Cover photo for Sumiko Ikata's Obituary
1918 Sumiko 2016

Sumiko Ikata

March 3, 1918 — March 30, 2016

Sumiko Inouye Ikata passed away surrounded by family on March 30, 2016.  Sumiko was born in Portland, Oregon, on March 3, 1918.  Her parents were Sanji and Taru Inouye (Sumiko’s parents were from Fukuoka prefecture in Japan).  Sumiko was the eldest daughter and the second of nine siblings.  When Sumiko was two years of age, her family moved to Independence, Oregon, where her father worked in the hop growing industry for the following twenty years.

Sumiko and Sueo “Buddy” Ikata were married on July 28, 1940, in Portland, Oregon.  After marrying, she lived with her Ikata family in Gresham, Oregon, where they leased farm property growing berries and vegetables.  The leased farm property was located where Mt. Hood Community College now stands.  Sumiko and the family farmed in Gresham until the forced evacuation and removal of Japanese Americans from the West Coast in early 1942.  Sumiko and her family were initially incarcerated at the Portland Assembly Center before they were removed and imprisoned at the Minidoka Concentration Camp in Idaho for three years.

When the Ikata family left Minidoka on October 26, 1945, they were one of the last occupants of the prison camp.  Although they had nothing to come back to, they returned to Portland, Oregon, at that time.  Initially, the family had to live at “St. John’s Woods” which was federal housing until 1949.  Eventually, after multiple years and with much hard work and perseverance, the family was able to save enough money to make a down payment to buy a home off 24th Street and S.E. Hawthorne in 1957.  Sumiko resided in the home off Hawthorne until 2013.

Unique for the time, Sumiko obtained a full-time civil service job in the printing department for the State of Oregon’s downtown Portland office in June of 1946 and worked in that capacity for 34 years.  Sumiko found enjoyment and took pride in her career working for the state.  Her husband Sueo ran his own business, ABCO Supply Company, for as many years.  In June of 1980, both Sumiko and her husband Sueo retired from their careers and spent many happy years together.  Before Sueo passed in 1992, they traveled together around the world to places as varied as the United Kingdom, France, Brazil, Japan, China, as well as a tour of Southeast Asia.  A fond memory for Sumiko was her 50th Wedding Anniversary gathering with Sueo in which they celebrated their marriage with their large extended family and friends in the summer of 1990.

Sumiko is survived by three siblings (Tomiko Inouye in Chicago, Miyuki Kunimatsu in Detroit and Shingo Inouye in California); her three adult children: Pat Iboshi (Seattle), Ron Ikata and spouse MaryAnn Ikata (Gresham), and Janice Marks (Portland).  Sumiko enjoyed her relationships with her adult grandchildren and their spouses, Rodney and Sharon Iboshi (Seattle), Trisha and Frank Barbieri (San Francisco), Mike and Amber Ikata (Bandon), Scott and Cynthia Ikata (Vancouver, WA), and Leslie Mathies (Gresham).  Also, Sumiko had the good fortune and found much joy in spending time with her seven great grandchildren, and two great great grandchildren.

In the later months of her life, Sumiko expressed gratitude and a sense of peace for her long life, as she also spoke of random memories from many different points in her life which made her smile.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Ikoi No Kai, Oregon Buddhist Temple or the Nikkei Legacy Center.


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