Esther Kazue Nishio passed away peacefully at her home on October 1, 2019. She was 94 years old. Esther gained notoriety for being the very first Japanese American to return to the West Coast to attend school, during WWII, in September 1944. She endured angry crowds, death threats and mobs to prove that Japanese Americans were loyal Americans. Because of her, the Japanese in the camps were released one year sooner than the government had originally planned. She appeared before Congress to fight for reparations in the 1980’s. She is survived by her husband, Shig Nishio, son John Nishio, and grandchildren Michael and Kristin.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 19 from 11 am at the First Presbyterian Church of Altadena, 2775 Lincoln Avenue, Altadena, Ca.