Shizuko Hironaka, 97, passed away peacefully at a local care facility in Ontario, OR, on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. A loving mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, sister-in-law and aunt, she will forever be remembered for the life she lived quietly that was full of kindness and compassion, dignity and strength, grace and gratitude.
Shiz was born on September 29, 1922 in Roche Harbor, WA to Heisaku and Ichi Yasuda. She was the fifth of twelve children. Her family moved to Wapato, WA when Shiz was a young child. She graduated from Wapato High School, where she was a force on the basketball court. After graduating from high school, Shiz moved to Seattle, WA to work as a domestic housekeeper for the Duperer family, where she was fast friends with Freckles, their dog.
The Yasuda family was relocated to the internment camp of Heart Mountain, WY from 1942-1945. There Shiz was the caregiver to her younger brothers and sisters and helped her parents with the duties of daily living. On January 16, 1944, she married George Hironaka in Billings, MT. They shared 67 happy years together, raising a family and farming on the Oregon Slope.
The consummate caregiver, Shiz always put others before herself. She continued to lovingly care and support her family for most of her adult life. Known for her culinary skills and gardening talents, Shiz took pride in maintaining an immaculate and beautifully appointed home and landscaped yard. Her family remembers that she rarely sat down to enjoy the sumptuous meals she prepared, but remained most of the time in the kitchen, cooking and cleaning.
She is survived by her children Lynda Takao (Richard) of San Antonio, TX, Candice Pitts (Bernard) of Meridian, ID, Alan Hironaka (Sun) of Hillsboro, OR, Janice Tsukamaki (Bruce) of Highlands Ranch, CO; grandchildren Ryan Takao (Cari) of San Antonio, TX, Michael Takao of Austin, TX, Myles Pitts (Elizabeth) of Fort Worth, TX, Jamie Tsukamaki of Sunnyside, NY, Brady Tsukamaki of Gig Harbor, WA, Chung and Autumn Han, Clackamas, OR; and great grandchildren, Nate Takao of San Antonio, TX and Ariya Kim of Clackamas, OR. She is also survived by brothers, George Yasuda (Margie) of Ontario, OR, and Junior Yasuda (Sharon) of Payette, ID. Shiz also leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews who loved her very much. She was preceded in death by her husband, George Hironaka; parents Heisaku and Ichi Yasuda; brothers Kendo, Kay, Heizi, Paul and Nobi Yasuda and sisters Haru Matsumura, Matsuko Inaba, Maye Umemoto and Sue Mar.
Visitation will be Friday, December 6, 2019 from 4:00-6:00 PM at the Ontario Community Church, 240 SE 3rd Street, Ontario, OR 97914. A memorial service and celebration of Shiz’s life will be held at 10:30 AM Saturday, December 7, 2019 at the Ontario Community Church, 240 SE 3rd Street, Ontario, OR 97914. Private family burial will be at 2:30 pm at Riverside Cemetery in Payette. ID.
The family would like to extend their most sincere thanks to the extraordinary team from Heart ‘n Home Hospice led by Dr. Paul Gering. We especially want to give special and heartfelt gratitude to Abbie, Sonja and Sharla. The wonderful caregivers at Brookdale Senior Living led by Karina, Craig and Paje were also incredible during these past 15 months of Shiz’s journey in life. All of these caregivers were her angels on earth and Shiz always showed them grace and gratitude.
Arrangements are under the direction of Bowman Funeral Parlor of Garden City.
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