June 8, 1948 – November 20, 2021
After a courageous 24-year battle with cancer, our beloved “Rainbow Wahine Warrior” has succumbed to her illness. Throughout the years, Anne has been an inspiration and mentor to many who sought her advice. Anne Christine (Shimizu) Furuya was born on June 8, 1948, in Los Angeles, Calif. to George & Mary Shimizu. Anne is survived by her caring, loving and devoted husband, Alan Furuya, father George, brother Richard (Chris), and sister Carol (Tommy Hirabayashi).
Anne is most proud of the relationships she made with people: being a friend, a teacher, and part of a dynamic team at Berryessa Union School District for 28 years. Anne often joked she made the switch to kindergarten because she wanted to be taller than her students! As a teacher she created an environment of positivity in her classroom. She instilled confidence in her students and felt it was important for them to learn compassion for others. She empowered them to make choices and to take responsibility for their actions. She highly valued the positive relationships she had with staff, administrators, and parents … as well as many students who are now grown.
Anne lived her life as a life-long learner and loved to travel. She enjoyed traveling with family and friends, some of her favorite places were Africa (hiking to the gorillas), Japan, New Zealand, Europe and Hawaii. Anne had the natural ability to make new friends anywhere, anytime and any place. Anne loved talking to strangers and immediately made them feel special. Anne was an avid reader, often reading 4-5 books at one time … reading out loud to Alan on their long road trips (with emotion). Anne loved playing volleyball, tennis, skiing, golf and pickleball and watching the Warriors … screaming at the bad calls!
Anne has had a long journey with cancer. In 2014, she wrote: I’ve never said to myself, “why me?” as I feel that we are given this life and it is my faith that has carried me through these times. My family and friends are a huge part of this journey and I have so much support and love from many people. My heart is full and I am grateful for everyone and every day of my life. My husband, Alan, is my rock and is there for me all the time with a smile on his face! He said he knows when I feel better as I can get bossy! He is an amazing selfless person and I’m lucky to have been married for forty-seven years. There are many people who have more challenges and they inspire me to be grateful and blessed, as I know many are far worse off than myself.
I look for inspiration in life with loving relationships, laughing (it is the best medicine), nature, reading, crafts, sports and feeling peaceful. I have given myself the name “Rainbow Wahine Warrior,” name of the University of Hawaii volleyball team. I am a fighter and take one day at a time. Cancer does change one’s perspective of the world and I know life is full of choices. I look at my cancer as bumps in my road of life. I know things happen for a reason and I am stronger and embrace life with joy, love and compassion.
Anne will be greatly missed, but never forgotten by everyone whose heart she’s touched. God brought home his very special Angel!
In lieu of koden and flowers, the family requests a donation to:
to her oncologist, Dr. Hanlee Ji, for research for Anne’s type of cancer.