Tokiko “Tish” Kawanami, age 97, passed away on January 12, 2023.
Tish was born in Gardena, Calif. to Toshiji and Ei Ishihara. Her family relocated to Salt Lake City during WWII. Beginning her studies at the University of Utah, she completed her education at Chapman University and later at CSUDH. Married to Kiyoshi, they raised 3 children and when their children grew older, she began her career as an educator and administrator. Tish and Ky traveled around the world after retirement, tended to a lovely garden and entertained family and friends.
Tish was predeceased by her husband, Ky; siblings, Sam Ishihara, Sakae Ishihara, Rev. Yoneo (Roy) Ishihara, Norio (Hank) Ishihara and Mitzi Tsujimoto. Beloved mother of Cynthia Kawanami (Wilfred) Copeland, Rebecca (Dr. Robert Nicol) Kawanami of Washington, and Roger Kawanami; grandmother of David Copeland, Bryan Copeland of Colorado, and Maya Sachiko Nicol of Washington. Survived by brother-in-law, Sam Naito of Oregon; sisters-in-law, Hiroko Yamamoto, Sadako Okada, Dorothy Ishihara, Shirley Kawanami; and many nieces and nephews. The family wishes to thank Sophie Kutaka, Teresa Muñoz, Liza and Angel of Cherry Blossoms and Red Heart Hospice Care.
Private funeral services were held on February 10, 2023, officiated by Senior Pastor Daniel Matsuda of Gardena Valley Baptist Church.