Takeko “Tobi Kei” <I>Kunimatsu</I> Rodriguez

Takeko “Tobi Kei” Kunimatsu Rodriguez

Bellingham, Whatcom County, Washington, USA
Death Aug 1984 (aged 59)
Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 82633090 · View Source
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Takeko (Tobi Kei, Tubbi) Kunimatsu was born at Bellingham, Whatcom Co., Washington on 23 January 1925; died in August 1984.

Takeko was the daughter of Isekichi and Yukino Kanzaki Kunimatsu.

When her mother, Yukino, died in 1927, while Takeko was still a young girl, she and several of her siblings were raised as their own children by her Aunt Fuyu Kanzaki Okubo and Uncle Kenzo Okubo at Bellingham, Washington. Her father died in 1934.

In Bellingham the Okubo family business was the Sunrise Cafe, which served American food.

Takeko likely attended Washington Elementary School and Roeder Junior High School, and attended Whatcom Junior High School, where she was elected vice president of the student body. She would have graduated from Bellingham High School in 1944 if she had not be evacuated to Tule Lake Relocation Camp.

Aged 15 years, Tobi was enumerated in the 1940 US Census with her Aunt Fuyu Okubo and her family at 1406 H Street, Bellingham, Whatcom County, Washington, where this family had resided since 1927.

When the US entered WWII in December 1941, Tobi was one of the 100,000 Japanese-Americans to be evacuated from her residence by the US Government. She was relocated with the Okubos and Kunimatsus to Tule Lake Relocation Camp in May 1942.

By 24 November 1943, Tobi had removed to Heart Mountain Relocation Camp with her Okubo and Kunimatsu relatives.

By March 1945, Miss Kunimatsu, formerly of Bellingham, Washington, and Heart Mountain resided at New York City, where she worked as a sales clerk. She moved to New York with plans of becoming a beautician.

She danced and sang in Arthur Godfrey's Hawaiian Review and in 1946 she met Tito Rodriquez, a tropical drummer, singer and rumba dancer from Puerto Rico, who she married a few months later.

Tobi was survived by a daughter and a son, and several grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Tito, and her brother Isamu, a member of the legendary 442nd Regimental Combat Team, who was killed in action in Italy during WWII.

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  • Created by: Tom Brocher
  • Added: 29 Dec 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial 82633090
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Takeko “Tobi Kei” Kunimatsu Rodriguez (23 Jan 1925–Aug 1984), Find a Grave Memorial no. 82633090, ; Maintained by Tom Brocher (contributor 47674416) Unknown.