Lily Yoshiko Miyata, 98, a longtime resident of Monterey Park, passed away peacefully on July 31, 2021, at Atherton Baptist Homes in Alhambra, California.
Lily was born in Seattle, Washington, to Mitsuharu and Fusaye Nakamura, and was educated in both the U.S. and Tokyo, Japan. She chose banking/accounting as a career and being bilingual, often served as an interpreter between U.S. and Japanese companies. In 1952, she became the first local woman to join the Bank of Tokyo of California, an early predecessor of Union Bank, helping with preparations to open the Los Angeles office. Lily married her husband, John, an engineer in 1955, and together they raised three children, Donna, Allan and Sharon.
Her hobbies included cooking, crafting, entertaining, flower arrangement and watching sports on TV, especially her beloved Los Angeles Dodgers. Her 47-year involvement with the Asia America Symphony Guild and the Asia America Symphony Association reflected her love of music, especially classical and jazz. Lily co-founded the Ladies Auxiliary of the Japanese Philharmonic Orchestra, predecessor of the Asia America Symphony Guild. She served four terms as president and was especially proud and honored to serve as co-director of Youth Programs and Scholarship for many years. In 1999 and again in 2011, the Asia America Symphony Association recognized her for her dedication to the Guild and her passion for the youth program by awarding her the Bravo Award.
Lily also was passionate about supporting and taking part in many other community organizations, including Keiro Senior HealthCare’s Living Treasure Endowment Fund Campaign, Japanese American National Museum, and Chuo Gakuen Japanese Language School PTA, where she was honored as “Mother of the Year.” She was a board member of the Japanese & American Women’s Club, Nichi Bei Fujinkai, and from 2001-2003 served as its president. Lily was an active member of Mission Valley Free Methodist Church, singing in the choir and leading its Saturday Night Worship Service for many years.
Lily is survived by her three adult children, Donna (Mike) O’Kane, Allan (Melissa) Miyata, and Sharon (Teresa Clark) Miyata; many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband John; sisters Helen Komatsuka and Mary Bell; and brother Kenji Nakamura.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, August 21, 1 p.m. at Rose Hills Memorial Park, Memorial Chapel (Gate 1), 3888 Workman Mill Road, Whittier.