February 25, 1940 — June 3, 2021
Haruyo Nishimura was born on February 25, 1940 in Gardena, California to Yoshinobu and Mitsuyo (Koyama) Takiguchi. She has an older sister Nobuko Taoyama and a younger brother Hisashi Takiguchi (Diana). She had a younger sister Reiko Koyama who preceded her in death. She along with 120,000 Japanese Americans were evacuated and interned in early 1942 by Executive Order 9066 issued by President Franklin Roosevelt. She was detained along with her family at Santa Anita Race Track and spent a few months living in a horse stall. They were then shipped to an internment camp in Rohwer, Arkansas, then to a high security camp in Tule Lake California. At the conclusion of World War II, She and her family were deported to Japan. She lived in Tsuru-shi, Yamanashi Prefecture at the base of Mt. Fuji for the next ten years. She was the top student in every grade through the ninth grade and was the class valedictorian.
She repatriated back to Pasadena, California In 1955 and graduated from Pasadena High School in 1959. She attended Pasadena City College and graduated in 1961 with an Associate of Arts Degree. She then attended UCLA and to University of California in San Francisco (Medical School of the UC system) and graduated with the Bachelor of Physical Medicine and was certified as a registered physical therapist in the state of California in 1964.
She married the love of her life, Dr. Ko Nishimura in 1964 and together worked and saved to purchase a home in Willow Glen Area of San Jose in 1965. She was initially employed at O’Connor Hospital in San Jose as a registered physical therapist. They raised three boys, all of whom attended Bellarmine College Preparatory, Robert Shigeru (Samantha), Dr. Gregory Satoshi, and Dr. Mark Masashi (Tiffany). She was very proud and doted on her grandchildren; Nicole, Christopher, Naomi, Alexander, Alexis, and Kai.
She was very involved initially with the Gedatsu Church of America and later settled in serving in the Shinnyo-En sect. Both are sects of the Buddhist faith. She served in ranking positions in both churches and traveled to Japan often to serve her churches. She was fluent in both Japanese and English.
As the boys grew up she found time to attend San Jose City College and was recruited for the women’s tennis team. She was over 40 years old when she was awarded a letter in Tennis. She had a top spin on her serve that was very hard to return. She also won the IBM Thomas Watson trophy in tennis multiple times.
She was diagnosed with a mild case of Alzheimer’s Disease in 1998 and it progressed to a point in 2017 she went to live in a full care home. She passed away peacefully at Valley Medical Center with her husband Ko at her bedside on Thursday, June 3, 2021. She was 81 years old.
A viewing is set at Willow Glen Funeral Home in San Jose on Thursday, June 17, 2021. A private Memorial Service will be conducted at a later date with the family because of Covid-19. She will be interred in El Carmelo Cemetery in Pacific Grove, California, where she loved to spend time in her retirement years. The Nishimura family is grateful and would like to thank the staff of Atria Willow Glen and Mina’s Care Home for providing loving care for Haruyo in her final years.