SETSUKO “SETS” NAO HAMASAKI

Posted On August 19th, 2011 -

SETSUKO “SETS” NAO HAMASAKI

87, died peacefully at home on August 12, 2011. Born in San Francisco on March 3, 1924, she is survived by husband Richard Noboru “Dick” Hamasaki; sons Richard and Mark (both of Kaneohe); daughter Lorene (of Vacaville, CA); grandchildren Sydney, Kai, Napu, Ryo and Mele. She is survived by sister Chiyo Wada and brother Isamu Nao, both of San Francisco. She was preceded in death by her parents Senri and Yoshino Nao, also of San Francisco, along with siblings Makoto Nao (Honolulu), Michi Hatano (Ayabe, Japan), Chiye Hiura (San Francisco), Kimi Matsumoto (Oakland) and Kazu Harano (North Platte, NE).
In 1942, shortly after Executive Order 9066, she and her family members, along with some 4,000 others, were confined to Tanforan Racetrack sheltered in horse stalls, grandstands and makeshift barracks. Later, her family was incarcerated at the “Topaz War Relocation Center” in central Utah.
Despite this and other challenges, Setsu attended at San Francisco City College and later transferred to the University of Minnesota. Unfortunately, her studies were curtailed because of financial circumstances. In a twist of fate, she went on a blind date and met a “short, dark, quiet, but handsome” U.S. Army officer from Paauilo, Hawaii. This initial meeting and subsequent wooing led to her marriage 64 years ago, to now retired U.S. Army Major Richard Noboru Hamasaki.
Together, the military family moved many times across the United States and abroad to Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand before settling into their retirement home in Northern California in 1975. In the past 10 years, Obachan and Ojichan divided their time between Vacaville, California and Hawaii to spend time with grandchildren before moving permanently to Kaneohe to be cared for by family. Always creative, Sets would adapt quickly to new environments and cultures. She dressed stylishly, appreciated arts and crafts, and studied oil painting and batik. She was unequivocal about the importance of education, the arts, and family.
She was a devoted mother and wife and lived a full and vibrant life. Visitation: 5 p.m. Monday (August 22) at Hosoi Garden Mortuary. Memorial: 6 pm. Private inurnment on a later date. Aloha attire. No flowers.


- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran