On Feb. 4, 2021, Yoshio and Nobuko Kozono celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary. Yoshio, who turned 100 years old on March 10, 2021 married Nobuko Maeda on Feb. 4, 1946 in Kagoshima, Japan. They welcomed their first child, Hiroshi, in 1948.
Yoshio then came to America in 1955 under President Eisenhower’s Refugee Relief Act, along with many Japanese immigrant farm workers, and worked on the Nishida Camp Orchard near Fresno for three years.
In 1958, he moved to Los Angeles and was employed at American Fish Company, where he worked for the next 33 years. In February 1960, Nobuko and Hiroshi joined him in Los Angeles.
In 1962, they welcomed their second child, Samuel. That same year Nobuko began working for Rose Frozen Shrimp Company, where she worked for the next for 27 years. The Kozonos bought their home in the Crenshaw District in 1963 and lived there until they sold their home in 2012.
Yoshio never lost his love for gardening and had many plants and fruit trees at their home. Once retired, he was able to devote all his time tending to his tremendous garden. Once Nobuko retired, she enjoyed singing karaoke at the Seinan Senior Citizen Center and began senryu (a type of Japanese poetry) at the Japanese Community Pioneer Center.
Sadly, Hiroshi passed away in 2004. He is survived by his wife, Lillian, and sons, Dr. David Kozono, M.D., Ph.D., and Jeffrey Kozono, entrepreneur. Sam and his wife, Susie, have two children, Melissa Kozono, program director at the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center, and Dr. Mitchell Kozono, PharmD.
Yoshio and Nobuko have been residing at the former Keiro Retirement Home, now known as Sakura Gardens. Although they were not able to celebrate in person with family and friends due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they were able to enjoy a short visit with their youngest son and his family and are looking forward to celebrating both monumental milestones once it is safely to do so.