December 11, 1931 – September 15, 2019
It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our mother, Mihoko (Miyo) Wakita at the Kitimat General Hospital on September 15, 2019. Mihoko was pre-deceased by her loving husband Hajime (Jim) and son Brian (Josie). She is survived by her children Richard (Karly), Ron, Allen (Anna), Delphine (Barry) Thompson, Lloyd (Julie), and Eileen (Richard) Crockart. She was grandmother to Julie, Michelle, Derek, Kristie, Kevin, Michael, Ciara, Kyle, Jaclyn, Jamie, Andrew, Brandon, Kimiko, Sierra, Kiyomi, Cory, Blaine and Zoey, and great grandmother to Chase, Zander, Piper, Miyana, Matai, Elena, and Colton. She will also be deeply missed by her many brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews in the lower mainland.
Miyo, the third of ten siblings, was born in Steveston, B.C. which at the time was the centre of the universe for the fleet of Japanese Canadian fishing boats working the west coast of British Columbia. She was born to Yasuichi and Yoshiko Sakai. Her father, Yasuichi was a successful and well-respected fisherman in the Japanese community.
Miyo, along with her family relocated to Lillooet, during the mandatory evacuation and internment of the Japanese Canadians during World War II, and spent most of her teenage years enduring several harsh winters and hot summers in the BC interior in a makeshift shanty village with other Japanese Canadian families.
After the war ended, Miyo and her family returned to Steveston and Yasuichi re-etablished himself in the west coast commmercial fishing industry. Shortly thereafter, a long distance courtship with Hajime Wakita developed, and they eventually married in Revelstoke in January of 1956. Their eldest son Brian was born in Revelstoke on January 2, 1957, and Miyo and Jim decided to seek opportunity in the bustling new town of Kitimat. Soon after their arrival, they established City Centre Hardware and Builder’s Supply Ltd, which would eventually become a mainstay in the Kitimat business community. The store would become Miyo’s passion and life’s work, supporting and serving her community. Serving her customers and the people of Kitimat was her number one priority. She could always be found roaming the aisles in her blue smock, assisting and helping customers find what they were looking for in the “store that had everything”. She would never cease to amaze people with her knowledge of where everything was located in the store, with every nook and cranny of the store ingrained in her memory.
She enjoyed watching her children and grandchildren in the many activities they were involved in, especially ice hockey. She could often be seen in Tamitik arena in her designated seat cheering on the minor hockey rep teams, and Ice Demons. She had a passion for gardening, and when she wasn’t in the store, she could often be found in her garden tending her flowers, shrubs, and indoor orchid collection.
The Wakita family would like thank Dr. Huang, the staff in the emergency room and the paramedics who tended to our mother at the hospital.
A celebration of life will be held at the Luso Canadian Hall at 2 pm September 28, 2019. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation in her memory.
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