Tayeko Iwanaga, (September 6, 1924–August 13, 2021) daughter of Issei parents Kiyonobu and Haruno Masuda, was born in Torrance, California, where she and her siblings grew up on a farm. At the onset of WWII, the family was uprooted from their home in California and sent to an internment camp in Jerome, Arkansas, where she completed her studies and earned her high school diploma. Tayeko and Aki Iwanaga married in 1943, shortly before his army unit’s deployment to Europe. After the war, she and Aki returned to Torrance where they lived out the rest of their lives.
Tayeko will always be remembered for her kindness, generosity and compassion. In her quiet gentleness there was great strength and courage. Her love of babies and dogs always sparked the brightest of smiles and the unforgettable sound of her laughter.
Tayeko was predeceased by Aki, brothers Hajimu and Hiroshi Masuda, sisters Emiko Komai and Masae Arima; survived by sister Kiyoko Higuchi, loving children Carl and Colleen (Edward) Kobayashi, dearly missed by grandson Brent Eguchi, and great-grandchildren Joshua, Kathryn and Cassidy. She is reunited with her beloved companion Astro.
Nephew Richard Iwanaga conducted a private graveside service at Green Hills Memorial Park on September 15, 2021. In lieu of koden, the family respectfully suggests a donation in honor of Tayeko’s memory to Alzheimer’s Los Angeles (alzheimersla.org) or Best Friends Animal Society (bestfriends.org).
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