Mitzie Mitsuko Tanizawa
Funeral services at OCBC will be delayed for the late Mitzie Mitsuko Tanizawa, who passed away peacefully at age 90, with her family beside her, on May 15, 2021, after suffering a stroke. She will be remembered as a strong, sweet, and generous person who always had a smile on her face.
Born the 2nd child in El Centro, CA, to Kinuko and Yoshito Taniguchi, she had 3 brothers and 2 sisters. In her younger years, she helped her parents where her father was a ranch foreman. At the age of 11, she and her family were forced to relocate to internment Camp #1 in Poston, Arizona, due to the war, until they were released in 1945. They moved to Encinitas, where after school she worked on her father’s sharecropping farm. She graduated from San Dieguito High School, attended beauty school and became a hairdresser. In 1950, she met the love of her life, Kazuo, eloped a year later in Vegas, and started their family in Los Angeles. They suffered a devastating loss in 1956 when their 2nd daughter, Nancy Kimiko, died in her arms from a heart condition (age 26 days). She supported her husband so he could attend college, moved to Gardena in 1965 then in 1972 to Cypress. While still raising the kids, she attended UCLA to earn her credentials to become a cosmetology instructor.
She taught at various colleges, but ended up retiring from Golden West College. She traveled extensively with Kaz, visiting Japan, Europe, and Hawaii, but her most memorable trip was a month-long trip traveling across the U.S. in a camper. She babysat the grandchildren, tended to her garden, and was an avid reader. In her later years, she was very active at Orange County Buddhist Church where she attended services, volunteered at church activities, and loved going to craft class which helped her with the many crafts she regularly worked on.
Mitzie will be forever missed and loved by her children Richard (Carol) Tanizawa, Barbara (Rick) Konishi, and Laurie Fujitani, grandchildren Shari (Brian) Hunter, Randy Tanizawa, Yukimi “Kimi”/Alex Konishi, Caitlin/Kyle/Jared Fujitani, and great granddaughter Caliyah Hunter. We cherish and honor her amazing caregivers during the last 3 months of her life, her grandson Kyle Fujitani and niece Donna Johnson. She is also survived by sisters Chieko Whittemore and Sachi (Jun) Oyama, sister-in-law Joanne (Ron) Nakamura, and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband Kazuo, and brothers Masato/Kenso/George Taniguchi.
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