Mom passed away peacefully at Louis Brier Home & Hospital in Vancouver, BC at 100 years and 9 months young. She was born and raised in Vancouver, BC and lived there until she and her family were interned to Greenwood BC in 1942. After the war, she moved to Midway BC for a work opportunity; and after marrying Dad (Hawley Fugeta) in 1948, moved to his hometown, Penticton, BC where she lived for 66 years. She was the middle daughter of Ichiji & Sugaye Sasaki who came from the Wakayama prefecture in Japan and settled in Vancouver’s Japantown in the current Powell Street area. Her entrepreneurial parents operated different businesses over the years that largely catered to the Japanese Canadian community: bathhouses, restaurants and hotel. Like her mother, mom had a passion for Japanese culture and arts from a very young age when she enjoyed Japanese dance and song, and later haiku poetry as a young adult. But her true passion was business and working with the public, both of which she excelled at and enjoyed her entire life.
She was an integral part of the Fugeta businesses (commercial farming, construction and hospitality) for most of her life. When she was 64, mom and dad discovered new purpose and fulfillment at Manning Park Resort where they worked for over 24 years. Mom was in her true element working in the gift shop where she loved working with the public and the many young people who became adopted family. She always made time to volunteer for community well-being efforts be it fund-raising, helping at the Penticton IODE thrift store or helping Penticton enhance its Canadian Japanese sister-city relationship with the town of Ikeda in Hokkaido. Tonari Gumi, a well-respected Vancouver non-profit known for helping those in need in the Japanese Canadian community, particularly seniors, was one of mom and dad’s favourite places to deliver home grown fresh fruit and vegetables for their meal program.
She was renowned for her caring nature, wit and sense of humour, a positive outlook and outgoing personality. Mom loved interacting with people of all ages, particularly young people and children. She was that friend who would always go above and beyond for you; she was everyone’s favourite real and adopted aunt; and she was the best mom, second to none. Mom will be forever remembered and dearly missed by her: son Leslay (Amy) Fugeta of Vancouver; younger sister Julie Umemura of Hope BC and son Lee and daughter Robbin and respective families; niece Hallie (Gus) Peterson of Coquitlam, their daughters Kira & Krista and respective families; nephew Vance (Maureen) Fugeta of Penticton, their sons Mike, Marcus & Barrett and respective families; niece Tracey Lewis & family of Kelowna; nephew Bruce Fujita of Clairmont, Alberta; and the many extended family and friends she touched over the years with her genuine support and generosity.
A private Celebration of Life service for family and close friends will be at Linden Gardens in Kaleden, BC on Thursday, July 9, 2020. With COVID-19 related requirements on maximum capacities and other safety related best practices we expect the service to be small, just as Mom had requested. The service is by invitation only, and we fully respect anyone opting to decline if they feel it puts them at risk.
For anyone wishing to send flowers may we ask that you instead consider donating to one of the following:
Please mail cheque to: 101-42 W.8th Ave., Vancouver, BC, V5Y 1M7
Online Donation: http://www.tonarigumi.ca/support/please-donate/
IODE Diamond Jubilee Chapter
Please issue cheque to: IODE Diamond Jubilee Chapter
and mail cheque to: IODE British Columbia, #748-8623 Granville St., Vancouver, BC, V6P 5A2
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mytssu Fugeta, please visit our floral store.