Betty Chizuko Abe
July 19, 1926 – June 30, 2018
Betty Chizuko Abe was born in Seattle to Yaichi and Eriko Tanaka on July 19, 1926. She was the older sister to Reiko who was 4 years younger. As young children, Betty and Reiko played with Kyoto and Chiyo Abe, the younger siblings of her future husband. She attended Bailey Gatzert School and Washington Junior High. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, Betty, who was 15 years old, and her family were sent to the Puyallup Assembly Center and were eventually interned at the Minidoka Concentration Camp in Hunt, Idaho. There, she lived in block 42 for three years and graduated from Hunt High School. In camp she participated in softball and did officework.
After the war ended, Betty returned to Seattle where she worked in the office of Farwest Garments. It was during this time, that she began dating Mitsuji Abe. They were married on June 6,1948 and raised 3 children together while managing several apartment buildings in downtown Seattle. In 1965, the family moved to the Skyway area where they owned and managed a very successful family business for over 13 years — the Skyway Foods IGA. Betty worked as a bookkeeper and in the produce section of the store for several years while maintaining a welcoming and active household.
When possible the family enjoyed picnics at Lincoln Park, Bon Fires at Alki Beach, clam digging on Bainbridge Island and at Ocean Shores. As a mother, Betty was actively involved in Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, taking her children to swimming lessons, and other sports activities.
Betty expressed her artistic talents by the myriad of crafts she so expertly produced. She was an excellent knitter, quilter, seamstress and excelled in the art of Japanese bunka embroidery. During retirement, Betty and Mits enjoyed many “road trips” with Reiko and her husband, Kenso to Yellowstone, California, Las Vegas, Reno, and Chicago, among other places.
Betty passed away peacefully at the age of 91 years old from complications related to diabetes and pneumonia. On June 30, 2018, she was reunited with her beloved husband of 70 years who passed away just 10 weeks earlier on April 24, 2018.
Betty is survived by her sister, Reiko Koura; her three children, Bruce (Janice) Abe, Jolene Chang, and George (Susan) Abe; stepchildren, Patrick (Phyllis) Abe and Joanne Fujimura; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to the staff of Altancare Adult Family Home for the excellent care and personal attention she received for the past 3 years.
Private Family Services were held.
Betty Chizuko Abe
July 22, 2018
My memories go back before WW2 when my sister and I visited Betty and Reiko at the hotel their folks operated in what is currently the Seattle SoDo area. At Minidoka they lived in the barracks next to the Kiuchis in Block 42. I recall Betty singing "Shoo,Shoo Baby" in a camp talent show. Reiko and I once went "out" while I was at Fort Lewis in 1951. Very nice memories of the sisters.... Ats Kiuchi.