Es­ther Ruth Oda

The Mercury News - - Obituaries & In Memoriams -

Novem­ber 20, 1921 - Septem­ber 19, 2018 Res­i­dent of San Jose

Es­ther Oda passed away af­ter liv­ing 96 ad­ven­tur­ous years. Born in Seat­tle Wash­ing­ton, she was the only daugh­ter of four chil­dren of Toshi­haru and Ko Kambe. Atyp­i­cal for the time, she was raised to be in­de­pen­dent, out­spo­ken, per­sis­tent and with the ex­pec­ta­tion of grad­u­at­ing from col­lege. Raised in Seat­tle, she was at­tend­ing Univer­sity of Wash­ing­ton when her fam­ily was dis­placed by the forced in­tern­ment of peo­ple of Ja­panese ances­try dur­ing World War II. She was re­leased from camp in 1943 to marry her hus­band Bill, who was at Camp Shelby, MS with the 442nd Reg­i­men­tal Com­bat Team. Her mar­riage to Bill brought many ad­ven­tures as a wife of a ca­reer Army of­fi­cer. Es­ther once cal­cu­lated she and Bill moved 34 times over his Army ca­reer many of which in­cluded mov­ing the fam­ily which had grown to four boys. She was the glue that held the fam­ily to­gether dur­ing these tran­si­tions and al­ways kept an up­beat and pos­i­tive at­ti­tude in the face of many of the cul­tural and lo­cal ad­just­ments. Bill’s last sta­tion of duty was at the Pre­sidio in San Fran­cisco which brought the fam­ily to the Bay Area and even­tu­ally to San Jose when he re­tired from the Army and went to work for Lock­heed in 1968. Fi­nally able to put roots down, they en­joyed rais­ing their fam­ily in one spot. Es­ther was ac­tive in her son’s Scout­ing pro­grams, Lit­tle League, West Val­ley JACL and Villa Mon­talvo’s ser­vice group. She en­joyed golf­ing and Ike­bana and will al­ways be re­mem­bered for her culi­nary, craft­ing and sewing skills. She will be for­ever grate­ful to Wes­ley United Methodist Church for the faith and friend­ship they pro­vided to her and Bill. As a widow, she would al­ways re­mark how im­por­tant her Wes­ley friends were to her. Her ad­ven­tur­ous side con­tin­ued well in to her 80’s with Birth­day cel­e­bra­tions that in­cluded sky div­ing in a wind tun­nel and zip lin­ing in the red­woods.

Es­ther was pre­ceded in death by hus­band Bill and broth­ers George and Chuck. She is sur­vived by her brother Vic­tor, and her sons Ken, John, Tom (Yuri) and Mark and four grand­chil­dren; Keiju, Mieko, Chris­tian and Kai.

The cre­ma­tion took place in a pri­vate cer­e­mony and a cel­e­bra­tion of life will be held on Oc­to­ber 19th, 3 pm at Wes­ley United Methodist Church 566 N. 5th St, San Jose. Park­ing avail­able on the church lot on 6th St. In lieu of flow­ers, do­na­tions can be made to Wes­ley United Methodist Church, Yu-Ai-Kai, Na­tional Ja­panese Amer­i­can His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety or a char­ity of your choice.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.