The Garden Island
Notice #: 0001157096-01
Funeral Notices


Age 71, of Lakewood, Ohio passed away on November 13, 2018 in Honolulu, HI surrounded by her family. She was born in Wahiawa, HI, the first of two daughters to Hitoshi and Tsuyako Nonaka. A graduate of Leilehua High School and the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Kris was an English teacher for several years at Kahuku High School before moving to Japan in 1978 to work as a contract employee of OTC Inc., an organization that provided English language lessons, specifically business language training, to employees of large corporations. Kris married her husband, Hiroharu “Yuji” Sawada, a Japanese citizen, on October 19, 1980. Both worked at Kobe Steel for many years, Kris as an instructor at the English Language Center and Yuji as an Engineer. Together they lived and worked in Japan, first in Kobe and later in Tokyo before moving to West Bloomfield, Michigan in 1993 and later to Ohio in 1999, residing in the cities of Westlake, Avon and Lakewood. While living in the states, Kris was a homemaker, who in her spare time enjoyed reading, baking, playing tennis, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

Kris will be remembered for her tremendous generosity and thoughtfulness and how she often inspired others to be the same way. She was fiercely loyal to those closest to her and in spite of the distance and hectic pace of day-to-day life, she was very committed to staying connected with family and friends throughout the years.

She is survived by her husband Hiroharu “Yuji”; sister Jeanette “Jay” Ishikawa; and niece Jana (Gavan) Higa. A memorial service will be held at Mililani Mortuary Mauka Chapel on Saturday, December 29, 2018. Visitation at 5:30 p.m.; Services at 6:30 p.m.; Casual attire. Donations may be made in memory of Kris Sawada to Saint Francis Hospice.