A small-framed but fearless woman, Helen Shikami Hori, passed away peacefully at her Sun Lakes home in Banning, California at the age of 101 years old on January 9, 2023.   She remained quick witted and humorous until the very end and could even answer most of the questions on her favorite show, Jeopardy. Very thoughtful, Helen made friends easily.  She always made people feel comfortable and good about themselves.

Helen was born on November 17, 1921, in Los Angeles.  She was the second of seven children (four girls and three boys). Helen was the most daring of the girls, and she loved to climb trees, perform kendo, and throw baseballs.  She still enjoyed dressing up and in later years was rarely seen without her signature red lipstick.

She gave birth to her only child, Randall Hori, in the internment camp Manzanar where she and her husband, Michael Hori, were placed during World War II along with other Japanese Americans.  Always an admirer of nature, she said the surrounding mountains comforted her during that challenging time.  Upon release, the family moved to Chicago where Helen worked as a secretary and a dental hygienist.  She was fearless and willing to take on any challenge; became an “expert” on Japanese music and the tea ceremony after one night of study to cover them on the popular Stud’s Terkel radio show.

After retirement, Helen and Mike moved back to California and were founding members of the Sun Lakes Retirement Community where she enjoyed golf and loved to paint.  She won many first place ribbons for her artwork, and was especially talented drawing animals and nature scenes.

Helen is survived by her son, Randall, grandchildren Shannon Cogan (Kendall), Justin Hori (Amy), David Hori, four great grandchildren and Griffin, the dog she shared with her son.  Helen was preceded in death by her husband Michael Hori and six siblings.  A memorial service will take place at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Santa Monica at 2 p.m. March 24, 2023.

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