Fumie Tominaga passed away at her home, surrounded by her family. Native Californian and 65 year resident of Berkeley. She was born at Bacon Island near French Camp and Stockton to parents Fukutaro and Akiko Shingu of Hiroshima-Ken, and was the third of twelve siblings, one older stepsister, one older brother, six younger sisters and three younger brothers.
At the age of 13, she worked as a Nisei schoolgirl to help support her family. It was there that she adopted the name June. Her employing family couldn’t deal with her real name, so they decided to call her by her birth month. Prior to World War II, she was honored to represent Stockton Buddhist Temple in the Miss Bussei Pageant at the Leamington Hotel in Oakland, She was always quick to point out and emphasize that she didn’t win.
In 1942, she was incarcerated with her family at Gila River, Arizona concentration camp, where she graduated from high school. She was prevented from finding work in her native California after World War II, so she moved to the South Side of Chicago, where she met her dear husband Thomas T. Tominaga. They finally returned to their native California in 1954, and rebuilt their lives as hard working and loyal citizens.
In addition to being a supremely immaculate homemaker, she worked hard as a domestic, babysitter and at any other jobs she could find. In 1962, she was hired by Siemons Mailing in Berkeley as a mail processor. She enjoyed a long 28 year career and worked her way up to Office Manager, retiring in 1990.
She was predeceased by her husband in 1997, months short of their 50th wedding anniversary. Survived by son Gary, daughter-in-law Anne, grandchildren Alison and Grant, sisters Lily Yuriko Domoto, Amy Emiko, Reiko Carol, Hasuko Fujitani, Chiyo, brother Shoichi, and sisters-in-law Selina and Alice. Predeceased by stepsister Kioye (Henry) Sagara, sister, Sachiko (George) Yamashita, brothers Kenzo, Masami and Shinobu, brothers-in-law Tosh Domoto, George Yamashita, Mat Fujitani, Ben Tsuchimoto and sisters-in-law Bella and Connie. Also predeceased by lifelong best friends Nancy Moriwaki and Tomoe Otani.
She was very active at Berkeley Higashi Honganji, as obon instructor, Dharma School teacher, the Womens’ Association and Mah Jong Club. She made Japanese dolls for all her sisters. She was an avid supporter of all her family’s activities, particularly music and sports, and was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary.
Her funeral (memorial service) will be at Berkeley Higashi Honganji at 1524 Oregon Street, Berkeley on Saturday, October 5th at 11 AM.
Date: Saturday, October 5, 2019
Time: 11:00 am
Berkeley Higashi Honganji
Memorial Service – Sunset View Mortuary Not Involved