Akiko Endo Akagi was born in Milwaukie, Oregon on November 30, 1925 to Kanichi and Chiyo Endo and passed away on May 2, 2021.
Akiko was the second child and eldest daughter in a family of 2 boys and 4 girls; she attended Milwaukie Grade, Milwaukie Middle and Milwaukie High School through her sophomore year. Her education at Milwaukie was cut short due to Executive Order 9066 when her family and all people of Japanese descent were incarcerated at Portland Assembly Center located at the current Expo Center and later at the Minidoka Relocation Center in Hunt, Idaho during WWII. While at Minidoka, Akiko was able to continue her education and graduated from Hunt High School in 1944. During the summer and fall, she was allowed to leave Minidoka to work various seasonal jobs, including those at the Saito farm in Ontario, Oregon. From Minidoka, she traveled on her own for the first time, across the country by train to New York City to attend the Traphagen School of Fashion. She stayed as a school girl with the Reverend Aummend and his family and also worked as a switchboard operator to make ends meet. Upon completion of her studies, she returned to Milwaukie to work and help care for her Mother and family. Akiko worked for many of the finest Portland stores including Charles F Berg, Best at Lloyd Center and Nordstrom Best, later known as Nordstrom. In 1980, while working as the Manager of Women’s Alterations she was awarded Supervisor of the Year for all Nordstrom stores and received the highest honor, the John W Nordstrom Award. She retired from Nordstrom in 1996. In 1952, she met her future husband, Sam Akagi. They were wed in October 1953 and enjoyed over 46 years of marriage together. Both Sam and Akiko were devoted to their family, helping with the greenhouse business and spoiling their many nieces and nephews. Memorable vacations often included long road trips with Bachan and nieces to visit family stationed across the country in Boston and Texas. In their leisure time they enjoyed fishing, catching an occasional Mariners game in Seattle and gardening. Her sidewalk petunia flower beds were a favorite in the neighborhood. After Sam died, Akiko cared for her Mother and older brother Ben, until they both passed away. When she sold her home, she moved to Milwaukie to live with her younger brother Kay. Akiko loved to read, do her word puzzles, and watch Mariner games and CNN on TV.
She was preceded in death by her father and mother; husband, Sam; brother, Ben; sisters, Kazuko and Masako. She will be missed by her younger brother Kay; youngest sister Tokuko; her many nieces, nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews, and friends.
Remembrances may be sent to Epworth United Methodist Church.
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Epworth United Methodist Church
1333 SE 28th Avenue, Portland OR 97214