April 7, 1939 — September 25, 2021

Lily Yuriko Higa, 82-year-old California-born Sansei, passed away on September 25, 2021 after a short battle with leukemia lymphoma. Services will be held on Thursday, October 21, 2021 at Our Lady of the Assumption in Claremont at 10:30 a.m., officiated by Father Charles Ramirez, long-time family friend.

She was the third of seven children born to Frank and Kaneko Higa in Long Beach on April 7, 1939. When the war broke out, the Higa family moved to Littleton, Colo. and then returned to settle in Azusa, Calif. in 1946. Lily graduated from Citrus Union High School in 1957 and went on to further her education at San Jose State University earning two Master’s Degrees in Teaching. She was a passionate and dedicated teacher serving most of her career at Vina Danks Middle School in Ontario, Calif., where she taught everything from physical education, driver’s training, typing, English and writing to being the Girls’ softball coach and Advisor for the yearbook and school newspaper. She also served as a founding member of the Ontario-Montclair Teachers Association (OMTA) and the OMTA School Employees Federal Credit Union as well as an officer of the National Education Society (NEA). She served over 37 years in public education before her retirement in 1998.

Lily loved life and enjoyed spending time with friends, playing golf, travelling and politics, as well as simple things like having coffee at Some Crust, eating strawberry ice cream and In-N-Out Burger.

Lily is survived by her sisters, Maebelle (Kenneth, deceased) Hirakami, and Nancy (Jerry) Ikehara; and brothers, Roy (Kathy) Higa and Dennis Higa; and predeceased by sister, Jean (Chas) Nakama and brother, Bob (Karen) Higa. She also leaves “her kids,” whom she called her many nieces and nephews; her beloved Auntie Sada Ige of San Dimas, Uncle Tak Nakama of Beaverton, Ore.; her best friend TerryLynn Whitfield of San Antonio Heights; and many cousins and friends.

She will be remembered and cherished in our hearts forever.

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