Kimiko Toji passed away on November 3, 2018 at the age of 93 at the Chaparral House in Berkeley. Kimiko was born in Walnut Grove, California December 23, 1924. She spent the majority of her life in Berkeley. She is survived by her sons, Gary Martin, Wayne Russell and daughter, Joanne Gondo; son in-law, Suzuo Gondo of Katy, Texas; two grandsons, David Morio Gondo of Phoenix, Arizona and Kevin Toshio Gondo of San Francisco, California and her sister, Nancy Okazaki.
Kimiko lived in Walnut Grove, California with her parents, Toshio Doi and Masako Hyoto and her sisters, Sachiko, Hideko, Midori, and Tamiko. As a child, she attended school in Courtland, California. During summer vacations, she worked as a farmhand for her father sorting pears, packing peaches, and picking grapes. She enjoyed climbing the cherry tree and eating the ripe cherries, and in the fall, eating persimmons. She would go fishing in the local canals. From 1941 – 1942, shw was employed as a domestic worker in Walnut Grove. She learned to type, take shorthand, sew, and cook.
The family was incarcerated at Turlock Assembly Center on May 28, 1942 and then relocated to Gila WRA Camp on July 28, 1942. She was a teenager working as a waitress serving food and helping in the mess hall.
She enjoyed playing baseball, basketball, and ping-pong. She completed her senior year of high school at Gila and left camp in July 1944 for employment in Chicago, Illinois and later to New York, New York.
Kimiko eventually returned to California where she met and married Gary Toji in 1950 and raised their three children in Berkeley. The rest of her life will be spent in Berkeley working as a domestic worker and DMV clerk. Her hobbies were ballroom dancing, knitting, quilting, cooking, Japanese doll making, growing orchids, traveling and seeing the world. She loved to shop for gifts to give to family and friends. She loved to have lunch and spend time with her friends.
Kimiko is a survivor of breast cancer and other major surgeries in her later years.
Memorial Service is scheduled for Saturday, December 8, 2018 at 1:00 pm at Sunset View Mortuary Chapel, Colusa and Fairmount Aves., El Cerrito. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to “J-Sei”, 1285 66th Street, Emeryville, CA 94608. They were instrumental in guiding our family over the years.