Tama Tokuda, the mother of the late Kip Tokuda, died Aug. 31 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Her death comes a month and a half after the sudden death of Kip, who suffered a heart attack on July 13. Her family said she died of a broken heart.
Tama was a wife, mother, and community member, who acted in community drama productions well into her 70s. She was a University of Washington student in 1942, when her family, along with 110,000 other Japanese Americans, was sent to concentration camps during World War II.
Tokuda spent much of her later years documenting her incarceration experience at Minidoka Camp in Idaho.
“My mom was a devoted mother, and wife who helped my dad un the drugstore who helped my dad run Tokuda Drugs and raised five kids — one of them disabled,” said daughter Wendy Tokuda. “…what was wonderful was watching her blossom into her own person in her 60s after my father died and all of us kids grew up. She was a gifted writer, and she began to write again. She became involved in the community, speaking out about the internment, becoming a docent at the Wing Luke and an usher at the Northwest Asian American Theatre.”
She is survived by her children Floyd Tokuda and Valerie Tokuda Chin of Seattle; Wendy Tokuda Hall of Oakland, Calif.; and Marilyn Tokuda of Los Angeles; as well as several grandchildren. A memorial will be held Saturday, Sept. 21 at 3:00 p.m. at the Japanese Presbyterian Church, 1801 24th Avenue South. (end)