SAN FRANCISCO — Edith Kazue Tanaka passed away peacefully at her home in San Francisco on Dec. 7 at the age of 92.
Born in Sacramento on July 31, 1925, she graduated from high school while incarcerated at the Tule Lake camp. In 1947, she earned her B.S. from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1947. While in New York training as a dietitian, she met her future husband, Frank Yonekazu Tanaka. They were married in Sacramento on Oct. 15, 1950.
Before raising her four children in San Francisco, she worked as a dietitian at Stanford Hospital. She enjoyed traveling around the world with her husband through his business, Tanaka Travel Service.
For many years, Tanaka proudly served San Francisco’s Japanese American community as a leader and volunteer. She was a member of Christ United Presbyterian Church since the 1960s and served as a deacon, church elder, choir member and volunteer. She was the first woman and longest-serving president of the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California and played a pivotal role in its early years, including during the construction of the center in 1987.
Up until a month before her passing, she continued to lead an active life, attending church, taking exercise classes at the YMCA, and going on field trips with the Kimochi senior group. She loved seeing her grandchildren, going out to eat, and watching her beloved Warriors and Giants on TV.
She is survived by her children Susan Tanaka (Kurtis Chin), Carol Tanaka (Clifford Chow) and Joan Tanaka (Mitchell Lam), six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She was predeceased by her husband and by her son, Robert.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Jan. 20, at 1:30 p.m. at Christ United Presbyterian Church, 1700 Sutter St. in San Francisco Japantown.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation may be made in her name to the JCCCNC, 1840 Sutter St., San Francisco, CA 94115; CUPC; or the charity of your choice.