Mary Nakamura

Obituary of Mary Nakamura

Mary Nakamura died at St Alphonsus Medical Center in Ontario after sustaining injuries from a fall at the young age of 96.

She was born to Shigeichi and Shimano Otoshi Hori in Kent Washington, one of six children. When Japanese children entered first grade the teachers had a hard time pronouncing their given names so many families of that generation had a girl named Mary and brother’s named Jack, George, Frank, and John as did the Hori family. The family was doing well owning a grocery store and living in a now historic home called the Neely Mansion. Mother Hori passed away in 1940 giving birth to Amy who was later adopted by her Aunt which was a very sad day for Mary and her family.

Then WWll, by executive order, all Japanese families on the West coast were evacuated into internment centers, the Hori family traveled by train guarded by soldiers to Pinedale Assembly Center (Fresno) CA 1942. Having graduated from High School, Mary was assigned to the administration office where she assigned living quarters to the internees. After a year the family was transferred to another encampment in Tule Lake, CA, moved once again to another internment center in Minidoka, ID. While interned in Minidoka, ID, Mary married Min Nakamura who was serving in the US Army. When the camps were open, the Hori family moved to Fruitland, ID while Min and Mary and their new baby moved to Ontario, OR. Footnote: Mary was the last person to leave Minidoka as her daughter Mary Ann was born in the camp hospital the year of their release, 1945.

Mary, always bright and capable, began working at the State Bank of Malheur County on Oregon Street, which was later named First National Bank of Oregon and is now Wells Fargo, both on the very site it is today. She started as a bookkeeper and became Operations Officer having worked for thirty seven years retiring at age sixty four. This was an outstanding accomplishment for any woman of her time.

Mary worked hard but she also had time to teach Sunday school at the Buddhist Temple, was a Japanese Interpreter for the Issei (first generation) immigrants, was a bowler, a golfer and an excellent card player.

Mary, a loving wife, mother, grandmother and a beloved aunt to many nieces and nephews is survived by: daughter Mary Ann (Pat)Shimojima, grandson Korey and Dianne Shimojima, great grandson Kolby Shimojima, greatgranddaughter Hailey Shimojima, brothers Frank Hori and Kats Michihira, and devoted friends of many years. Mary was preceded in death by her husband, parents, many siblings, and friends.

Mary was buried beside her husband Min during a private inurnment service. Due to Covid 19, a memorial service will be held at a later date when friends and family can gather together.

Arrangements by Lienkaemper Chapel, Ontario.

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