Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hanaye (Bunny) Nagamori

Hanaye (Bunny) Nagamori, died peacefully at St. Boniface Hospital on March 25, 2009, surrounded by her family.

Bunny leaves to cherish her memory her loving husband of 58 years, Tadashi; children Jerry (June Hawkes), Beverly, Holly (Art Cain), Candy (Darren Cooper), Cindy (Stefan Jonasson), and son-in-law Peter Lehmann; grandchildren David Nagamori (Toni Gilchrist), Jesika Nagamori, Melanie Storvick, Arthur Cain, Robert Cain, Leah Cooper, Brandis Jonasson and Heather Jonasson; great-grandchildren Zoe and Brooke; sisters Grace Granger, Sally Lambert, Sue Teramura, and Pat Ariza; and numerous in-laws, nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents, Mankichi Eyemoto and Haruyo Muramoto; her daughter, Kathy; sisters Fumiye, Haruko Ooto, Jackie Keates, and brothers Shinichi, Shigeru and Harry. She was also predeceased by a sister Sayono and an unnamed brother, both of whom died in infancy.

Bunny was born on March 3, 1925 at Pitt Meadows, BC, the daughter of pioneer fruit growers in the Fraser Valley. In 1942, they were displaced from their family home and relocated to Manitoba, where the family worked as farm labourers south of Winnipeg. When her parents were returned to Iwakuni, Japan in 1946, Bunny and several of her siblings joined them, working as interpreters for the British Commonwealth Occupation Force before returning to Manitoba in 1948 following their parents’ deaths.

Bunny married Tadashi Nagamori on November 18, 1950 and remained his companion and helpmate to the end. Together they raised six children with affection and concern, welcoming their partners into the family and delighting in the arrival of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Bunny lived for her family and was unsparing in giving them her help. “Bachan” was always home and available to care for her grandchildren, whatever the circumstances, and she developed a unique relationship with each one as they grew. She best expressed her love through food, nourishing our spirits as she fed our bodies. Once described by a reporter as “petite and ageless,” she was a truly beautiful person in every respect.

Bunny loved to garden, both indoors and outdoors, and for many years she and Tad maintained plots at the community garden along Silver Avenue, supplying fresh produce to family and friends alike. She also loved mushroom picking and was fearless in searching them out. She was a voracious reader who delighted to share her books with others when she was done with them. For many years, Bunny worked in the children’s department at Eaton’s Polo Park store, where she was much appreciated by both her colleagues and customers. She was a member of Manitoba Buddhist Church and its women’s association, Fujinkai, and also active in the Manitoba Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 11, at 2:00 p.m. in the Neil Bardal Funeral Centre, 3030 Notre Dame Avenue (across from Brookside Cemetery), with Rev. Fredrich Ulrich and Rev. Stefan Jonasson officiating. Interment of the ashes will take place at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of your choice, if family and friends so desire.