Obituary of Teruko Yamada Turner
Teruko Yamada Turner passed away in her sleep on August 26, 2020, in Eugene, Oregon at the age of 74. She died on the morning of her 48th wedding anniversary, four days short of her 75th birthday. Teruko was born August 30, 1945 in Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan to Morio and Umeo (Wada) Yamada. She was the third of six children. After graduating from junior high school, she won a full scholarship to the Zenseien National School of Nursing at the leper hospital in Tokyo where she earned her LPN degree at the age of 17. She worked as an LPN at Shinjuku Koseinenkin Hospital while she attended high school at night. After high school she was recruited to the Zenseien RN program. Upon graduating as a RN, she stayed and worked as a nurse at the leper hospital and community.
She met her husband, David Turner, in 1970 at the local Episcopal Church they both attended in Tokyo. David was in Japan attending Sophia University. When they decided to get married, they wanted to be married by David’s father who was the Episcopal Bishop of Kansas. They took the long way to Kansas, taking the Trans-Siberian Railroad across Russia, various trains all through Europe, and finally the Greyhound Bus across the U.S. They stopped just long enough in Topeka, Kansas to get married before returning to Japan so her husband could complete his undergraduate and master’s degrees. Their daughter Reika was born in Tokyo in 1974.
Teruko and her husband moved to California in 1978 residing mostly in the Bay Area. While in California, Teruko was the school nurse for the Japanese Government sponsored school in San Francisco for the children of Japanese nationals working in the Bay Area. Teruko also worked in several assisted living facilities that catered to first generation Japanese Americans. Teruko’s last job was at the Kimochi Home assisted living residence in Japan Town in San Francisco. This was a job she loved very much but had to retire due to ill health.
Teruko and her husband moved to Eugene, Oregon in early 2017 to be near their daughter and her family. Teruko wanted to be closer to the two loves of her life, her grandsons Hunter and Kenji. She loved to visit and dote over them making sure they kept up with their Japanese. (Grandmother only spoke Japanese with her husband, daughter, and grandsons.) When her health began to deteriorate, she enjoyed having Hunter and Kenji sit by her side. She also loved to hear Kenji on the violin, which he played for her everyday.
Teruko is preceded in death by her father, mother, and older sister, Machiko Ishikawa. She is survived by her husband David, daughter Reika Ignatius, son-in-law Michael Ignatius, grandsons Hunter and Kenji, and step-grandson Nathan Calvin. Teruko is also survived by her older brother Morie Yamada, younger sisters Shizue Sumiya and Mineko Hayashi, younger brother Morihisa Yamada, and brother-in-law Teruo Ishikawa, all living in Japan.
A memorial service for Teruko will be announced at a later time due to the current world wide pandemic.
Arrangements entrusted to Musgrove Family Mortuary. Please access the obituary and you are invited to sign the guestbook at musgroves.com.