Shizume Ellen Kiyotoki
September 14, 1925 – July 24, 2020
Ellen Kiyotoki passed away peacefully on July 24 at her home in Villa Park, Calif.. She was born Shizume Hirano on September 14, 1925 in the city of Isleton, Calif., the youngest daughter among five of Manzo and Tsuta Hirano.
During her childhood, her father operated a soda fountain/boarding house in Isleton, located off the Sacramento River delta. In 1942, her family was directed to relocate to the Tule Lake internment camp in Northern California. After the war she lived in Japan and worked as a secretary/interpreter for the U.S. Army, until finally relocating to Los Angeles where she met Sam Kiyotoki, a recent graduate of the USC School of Architecture. Upon marriage in 1956, she dedicated her life to supporting Sam’s career and the raising of four children, all of which took unique skills, creativity, and patience.
Her later years were spent travelling the globe with Sam and friends, perusing bookstores, making the occasional casino trip, dining with family, enjoying her crochet and needlework projects, and walking various routes both locally and abroad – all done with her trademark optimism and smile.
She is predeceased by her husband Sam, and is survived and remembered by daughters Carol, Emi and Susan (husband Harlan Arita) and son Gene.
Due to conditions and restrictions relative to COVID-19, there will be no public memorial or gathering.
The family requests just a silent thought of a life well-lived.
A tribute video of Ellen can be viewed at www. fukuimortuary.com/obits. (213) 626-0441