November 6, 1932 – April 4, 2019
Etchan was 86 years old. She passed away quietly in her sleep on April 4, 2019 in Mililani, O’ahu with her husband, Mitsuo, by her side. She was born on November 6, 1932 in Hakodate, Hokkaido, Japan. Etchan was the second child of eight children born to Zenkichi and Iso Takaya.
For more than 20 years, she was a military housewife and traveled from military base to military base whenever her husband received a new assignment.
Two of her proudest accomplishments were earning her Hawai’i driver’s license and becoming a naturalized United States citizen while her husband served in Korea and South Vietnam.
After her husband’s retirement from military service, she and Mitsuo decided to reopen Ishihara Store in 1972 in Waipahu, changing the name of business to Ishiharaya. Etchan was excited and delighted to run the business as the sales and packaging manager. They baked Japanese tea cookies (senbei), azuki “black sugar” donuts, shave ice, and New Year’s mochi out of their Farrington Highway location. She and Mitsuo worked very long hours, but she approached her tasks with enthusiasm for more than 30 years. One of the benefits of her job she looked forward to was eating shave ice with azuki beans at the end of each work day. Ishiharaya moved in 1978 from Farrington Highway to Waipahu Depot Road next to Arakawa’s warehouse.
In 2009, she was diagnosed with oral cancer and battled the disease with multiple surgeries and recently with chemotherapy. Her strength and positive attitude to face these medical challenges exceeded what many individuals might choose to endure. Her diet was limited to soft rice and pureed meals which Mitsuo lovingly prepared daily.
We were fortunate to have Etchan in our lives as wife and partner, mother, grandmother, aunty, and friend.
She is survived by her husband Mitsuo, sons Dean (Vassilia) of Maui, Daniel (Lisa) of Minnesota, and three grandsons – Matthew of Washington State, and Noah and Isaiah of Minnesota. She is also survived by her sisters in Japan: Taeko (Tetsuo) Miyamura, Kyoko (Kaoru) Inamura, Yuuko (Takashi) Ishigami, Kuniko (Naoyuki) Hinuma, and Atsuko Takaya, all from Hokkaido.
A service will be held on Saturday, June 15, 2019 at Mililani Memorial Park, Mauka Chapel. Visitation at 5:30 p.m. followed by a Celebration of Life at 6:30 p.m. Casual wear attire.