|Death: ||Jan. 3, 1996|
Mitsu Awamura, 95, mother of U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye's wife, Margaret, suffered a coronary on New Year's Day and died Wednesday Jan 3, 1996 at Straub Hospital. "She was very strong until the very end," Inouye said yesterday from Washington, D.C. "Although she must have been lonesome, she never complained," he said, explaining she insisted on living alone in a big home on Thurston Avenue the family had occupied for about 50 years. She puttered around the house and garden, growing vegetables, he said. "She was very independent." Awamura was born in Kohala, on the Big Island, in March ISM, the daughter of Hyakuji and Dai Sugiyama. Only one brother remains from the well-known west Hawaii family — Dr. Francis Sugiyama, the only dentist in Kohala, Inouye said. "At one time, the only postmistress was one of the Sugiyamas. The police, captain was a Sugiyama. The bus company — two buses — was operated by the Sugiyamas, and the movie house They were the, Big 5 there." Mitsu Sugiyama married Tokuyoshi Awamura, who left the cane fields to start the Heiwa-do Jewelry Store, one of Honolulu's larger jewelry firms, in 1929. Her husband, who died Dec. 26, 1984, was prominent in the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce, the United Japanese Society and other Japanese organizations. He was a director of Central Pacific Bank and Mutual Finance . Co. He received one of Japan's highest awards, the Fifth Order of Merit with the order of he Sacred Treasure. The Awamuras followed the general route of immigrants, Inouye said. "She worked in the fields and then was a. very traditional Japanese wife. She stood back in the shadows. But she was very tough and frugal and sacrifice was part of her lifestyle. "Children came first. But she was faced with a very unusual situation for a Japanese family," he added, noting the couple had six girls and no son. "The Awamura name is dead now. In old Japan, they would have adopted a young man." They were certain his wife would be a son, he said, and selected a male name for her before birth - Shinobu. When she turned out to be a girl, they named her Margaret Shinobu. Survivors besides Margaret and Dr. Sugiyama include daughters Grace S. Murakami, Shirley A. Nozoe, Patricia K.A. Tyler, Edith T. Satow and Betty Y. Higashino, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday in the Makiki Christian Church, in which she was active, Inouye said. Burial next to her husband in Oahu Cemetery will be private. Casual attire. No flowers.
Obituary, Star Bulletin, May 1, 1996.
Margaret S. Awamura Inouye (1924 - 2006)*
Created by: Garver Graver
Record added: Jul 30, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 20698105
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