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Eulogy from a Friend

by on March 26, 2011

One would believe that Satomi had enough to do, but she found a need to try something new and joined The Nikkei Bridge – or “Bridge” for short.  It is a Japanese American community service organization that is dedicated to networking young adult members together as well as integrating them into the Nikkei community.

I had met Satomi a long time ago in 1985 when a close friend of mine invited her to go with him to our Junior prom in high school.  Back then, she went by her middle name, “Carol”, which she proudly stated was because of her being born on Christmas.

When I had met Carol again, it was at the Little Tokyo Public Safety Association’s Casino Night in 1995.  Bridge was helping to organize it for the first time and we were pretty nervous about the event.  I did not recruit the volunteers, so I was unsure of who was going to be working that night.  But, as I was walking around, I was surprised to see here there, dealing cards for the event.  I was recruiting as well for Bridge we were looking for young people to join as we were only two years old.  She quickly pointed out that she went by Satomi now and I obliged.  I encouraged her to join our group and that it would be a lot of fun.  During her time with Bridge, she was always interested in attending the community service events that included a Little Tokyo cleanup project called Little Tokyo Sparkle and the Children’s Day chibi-k runs.  She also enjoyed our group bike rides and beach parties and met her future husband, Sean, who was also a member.  Now, as much as we would like to take credit for turning Sean into a community service supporter, we all had a feeling that Satomi’s philanthropic drive had something to do with it.

In 1997, Satomi decided to increase her level of activity in the organization and ran for the position of Secretary and the following year as the Cultural Education Chair. Satomi took her leadership role seriously, never forgetting the purpose of our group-serving the community and our membership. She had a strong sense of dedication to all her duties, no matter how large or small. As Education Chair, Satomi shared her love of teaching. She created several new events that taught members new skills including ikebana and odori dancing for the upcoming Obon festivals. She also promoted investment strategy workshops. Satomi was also able to share the love of her profession in Physical Therapy through small clinics for members and at the Atomic Bomb survivor or Hibakusha clinics. The Bridge was very lucky to have such an intelligent and dedicated woman on their leadership board.

The best of all is that Bridge provided an opportunity for us to meet Satomi and become part of her family.  Those of us here who met Satomi through Bridge remember the great bond we created with her during our time within and outside the organization.  Our common interests and dedication to the Bridge goals had us sharing laughs, tears, arguments, and celebrations.  We attributed this to all the ups and downs that typical families share. This extended Bridge family is the legacy that will never forget her and she will be with us for the rest of our lives.

~Peggy & Ken

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