November 14, 1919 – September 29, 2022

Kisaye (Nakasaki) Sato passed away peacefully on September 29, 2022, at the age of 102.

She was born on November 14, 1919, in Monterey, Calif., to parents Mankichi and Osute Nakasaki. She had three siblings, Bill, Kae, and Shigemi. When she was four years old, the family moved to Southern California, where she spent her childhood days in Terminal Island. After graduating from San Pedro High School in 1937 she continued her education in Wakayama-ken, Japan. She attended and graduated the girls’ school Wakayama Kenritsu Jogakko in 1941.

During WWII, Kisaye’s family was interned in Poston, Arizona. Upon her return to Los Angeles, she found employment at the Shin Nichibei newspaper, and in 1948, she married Tetsuo (“Ted”) Sato, a journalist. The couple welcomed their daughter, Patricia, in 1950. Kisaye had a long career at The Bank of Tokyo of California (which later became Union Bank) from 1953 to 1984. In their retirement, she and Tetsuo traveled the world before he passed away in 2002. She was an active member of many clubs, including the Nanka Wakayama Kenjin-kai, the Terminal Islanders (of which she was a charter member), the Nanka Togin-kai, and the Asia America Symphony Guild.

Kisaye’s loved ones remember her as hard-working and dedicated to her family and community. She was meticulous, doing everything “chanto,” exactly right. Her Monterey Park home was a gathering place, where she hosted many parties, including Oshogatsu feasts, where family came together to eat dishes she had spent days carefully preparing. She was the last survivor among her siblings and siblings-in-law, and she kept photos of all of them prominently in her house, keeping their memory alive for the younger generations.

She is survived by her daughter, Patti, and many loving nieces and nephews, and predeceased by her husband, Tetsuo, and siblings, Bill (Kazumi), Kae (Yoshi), and Shigemi (Shizuko).

A private service was held at Rose Hills Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Japanese American National Museum.

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