Dorothy Kaneko service (cont.)
So maybe the coin analogy is not so far wrong. A coin is an emblem of economic activity. lt is an emblem of work. So visualize this person as a shiny silver dollar or maybe a $5 gold piece.
I was thinking of Proverbs 31, which extolls the virtues of a good wife:
A good wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels ...
She seeks wool and flax, and works
with willing hands ... She arises while it is still night
and provides food for her household.
That was Dorothy. She was a hard worker. As the eldest of nine children she w as a role model and she set a high standard.
The family in Hood River owned an orchard. When new trees were planted, before they matured, strawberries & asparagus were sown underneath and she helped pick those. ln apple season, the kids took a whole month off school, to pack apples. Even so, Dorothy managed to graduate from High School as valedictorian. She was bright.
She worked the family grocery store across from Frank's Jewelry, selling produce from grandpa's truck farm in Indiana. When Hiroshi constructed a mochi machine in the garage, she worked wrapping rice balls. She went to hairdressing school then worked as a hairdresser in a salon, then out of her home. She worked for a time at Krock's and Brentano's bookstore and she worked at Hitachi in the office. She worked at the JASC supervising its packaging
consignment activities which were staffed by 80-year-olds. She led exercise classes. Dorothy was generous. She had a heart of gold. The Kaneko household became the focal point of two families, and she played host to many relatives. She always had room at the table for guests, whichw as appreciated by several hungry students visiting from Japan. lf we refer again to Proverbs 31, we again see reflected in Dorothy's life the benefits of industriousness:
She is nof afraid for her household when it snows,
for all her household are clothed with crimson.
She makes herself coverings;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
One of my memories of Dorothy is from a photograph. She is standing on the front steps of a building with a number of people, and she is wearing a large, floppy hat. I am told that she liked to make hats. She could be glamorous.
During the time that I knew her, Dorothy seemed to me the sweetest person you could ever possibly meet. And I think she must have been that way all of her life. She had an intrinsically pleasant disposition -- a trait that I think must have come from her parents and family. She was made out of good stuff.
She couldn't believe that anyone else could have anything other than a sterling character. Once when she was working at Ken Yamamoto's gift shop on Michigan Avenue, she got held up. "Stick' em up!", said the thief, pointing something at her hidden under a newspaper.
"You've got to be kidding!" sh e exclaimed. Afterall she had been through in the camps, she still couldn't believe anyone could be so uncharitable." No kidding!" he said, lifting his paper to reveal a gun.
She could also be tough. Again, like the woman in Proverbs, we find her qualities reflected in the passage that says,
She girds herself with strength,
and makes her arms strong.
When a pickpocket tried to relieve her of her purse on the train, she yelled and wrestled it away from him. She was in her 70s at the time. She had some mettle in her.
Now at last, we will not have this wonderful numismatic example to admire every Sunday morning. Like one of those rubbings you make by scribbling a pencil overa coin, we are left with only the outline of her life. But these marks remain indelibly in the community in which she lived for 86 years, and in her family.
As it says in Proverbs,
Her children rise up and call her happy;
her husband too.
We too are happy to have known Dorothy and God also must be proud to receive one of the brightest and best, one of the precious ones, whose gold has been refined through testing, and who now hears the words: 'You have done well. Enter into the joy of Heaven."
Saying goodbye to a dear friend,
Dorothy was one of the original members of the Out of the House activity group at JASC. It is a program that began in February 2006 and has been meeting twice a week since then. Dorothy enjoyed coming to these activities and because of her long history of community involvement, she was the one person who knew everyone when we first got together. She was also the one who had connections to new members and welcomed all. She frequently told us that she looked forward to attending; that it gave a structure to her week.
We will miss Dorothys warmth and friendship. She gave so freely of herself and we will follow in her footsteps to keep that spirit alive among the Out of House group.
Tonko Doi and Frances Chikahisa
Maomi Asai, Ritsuko Inouye Yemiko Kurokawa, Frances Kawabata, Tomoye Muraoka, Toyoko Okawa, Miyeko Toguri, Mary Tono, and Dorothy Watanuki
Dear Hiroshi and family,
I extend to you my sincerest sympathy in the sad loss of Dorothy. One-half of a very "dynamic duo" is missing and that is difficult to bear.
My memories are of great warmth, generosity and kindness both personally and for the Argyle-Magnolia-Glenwood block club. Such loyalty and perseverance are not easily matched these days, when new residents are less committed to a neighborhood and are certainly more transient.
So many fine times we shared at the Kaneko household on Argyle, not to mention the times we all had to band together for dealing with the problems of city life on our local streets.
I am so very grateful to Dorothy for so very many things such a beautiful gracious person! Just irreplaceable!
May the Lord hold her as most dear, and may He surround you with friends, family and memories that will see you through this sorrow.
My love & prayers,
From Sophie Haroutunian (Donnas high school friend)
I am very sorry that Im not in Chicago and able to attend the memorial service. Your mother was such a lovely person, and I remember her fondly from childhood onwards.
While it may have been a blessing in disguise, her death is still unexpected and painful. I was glad to think she had that beautiful time with you in Maine this fall. She certainly seemed to enjoy those visits.
I wonder if she did much sewing in her last years. I remember the graduation dress that she made you, especially the beautiful top with the little cap sleeves. And she made other clothes for you as well.
She always remembered that I liked chocolate covered orange peel!
A most thoughtful and kind person, and like my own mother in many ways.
Thinking of you all.
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Dorothy Kaneko funeral service