September 27, 1921 ~ April 30, 2017
Toshiko Mary Kawagoye
Mary is remembered with great affection as a warm loving mother to three daughters and devoted wife to Dave Kawagoye, a WW II 442nd veteran. Their Gardena home became the hub of holiday gatherings where four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren came to know her sweet nature.
Mary was born in 1921 in Pasadena, CA, a first generation Japanese American daughter in the Nakagawa family of six siblings. Mary's childhood and early education were spent in Pasadena and Little Tokyo. The World War II evacuation orders forced the family to move under guard to Rohwer, McGehee, Arkansas. Already a high school graduate, Mary worked in the block office, hospital pharmacy and mess hall. Eventually returning to the West Coast, she married Dave and began family life with roots in the South Bay. Her one sojourn in the working world was to be an NCR electronic assembler in the late 1960's. An obvious recognition of her deft eye-hand coordination.
In retirement, Dave and Mary hosted numerous family gatherings, attended 442nd veteran events and traveled abroad. At home, Mary cared for finches, crocheted afghan throws. However, her enduring passion became painting whose canvases family and relatives treasure today.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mary's name to Kei-Ai South Bay Healthcare Center at 15115 S. Vermont Ave, Gardena, CA 90247.
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