Mary Nobuko Teraoka
September 24, 1922 – August 12, 2019
Mary Nobuko Teraoka, 96, peacefully passed with loved ones by her side at her home in Fowler, California on August 12th, 2019.
Mary was born on September 24, 1922, thirty miles outside of Portland, in Troutdale, Oregon. She was the second daughter of five children born to Ayao and Yoshino Kawahara.
Raised in Portland, Mary and her family were interned at Minidoka, Idaho during WWII. She then relocated to St. Louis, Missouri, where she met her husband George Teraoka. They married on August 4, 1945. Five years later, Mary and George along with their two sons, Tom and Steven, made their way back to help on the family farm in Fowler. They were also blessed with another son, Robert, and two daughters, Janet and Kathy. Over the last 70 years, Mary and George had a fulfilling life together on the family farm and provided a welcoming home to family and friends.
Mary was a devoted wife and loving mother, always making her children her priority.
Mary found great satisfaction, and brought natural grace and joy, in ballroom dancing with her husband. They joined groups to dance on a Caribbean Cruise and Mexican Cruises.
She also loved traveling with friends to Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Reno and Japan.
Mary was a dedicated member of the Buddhist Church of Fowler, serving two separate terms as president of Fowler’s Buddhist Women’s Association. She and husband along with Harry and Miyo Honda co-founded Fowler’s Ballroom Dance Group.
Mary and George just celebrated 74 years of marriage on August 4, 2019.
She is survived by her husband, George, and five children: Tom (Jenny), Steven (Marsha), Robert (Jennifer), Janet Umezu (Kodo), and Kathy Lee (Doren); ten grandchildren; and three great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her sister Ruth Donohue (Edward) and her sister-in-law Kim Kawahara (Frank). She is preceded in death by her siblings Hattie Colton (Kenneth), Frank Kawahara (Kim), and Lillian Brookman (Harold).
They raised a family with all of their children graduating from college, some with advanced degrees, and going on to enjoy successful careers and accomplished lives. Their children’s collective achievements and successes are a monument of Mary’s devotion as a mother.
Her family wishes to thank the staff of Optimal Hospice Agency and Right At Home. And a special thanks to all the caregivers for their kindness and friendship to the family and Mary.
Mary’s family will be holding a funeral service on Saturday, August 24, 2019, at the Buddhist Church of Fowler (210 S 9th St, Fowler, CA 93625) at 4pm.