Chitose “Chibi” Yasumoto passed away peacefully on December 31, 2021, at the age of 94. Chibi was predeceased by her husband of 53 years, John; and brothers, Larry and Leo. She is survived by her son, Jason; and daughter, Liane; brother, Stan, nieces and nephews, and many other relatives.
Chibi was born to Kenichi and Tonayo Yamamoto in Honolulu, Hawaii, and moved to Los Angeles when she was six years old. She and her family were interned in Gila River, Ariz. during WWII. After the war ended, Chibi attended UCLA for two years and then transferred to UC Berkeley and earned her BA in general curriculum (sociology, psychology and education).
In the ’60s, Chibi was active in the San Francisco Japanese American Citizens League where she served as board secretary. It was there that she met and eventually married John, who was serving as board president. They had two children, Jason and Liane.
Chibi worked as a para-professional while her children were young so she could be home with them after school and share the same vacation schedules. As they grew older and became more independent, she took a job as a medical transcriber at S.F. General Hospital. Later, she worked as a secretary at the Buddhist Church of America.
Chibi and John relished traveling abroad, but their favorite destination was Chibi’s birthplace of Honolulu, where they found the most pleasure simply spending time with special Ohana. Hawaii was her home.
Chibi loved children, orchids, and See’s chocolates. Her varied hobbies over the years included ikebana (Japanese flower arranging), sewing and knitting, hula and tap dancing, sudoku and jigsaw puzzles. She enjoyed watching “Dancing with the Stars” (even calling to vote when Kristi Yamaguchi and Apolo Anton Ohno competed!), and rooting for her Warriors, especially Steph Curry because she thought he was “the best” and “cute!”
We are extremely grateful for her wisdom and compassion and miss her dearly. We miss her warm cheerful nature, her thoughtfulness, and her ability to see the brighter side of life. All of these attributes in addition to her patience, resilience, and love continue to guide us. She remains our true warrior forever.
“Aloha ʻoe, aloha ʻoe
(Farewell to thee, farewell to thee)
E ke onaona noho i ka lipo
(The sweet and gentle one living in the distance)
One fond embrace,
A hoʻi aʻe au
(‘Ere I depart) Until we meet again.”
If you would like to make a gift in Chibi’s memory, please consider the Buddhist Church of San Francisco, 1881 Pine St., San Francisco, CA 94109 or Coming Home Hospice, 115 Diamond St., San Francisco, CA 94114.