Yoshiko Watanabe, age 88, passed away on the morning of October 8, 2023 due to metastasis (spread of cancer) at Hoag Hospital in Irvine. She was born on September 19, 1935 in Saitama Prefecture in Japan. She was married to Sharkey Watanabe for over 30 years, who preceded her death in 1996. She has three remaining sons.
Yoshiko was a dedicated mother first and foremost. Her husband worked in Tokyo, Japan so she had to raise her three sons pretty much on her own from the early ‘70s to the early ‘80s. So she really was Super Mom, juggling the duties and activities of three children all by herself.
She was the kindest and most soft-spoken person we’ve ever known. With our father working in Japan, she had to balance toughness and kindness and it showed in her love for everyone. She was always helpful to others, especially in times of need. Even at our worst moments, she was always able to help us get back up to our feet.
After her husband passed away, she began going to church. It helped her regain her faith and hope for a brighter future. The Church became her second home and family, where she flourished and made many lifelong friendships.
At this same time, she also used her energy to exercise daily. She loved to exercise. It was one of her most favorite activities. She did daily stretches and walks. She would have Zumba, yoga, and Tai Chi classes every week. She was in much better physical condition during the second half of her life than most people in their first half. She was amazing.
Her love for exercise was also matched with her love to travel. She loved going on cruises to see the world. She travelled to Alaska, China, Canada, Peru, Argentina, Russia, and countless other locations. Going to church and studying the Bible, she was motivated to visit places like Israel, so she can see firsthand what she was learning about in her Bible studies.
We will be celebrating her life on Thursday morning November 9, 2023 at 10 am at Rise OCC Church, 3198-B Airport Loop Drive, Costa Mesa followed by interment at 1 pm at Forest Lawn Cypress, 4471 Lincoln Avenue, Cypress. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Yoshiko’s church, Rise OCC Church at GIVE — Rise OC church.
Her dedication to her family, helping others, and to her Church inspired all of us to become better people. Her love for everyone shows by all the friendship she still has over her long and beautiful life. Our memories of her will be cherished forever.
One of Yoshiko’s favorite sayings:
“Gone from our sights, but never our memories. Gone from our touch, but never our hearts.”
Celebration Of Life
- Date & Time: November 09, 2023 (10:00 AM)
- Venue: Rise OC Church
- Location: 3198-B, 3407, Airport Loop Drive Costa Mesa, CA 92626 - (Get Directions)
- Date & Time: November 09, 2023 (1:00 PM)
- Venue: Forest Lawn - Cypress
- Location: 4471 Lincoln Ave Cypress, CA 90630 - (Get Directions)
Rise OC Church
- Website: https://riseoc.church/give