January 5, 1972 – March 6, 2023

Kennis Akemi Furuya Bishop passed away unexpectedly on March 6, 2023, in La Mesa, Calif., at the age of 51. She was born on January 5, 1972, in Los Angeles to Kenji and Harriet Furuya, and spent most of her public school years in La Crescenta, Calif. She practiced nihonbuyo (Japanese classical dance) under the tutelage of Madame Fujima Kansuma from the age of five, much to the delight of her grandfather and parents, and attained her natori (formal stage name Fujima Kansumei) at age 16.

After graduating from Crescenta Valley High School, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and then embarked on a year-and-a-half long mission to Osaka, Japan, where she taught English through Bible study to Japanese women and to four area churches.

Upon her return to the U.S., she enrolled at Boston University, where she met her future husband Greg, but only as an acquaintance! After earning a Master’s degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences, she was licensed as a speech pathologist and returned to Los Angeles, where she practiced in school settings and then in a clinical setting at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach.

While attending a Christian conference in Illinois with other members of her church, Kennis was reacquainted with Greg, and a year-long, long-distance relationship began, culminating in their marriage on January 4, 2003, in Irvine.

After moving to Boston, she continued her career as a speech pathologist for Faulkner Brigham and Women’s Hospital. While in Boston, she served as a pastor’s wife at Congregation Lion of Judah, the city’s largest Hispanic church, where Greg was the senior associate pastor.

In 2018, Kennis, husband Greg and children, Noah and Charis, relocated to Chula Vista, Calif., where Greg began serving as the bilingual pastor at Grace Covenant Church in Spring Valley. She continued her professional life as an itinerant speech pathologist for Sharp Hospitals while working alongside Greg in the ministry work at their church. She was also an active leader in Bible Study Fellowship, Intl., while establishing her private speech practice and being a wife and mother.

Kennis is survived by her husband, Gregory Joseph Bishop; son, Noah Jonathan Furuya Bishop (16); daughter, Charis Megumi Bishop (13); parents, Kenji K. and Harriet H. Furuya; brother, Ryan Kenji Furuya; and many uncles, aunts and cousins.

Celebration of Life service will be held on Monday, March 27, at Grace Community Church, 13248 Roscoe Blvd., Sun Valley, CA 91352, at 3:00 p.m. Spring-colored attire is welcomed. A private family burial will follow at a later date.

For those unable to attend, the service will be livestreamed at: www.gracechurch.org/eventlive

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