Tomiko Kitahata Fujitani
Tomiko Kitahata FujitaniAt age 96, succumbing to old age and Alzheimer's disease, Tomi passed away peacefully on March 13, 2020. Born and raised in Southern California, Tomi was a graduate of Excelsior Union High School in Norwalk, Class of 1941. Her cousins remember that as a child she was athletic and independent: she tap danced and could even steer the slop truck at age nine on her parents' hog farm in Artesia.

During WWII, Tomi and her family were interned at the Jerome, Arkansas camp. Following their release, the Kitahatas headed to Chicago to pursue trade and job opportunities. Tomi became a hairdresser.

She married Yoshiaki Fujitani in 1949, when he was a student at the University of Chicago, and followed him to Kyoto where he completed his studies to become a Hongwanji minister.

As a bomori, the minister's wife, Tomi developed many talents, including teaching herself to play the temple organ at their first assignment in Wailuku. Gracious, generous, and accomplished in ikebana and sumie, Tomi was an ideal partner to support her minister husband in serving the temple community on Maui and the statewide Hongwanji organization as the Bishop's wife.

She is survived by her husband of 70 years; three children: Pat (Jonathan) Holmes, Stephen (Souvaly), and Maya Togashi; and six grandchildren: Gen, Ke'ala and Kiyomi Fujitani and Akemi, Satsu and Akira Holmes.

Grandma Tomi loved children, and besides her own she helped raise two of her grandchildren-one completing a Master of Public Health and the other earning a law degree. We'll miss her a lot.

Services tentatively set for March 2021.

Arrangements Provided By: Hosoi Garden Mortuary

Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased