June Natsuko Morinaga, 94 years old, passed away peacefully on March 20, 2023, at a care facility in Ontario, Oregon.
June was born on April 16, 1928, in Gresham, Oregon, to Shintaro and Tsunase Morishita. She was the third of seven children. The family farmed in Gresham until 1942, when they were relocated to the Portland Assembly Center due to World War II. From there, they were interned at the rural Nyssa Tent Camp near the Snake River. During the cold winter months they resided at the Cow Hollow CCC Camp in rural Nyssa-Adrian, Oregon. The family next moved to the Weiser, Idaho area, then to the Oregon Slope district of Ontario, where they farmed. June graduated from Ontario High School in 1946. She then went to a sewing school in Portland, Oregon, with her sister, Kaye, before returning to Ontario.
June married Kazuo “Kaz” Morinaga in 1949. They were married for 61 years until Kaz passed away in 2010. June worked in various agricultural and clerical jobs until she retired. She was a member of the Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple.
June was a skilled seamstress, designing her own patterns and sewing beautiful outfits for her children. She even designed and sewed a wedding dress for her sister-in-law, Margaret. June crocheted dish towels, pillows and throws, and crocheted an afghan for each of her grandchildren. She was a good cook and we all loved her special Japanese dishes that we will pass on for generations. Fishing was a favorite pastime for June and Kaz and they took the family on regular weekend fishing trips. They enjoyed many family and extended family vacations at the Oregon Coast for beach walking, fishing, and clamming. Traveling to visit her children and grandchildren across the states was her favorite way to spend time, as June enjoyed children and was a much loved Grandma. She was a good gardener and always grew a large flower and vegetable garden to share with family and friends. After moving to the care facilities, June made close friends and enjoyed their company at meals and activities. She greatly appreciated the visits from family and friends.
June is survived by her children Glen (Susan) Morinaga, Beverly (Ron) Hinkley, Barbara Starke, Marcy (Kevin) Tracy, and Bonnie Morinaga Nelson; grandchildren Diana Morinaga, Stacy (Jared) Mulligan, Kayla (Matthew) Orosco, Chad Hinkley, Brent (Amanda) Hinkley, Jon “JJ” Starke Jr., Stephanie (Casey) O’Dell, Christopher Starke, Andrew (Leslie) Tracy, Jenny (Matoko Noudehou) Tracy, Ryan Nelson, Lance Nelson, and Jake Nelson; 21 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren. June is also survived by her siblings Anne Enoki and Charles Morishita; sisters-in-law Margaret Morishita and Kathleen Morinaga; brothers-in-law Jim Morinaga, George (Kim) Morinaga, and Jan Yagi; and numerous nieces and nephews.
June was preceded in death by her parents; husband Kaz; sons Mark and Jay; sons-in-law Jon Starke and Jim Nelson; and siblings Haruo Morishita, Mickie Atagi, Kaye Yamaguchi, and Nancie Shigeno.
The family would like to thank Stark Medical Group, Sunset Estates, and Heart 'n Home Hospice for their loving care.
Memorial service and interment will be held on June 23, 2023, 11:00 am, at Evergreen Cemetery in Ontario. A reception will follow at Four Rivers Cultural Center. Floral attire or Hawaiian shirts are welcome as June loved flowers. Services are under the direction of Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple and Lienkaemper Chapel in Ontario.