OBITUARY

Setsuko "Setty" (Oikawa) Shoji Araki

April 14, 1932September 11, 2021

SHOJI-ARAKI, Setsuko “Setty” (nee Oikawa), aged 89, passed away peacefully on Saturday, September 11, 2021 at Peace Portal Seniors Village in White Rock, BC. Throughout her life, she was adventurous and driven.

Born in Japan on April 14, 1932, Setsuko began her career in Sendai as a psychiatric nurse and as a surgical nurse. In 1958, a matchmaker introduced her to George Shoji who was visiting Japan from Canada with his family. One year later, Setsuko joined her new husband and his family in Chatham, Ontario and started her life in Canada.

Setsuko had two daughters with George: Leigh Ann and Donna. While raising her family, she worked for over 20 years as a nursing aid in the maternity ward of St. Joseph’s Hospital and later at Chatham Public General Hospital. She felt fortunate to be able to use her skills, taking care of newborn babies and supporting their mothers. This included sewing Christmas stockings for the hospital’s holiday tradition of presenting newborns to their parents in Christmas stockings.

George developed cancer in 1978 and succumbed 2 years later. After a few years, Setsuko became a penpal to widower Akio Araki. They married in 1985 and she moved to his home in Kamloops, BC, where she enjoyed the temperate weather; fishing on the local lakes with Aki in his fishing boat; growing beautiful peaches, plums and apples; tending the vegetable garden; travelling globally and generally enjoying her well deserved retirement.

In 2005 the couple moved to Burnaby’s Nikkei Home assisted living facility, where both Aki and Setsuko were able to get the support that they needed in a Japanese setting. When they moved in, Setsuko was very active and some staff initially thought that she was a visitor.

After Aki passed away in 2012, Setsuko continued with her life at the Nikkei Home, participating in social, craft, and fitness activities until her health began to fail. She was diagnosed with dementia and in the spring of 2020 moved to Peace Portal Seniors Village in Surrey, BC to receive a higher level of care, where she remained until her passing.

She is predeceased by four sisters and two brothers in Japan; her former husbands, George Shoji (father of her children Leigh Ann and Donna) and Akio Araki.

She is survived by her sister Haruko Abe of Japan; daughters Leigh Ann Shoji-Lee (Carlos) and Donna Elliott (Andy) and grandchildren Daniel, Eric, Sarah and Carolyn.

Her ashes will be laid to rest in Chatham, Ontario with interment in Spring 2022.

The family would like to express thanks for the devoted care provided to Setsuko by the staff at Peace Portal Seniors Village, Surrey, BC. If desired, friends may make memorial contributions to the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Center, Burnaby, BC.

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Setsuko "Setty" (Oikawa) Shoji Araki

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Thomas Kelly

October 17, 2021

Leigh Ann and family - I am very sorry to learn of the passing of your mother. My sincere sympathies to you and your family. It's always difficult to lose a parent. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Alison Drew

September 27, 2021

So terribly sorry to hear of your loss Donna and Leigh Ann and families. Your home was always a welcome place to visit when we were in high school and your mom and aunt Martha were extremely kind and very welcoming. I remember stopping by after band practice on numerous occasions and having delicious treats! Great memories with lifetime friends!

Susan Faester

September 19, 2021

Setty one of the best grandparent volleyball fans who attended most of Eric’s games. I remember the cheering and sharing of coffee candies! Special person.

Germaine Bubela

September 19, 2021

Leigh Ann and family..Susan told me your dear Mom passed away recently,am sorry to hear.
I only met her a couple times and enjoyed her company,Susan often mentioned her in conversations,her interesting and fruitful life..take care.