Funeral services for the late Mary Mario Ito will be held on Wednesday March 3, 2010, 11 a.m. at Gardena Buddhist Church, 1517 W. 166th St., Gardena.
Mary Mario Ito was born to Juhei and Misao Kasukabe on October 27, 1916. She passed on February 24, 2010. Her parents and older brother, Karl Kaoru Kasukabe predeceased her. Mary’s daughter, Yemiko Mukai, and son, Henry Manabu Ito, also died before her. Her mother and older brother Karl immigrated to Blackfoot,
Idaho, in 1915 to join her father. Mary was born in Blackfoot in 1916, as were her younger sister, Chisato, and younger brother, Ken. Juhei leased farmland near an Indian reservation and grew potatoes. Juhei also worked in copper mines in the winters. The prohibition against persons of Japanese ancestry owning land and her mother’s wish to have her children receive Japanese education prompted the family to return to
Japan in 1924. As U.S. citizens, Mary, and later, Chisato and Ken, were able to return to the U.S. Mary arrived in 1936 to marry Shigeru Ito (who immigrated to the U.S. alone as a 13 year old in 1919).
Neither Mary nor her husband benefited from an American education, and made their living working in agriculture and gardening. Their American dream was realized through their four children, Satoshi, Yemiko, Henry Manabu, and Sam Osamu. Eventually, family reunions brought together four generations of Mary’s
family. Survivors include Satoshi and Carolyn Ito, Lanexa, VA, Sam and Stacy Ito, San Pedro, CA, Arlene Ito, Westminster, CA; grandchildren, Loren and John Hardenbergh, Todd Ito, Sarah and Michael Marot, Betsey and Richard Costner, Denise and Nolan Tanaka, Kristine and Michael Higa, Eric and Michelle Ito, Brandon Ito, Randall Ito, Tracy and Armin Iranshahr, Charles Stapleton; and seven great-grandchildren. Surviving also are Mary’s sister, Chisato Otani and her children and grandchildren, her brother Ken Kasukabe and his wife, hizue and their children and grandchildren.
www.fukuimortuary.com (213) 626-0441