Setsuko Rose (Tomita) Kaku, 1926–2021

Setsuko Rose (Tomita) Kaku passed away on April 21, 2021 at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula after a brief illness. She was 94 years old. Rose was born on Dec 14, 1926 in Hanford, Calif. Her mother, Masao Kuwana, and father, Tokuzo Tomita, were both from Japan. She was the fifth child of ten and spent her childhood on a farm in Hanford. During World War II, she was relocated along with her family to an internment camp in Jerome, Ark. where she graduated high school. When Jerome closed in 1944, they were moved to Rohwer, a second internment camp also in Arkansas, for the duration of the war. After the war, she settled in Ann Arbor, Mich. and married Maya Kaku in 1947. She moved to Lindsay, Calif., in 1953 when her husband joined his family’s grocery business. (Save Center Market)

Setsuko Rose Kaku

Her life revolved around her five children. Many hours were devoted to caring for her family and extended family as well as working in the supermarket office owned by the Kaku brothers. Once her children were older, she worked as a grocery checker at the Town & Country Market in Porterville, Calif., for 22 years. She retired in 1990 and moved to Reno, Nev., in 1997 living with her youngest daughter Leann for 18 years before moving to Carmel, Calif., in 2015 to join her eldest daughter Denise’s family.

Rose was predeceased by her husband, Maya, in 1998 and her son, Gary, in 2014. She is survived by her daughters Denise Kaku (Richard Lausten), JoLynn Kaku, Leann Kumataka (Mark); her son, Robert Kaku (Stacie) and daughter in law Clara Kaku Auld; a sister Graycie Shishido; 12 grandchildren; seven great grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

At her request, no formal service is planned. Her ashes will be interred at the Carmelo Cemetery in Pacific Grove, Calif. Condolences may be sent c/o Denise Kaku at PO Box 2025, Carmel, CA 93921 or phone 831-624-6525. Email: [email protected].

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