroko (Omachi) Nakashima
1930 - 2021
Lodi Funeral Home
725 South Fairmont
Lodi, CA 95240
Joan Hiroko Nakashima (Omachi) quietly passed away in her sleep on May 24, 2021 in Stockton, California from complications due to dementia. She will be missed greatly by her family, friends and all the countless persons whom she encountered during her decades of service to the Lodi community.
Joan and her identical twin sister, Jean were born on February 3, 1930 in Sacramento, California to Peter Shinichi Omachi and Mary Etsuko Omachi (Igarashi), both second generation Japanese Americans.
Joan was the eldest of eight children - arriving eighteen minutes ahead of Jean. She grew up mainly in the central valley of California including Stockton, Sacramento and Loomis where Peter farmed and Mary raised the children, worked as a book-keeper and taught piano lessons. Following the Pearl Harbor attack, the federal government forced her family to move to the Arboga Assembly Center near Yuba City in February 1942 with only four days of notice then to the barren confines of Tule Lake Segregation Center, CA and Topaz War Relocation Center, UT. Although Peter was able to work outside the camps, anti-Japanese sentiment made life outside difficult for all. In and out of the camps, the twins helped care for their siblings, parents and elders. As World War II ended, the Omachi family moved to Nebraska where the family could work on a farm.
Joan attended high school in David City, Nebraska while working to support herself and her family. She graduated as the class Valedictorian of 1948. She began to sing with church choirs while there, beginning an activity she loved throughout the rest of her life. During nursing school at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Joan met Donald Nakashima, a medical student from Honolulu. Don attended med school on the GI bill following his battle-hardened deployment as a medic in Italy and France with the US Army's 442nd Regimental Combat Team where he was awarded a Purple Heart, the Silver Star and Bronze Star. Shortly after their graduations, they married on June 8, 1951.
After short stays in Honolulu, Seattle and Long Beach, Joan and Don moved to Lodi in 1955 where they started a new medical practice. He as the physician, she as the nurse, receptionist and accountant.
With the birth of their four children, Joan became a full-time mother and community asset. At the Lodi First United Methodist Church, she was a strong and reliable alto voice in the choir and later mentored the youth fellowship groups for over 2 decades. She supported leadership, scholarship and philanthropic efforts and created grape murals during her service with the Alpha Delta Chapter of Omega Nu Sorority. At Lodi Memorial Hospital, she supported the high school Health Careers Club and Candy Striper program for future nurses, volunteered as a nurse in the Medi-Cal pre-natal clinic for 20 years and served on the hospital's board of directors.
Joan raised orchids, tutored at the library, hosted exchange students and Christmas carol parties. She loved travel, dancing, wine, knitting, classical music, Broadway musicals, romance novels, dining with friends and family, sudoku and cross-word puzzles and her six grandchildren. Joan was inducted into the Lodi Hall of Fame in 1999.
Joan is survived by son, Steven Nakashima (Sophie de Caen) of St. Sauveur, Quebec; daughters, Carol Nakashima and Donna Wohlleb (Michael Wohlleb), both of Lodi; and son, James Nakashima (Anna Harrison), of Sacramento; sisters, Esther Milnes of Fresno, Gertrude Hope Kawashima of Fresno, Elaine Omachi of Sequim, WA, Patricia Tate of Citrus Heights and Katherine Cookson of Sequim, WA; granddaughter, Camille Nakashima of Woodside, NY; and five grandsons, Greg Wohlleb of San Jose, Cedric Nakashima of Bronx, NY, Nicholas Wohlleb of Phoenix, AZ and Donald and Kenji Nakashima of Sacramento.
She was pre-deceased by husband, Donald Nakashima; sister, Jean Urashima; brother, Elbert Omachi; and her parents.
Joan's memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church of Lodi, 200 W. Oak Street on Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 2 PM with Pastor George Edd-Bennett officiating followed by a modest reception onsite. Social distancing measures will be practiced including the use of masks. The memorial service will be live-streamed online at Cremation will be private with arrangements by Lodi Funeral Home and followed by interment at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, HI.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Lodi Memorial Hospital Foundation (, the Hospice of San Joaquin (, the Stockton Symphony ( or the First United Methodist Church of Lodi (
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by Lodi-News Sentinel from Jun. 9 to Jun. 15, 2021.
Memorial service
First United Methodist Church of Lodi
200 W. Oak Street
Funeral services provided by:
Lodi Funeral Home
Sponsored by Lodi Funeral Home.
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12 Entries
I would like to convey my deepest sympathies to the Nakashima Family at this solemn time. I have very fond memories of you from our years at First Methodist Church growing up (Steve and I graduated together). May you forever cherish the beautiful memories and valuable lessons she shared with you, and may they sustain you thru your life.
Donna Ehrhardt Mann
June 21, 2021
I will always think of Joan as a woman of intelligence, grace, humor, dedication and kindness. We met when I had the pleasure of having Donna and James in my third-grade classes at Vinewood School. Our friendship grew as members of Omega Nu and beyond. Her ready smile and sweet nature were ever present. I was fortunate to have known her! My condolences to the family.
Nancy Scott
June 18, 2021
She was beautiful. I have very fond memories of your mother.
Our families spending time at your house during the Christmas holiday when we were young. Singing Christmas carols.
Growing up with Carol. ❤
Sybil Meyers Babcock
June 17, 2021
Just came back home from a short vacation and saw the article about your dear Mom. Sending my love to all of you and remembering what kindness they showed me. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Grace Norgard
June 14, 2021
Nancy Harrison
June 12, 2021
Much love to the Nakashima family on the loss of Joan. She was a lovely, beautiful woman with a wry sense of humor many of us at the hospital enjoyed. May she rest in sweet peace.
Carol Farron
June 11, 2021
Sending my deepest sympathies to you, in the loss of your mother. She was an incredible lady. I always enjoyed the times that we shared.
Priscilla Brownfield
Priscilla Brownfield
June 11, 2021
She was an incredible woman that has touched so many lives. I will keep you and your mother in my thoughts and prayers.
Laura Akahori
June 10, 2021
Dear Friends and Family of Joan Hiroko Nakishima,
Karen and I would like to express our sympathies and condolences with regard to the recent passing of Mrs. Nakishima. We have known and been friends with the Nakishima Family for many decades. We pray that you will be comforted with God’s peace and presence as you lovingly remember a remarkable and truly wonderful woman. Much love to all of you.

Karen and Steve Isaak
Petaluma, California
Steve Isaak
June 10, 2021
Mrs Nakashima
An incredible person I had the privilege of knowing since my high school days. I will always remember the lunches we shared and the wonder conversations. I will miss her
Deborah Bame Dominik
June 10, 2021
She overcame so much, what an amazing mother you had!
May god bless and keep you all.
Posey Moore Nash
June 10, 2021
Just want you to know Carol that I'm so very sorry for your loss. It's so hard . Anne Cox
Anne cox
June 9, 2021