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Mary Fumiko Saito

February 16, 1922 ~ September 24, 2018 (age 96)
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Fumi was the daughter of Nobuichi and Harumi Nunotani. At the young age of ten, her mother died, leaving Fumi and her sister May to be raised by their dad in Portland’s Japantown. She graduated from Lincoln High School (’39). As a Nisei, during WWII, she was interned in Minidoka.  After the war, she married her brother-in-law, Tomo Saito.  They joined her father managing the Lind Hotel on SW 3rd and Ash. There, they had 7 children. Tragically, Fumi’s father lost his life in a fire that destroyed the hotel. Tomo and Fumi, their seven children, and Tomo’s parents all moved to SW Portland.  In 1961, they purchased their first home in NW Portland.  When they became empty nesters, they moved to be near family in West Linn where they would spend their retirement years.   After her husband passed away in 2001, Fumi lived independently until her health began to fail.  She spent the last 2½ years in assisted living at the Markham House.


Mary, as she was known to many, worked tirelessly to raise her family but found time and energy to work full time for over 30 years at First Interstate Bank.  A testimony to her perseverance was learning to drive when she was well into her 70’s. Fumi might have been the quietest person at the table, but she always knew what was going on.   Family was always at the center of her life.  She looked forward to family beach retreats and traveling all over the U.S and Japan with her children. Fumi and her sister, May, would spend hours talking on phone, and she always looked forward to lunch at Ikoinokai with friends and her nieces, Patty and Yuki. Her hobbies included sewing, knitting and crocheting countless sweaters, afghans, and beautiful baby items.  Having been season ticket holders for over 20 years, it was not unusual to find a Blazer game on her T.V. with a word puzzle by her chair, and a jigsaw puzzle on her dining table.

 

She is survived by her children: Rick (Karen) Saito, Ken (Bea) Saito, Sharon Gattis, Susie (Kenny) Toyoji, Cathy (Jeff) Yarne, Carol (Bill) Saiget, and Bob (Linda) Saito.
She was loving grandmother to 16 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
 

Funeral Service will be 2 PM on Oct. 28, 2018 at the Oregon Buddhist Temple.  In lieu of flowers and koden, donations in her memory can be made to the Oregon Buddhist Temple or Ikoinokai.

 

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