Mary Fumi Kato
July 18, 1927 – July 11, 2020
Mary F. Kato passed away on July 11 at the age of 92. She was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, Ray M. Kato. She was born in Seattle but grew up in Auburn, Wash. She had one sister and seven brothers. When the U.S. entered World War II, her family was sent to Pinedale Assembly Center (Fresno) and then on to Tule Lake Relocation Center (California). Mary enjoyed playing girls softball and was a part of the softball championship team in 1945. She also enjoyed watching her brothers play baseball. Mostly, she cherished the lifelong friendships she made in camp and kept in touch with them.
After camp, the family moved to Sanger, Calif. and then to Ventura. Her mother passed away in camp and she then had to take on the household responsibilities of cooking and cleaning. While in Ventura, she was chosen Queen of the Ventura JACL.
At a 4th of July beach party in Oxnard, Mary met Ray and they were married in 1949 in Las Vegas. Their first home was in Los Angeles and in 1960, they moved to Monterey Park to raise their family.
Mary worked hard at the family business (Marutama Fishcake Co.) and was very active with the Evergreen Baptist Church Boy Scouts, Evergreen Knights baseball and basketball teams, CYC, and the VFW Los Angeles 9938 post. She loved all the reunions and trips she took with the VFW group. She always loved her sports and even played on a volleyball team when the kids were growing up. She looked forward to each weekend whether it be a family function or a social event with friends. Mary was also active in the Montebello Japanese Women’s Club and Langley Senior Citizen Center.
Her real loves were ballroom dancing, the Dodgers, and the Lakers. She was so happy to have attended Kobe Bryant’s last game. The L.A. Times sports section was the first section she read every morning. In her later years she enjoyed knitting, raising orchids and watching Korean dramas. She enjoyed giving her scarves and orchids to everyone and sharing her K-dramas with her friends. Mary was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. Mary spent her last year at the Silverado home in Alhambra.
She leaves behind Gail (Les) Huey, Sarah Santa Ana, Jay, Wade (Liz), and Paige (Kim). Her grandchildren- Marie (Ted), Jamie (Myra), Dana Ann (Geoff), Kevin, Kyle, Cory, Karli and Ryanne. Her great grandchildren- Jeremy, Teddy Jr, Evan, Koda and her favorite canine companion- Kurly. Her brother, Isamu Morimoto (May), sister-in-law Barbara Morimoto, brother-in-law Fred Yoshiwa (Ralph), and the Kojo family survive her along with many nieces and nephews.
We were very fortunate to have such a wonderful mother. She will be deeply missed by her family and friends. Interment was held privately at Rose Hills Memorial Park.
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