Yukiko Okimoto Sumoge passed away on Aug. 28, 2011, at Providence Brookside Manor. She was born on July 15, 1920, in Hood River, Ore., to Masaye and Tomeji Katayama. She lived in Oak Grove until the farm in Parkdale was purchased in 1928.
Yuki began school in Oak Grove and continued her grade school and high school education in Parkdale, then attended Pacific University in Forest Grove for two years until the war interrupted her life. From May 1942 until April of 1945, she and her parents were relocated to an internment camp outside Fresno, Calif., and eventually to Tule Lake and Minidoka.
She became a pen pal to Yukimori Harold Okimoto during the war and they married on Feb. 22, 1944, at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg, Miss., while he was part of the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, 442 Regimental Combat Team. When he returned home after the war they made their home in Parkdale where they raised their daughters, Cheryl, Donna and Debbie. Sadly, Harold passed away on Nov. 30, 1958, at the age of 41.
On Aug. 3, 1963, Yuki married Robert Sumoge and the family grew to five children with the addition of Bob's son, Jerry, and daughter, Jan.
They lived in Parkdale and farmed until the late 1990s when after deciding to retire, they sold the family orchard and moved to Hood River.
Yuki was an accomplished seamstress, cook and a never-ending source of information. She had a remarkable memory and a flair for crocheting and needlework that she proudly passed on to her daughters.
In 2007, 66 years after she would have entered her junior year at Pacific University, Yuki received her honorary bachelor's degree and was invited to participate in the graduation ceremony. This was really a proud day for her and her family. She was the first of the internees from Oregon to receive their delayed degrees thanks to Sylvia Bryan, who was the wife of Yuki's high school principal and also and alumnus of Pacific.
The heart of her family, she will be dearly missed.
Yuki is survived by her husband, Bob; daughters Cheryl Russell, of Portland, Donna Okimoto and her husband, Steve Weiner, of Portland, Debbie Whitecotton and her husband, Terry Whitecotton, of Clackamas, and Jan Sumoge, of Portland; son Jerry Sumoge and his wife, JoAnn, of Beaverton; and grandchildren Julie Whitecotton, of San Francisco, Stacy Sumoge, of Beaverton, and Brad Sumoge of Beaverton.
A service has been held and the family asks that remembrances be made to Providence Hospice of the Gorge or the American Cancer Society in care of Anderson's Tribute Center.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson's Tribute Center (Funerals, Receptions, Cremations), 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River, OR 97031; 541-386-1000. Please visit www.andersonstributecenter.com to leave a note of condolence for family.
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