July 7, 1917 – October 8, 2020
Masa Fukuchi, matriarch and beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother passed away peacefully Thursday, October 8th at 103 years young. She was as strong as ever up to her final moments, without complaints, pain or distress. As a 21 year old of the Matsutani/Nakamura clan in the East Bay of northern California farm country, she married “M” Motochika Fukuchi in 1938. After being evacuated in 1942 to the Turlock California fairgrounds, where she cleaned the horse stall area they stayed in the straw tied to a stick, the family was incarcerated in a relocation camp at Rivers, Arizona. Her third child, Ron was only 10 days old. The youngest, Robert was born at Rivers. After release from the Camp, M and Masa raised the family in the Valley of the Sun, Mesa, Phoenix and Scottsdale. They lived on the iconic Pierce Farms at 44th Street and Oak. She was a seamstress of considerable ability, ingenuity and expertise. She reupholstered furniture and once sewed a 16 foo awning for her son. For her granddaughter, she made a perfectly beautiful, white debutant dress from a picture, without the aid of a commercial pattern. Her clients were numerous, including Ms. Peggy Goldwater, Ms. Frank Lloyd Wright and her own good friend Ms. Sybil Harrington. She worked for the Goldwater’s, I Magnin and for herself from home. Mom loved being a member of Ikebana of Arizona. She welcomed everyone to her home and cook wonderful food, especially Japanese dinners. She hosted visitors from Himeji, Japan, a Phoenix sister city. She and M, a landscaper, helped with the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix. She was preceded in death by her husband, M, her daughter, Rae and son-in-law Jack Whitehouse and her daughter-in-law Bernie Fukuchi. Her sons Robert (Soledad), Ronald (Bernie deceased), Richard (Kety), grandchildren Steven (Laura), Kim Whitehouse, Peggi (Steve) Fischer, Chris, Ron Jr. (Precy), Tami (Matt) Milan, Melissa (Joe) Duffield, great grandchildren Alex and Claire Fukuchi, Katelyn, Elia and Sammy Duffield, Stevie, William, JJ and Robbie Fischer, Marlia, Matti and Madix Milan, Kaia Whitehouse and Allyson Fukuchi will all cherish the memories of her excellent, loving and active life. As Chris believes, she is and will always be the perfect Grandmother. Extended family members across the country are Shannon (Steve), Zeke, Know and Beau Smith, and Michael, Ana Marie and Marykate Zirtzlaff. Thanks to those who cared for Mom and kept her safe for the past 10 years. Soledad’s family, the Veletas – Paloma, Cesar, Bree and Jill, Laura, Patty Kris and Greyson were here for support. The entire staff at the Gardens of Scottsdale was exceptional during the past year where Mom made a remarkable and astoundingly quick recovery from a severe hip fracture and surgery. Private services. Interment in Oakmont Memorial Park, Lafayette, California.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
October 20, 2020
I wanted you to know just how many wonderful memories I have from my young life of both your mother and father. They were always so kind to me and my family. My mother talked about your Mom so many times with such admiration and care up until she died at the age of 98. My wife felt like she knew your parents and all of you because of the conversations she had with my mother. Seeing your Mom at her 100 birthday celebration was a touching moment in our lives. At that age your mother was as kind and gracious as she has always been. It was a joy to see her again. I'm thankful to have known all of you and to still consider you all friends. May both of your parents rest in the peace they deserve.
October 15, 2020
Dick, I don't know if you remember me and my brother, Gary (Scottsdale class of '59) I remember you and I was fortunate enough to have meet your mother on a few occasions. As I remember her, she was a gracious and lovely lady you were blessed to be her son and to have her with you so long. May your memories of the good times wipe away the sorrow of today.
Would love to hear from you sometime.
October 13, 2020
I have so many memories of this beautiful lady. Ikebana of Arizona was special to both of us since the 1970's and it was always a joy to see her, always smiling, at our many events and luncheons and demonstrations. The membership teas were always fun with her there. Although I have not seen her in a few years, she will always remain in my heart and memory. Rest in Peace beautiful Masa