Long-time San Clemente resident, Hatsuye Helen Tsuma, died October 14, 2011 at her home at San Clemente Villas. She was ninety-two. For many years, Helen had assisted her husband, Toby, and their business partners Tosh and Sue Omote, in the operation of their farming business, Highland Ranch.
Born April 14, 1919 in Honolulu, Hawaii, Helen was the oldest child of Japanese immigrants Kamejiro and Tama Yoshiyama. She grew up in Los Angeles, California, and graduated from Jefferson High School. During World War II, her family was relocated to Heart Mountain, Wyoming. She was able to leave the camp and work in Detroit, where she met Toby Tsuma, who was serving in the Army. They were married in Maryland in 1945, and settled in Chicago after the war. A visit to relatives who had moved back to California after the war, convinced Helen and Toby to move to San Clemente, where Toby secured a job on a farming operation. They built a business and raised their family there. They were members of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in San Clemente.
Helen is survived by her daughter, Linda McCollum, of Hawaii; her sons, Glen Tsuma and his wife Julie, of Laguna Niguel , CA and Alan Tsuma and his wife Janice, of Upland, CA; her sister Miyeko Kinoshita and her husband Shigeru, of San Juan Capistrano, CA; grandchildren Maile Naylor, Dustin Clark, Laura Choi, Jared Tsuma, Chase Tsuma, Paige Tsuma, and Katie Tsuma; and great-granddaughter Malia Helene Naylor. Helen was preceded in death by her husband Toby Toshio Tsuma. A private burial will take place at Pacific View Memorial Park, Corona Del Mar, CA. A memorial service will be held, at a later date, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, San Clemente, CA.