Hideko Okamoto -- Rochester

Hideko "Hidee" Okamoto, 90, of Rochester, died peacefully on April 11, 2018, at the Stewartville Care Center.

She was born on Dec. 24, 1927, in Littleton, Colo., the third of three children to first generation Japanese immigrants, Seijin and Kame Nakayema. Hidee graduated from Littleton High School and went on to attend the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Hidee’s education was cut short when she went to visit her parents, who had relocated to Los Angeles to open a rooming house. Her mother was ill, so Hidee decided to take a year off to help her father. Then, her father was diagnosed with cancer, so she remained in Los Angeles to assist her mom.

She later returned to Denver and met Robert S. Okamoto. They were married in September 1953 and had six children. They divorced in 1989.

Hidee was first and foremost a homemaker and her whole life was devoted to her family. Hidee was also a faithful and loyal friend. She made friends easily wherever she went because she had such a warm and gracious demeanor.

Hidee loved music and was an accomplished pianist. She also loved gardening, was an avid reader and enjoyed watching sports. Her favorite athlete was the star Japanese baseball player Ichiro, of the Seattle Mariners.

Hidee was fluent in Japanese, a gift put to good use in her volunteer work for the Mercer Island (Washington) Public Schools, where she taught English as a second language. She also volunteered at the Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance, Calif., and the Lynnwood, Wash., food bank.

Hidee is survived by her children, Robert (Carol) Okamoto of Hemet, Calif., Cynthia (James) Martenson of Rochester, Marjorie (Michael) Lum of Seattle, Patricia (Pedro) Caballero of Camarillo, Calif., and Darrell Okamoto of Redondo Beach, Calif. Grandchildren include Jimmy (Maria) Martenson, Christy (Betsy) Martenson, Jeff Martenson, Daniel Lum, Krissy Lum, Nicholas Caballero and Gabriel Caballero. She was preceded in death by her parents, Seijin and Kame Nakayema; brothers, Seiken and Kiyoshi; and her son, Jerry Okamoto.

Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 18, at Christ United Methodist Church, 400 Fifth Ave. SW, Rochester, MN. The Rev. Nancy Wheeler Handlon will officiate. There will be a gathering time beginning at 10 a.m. prior to the service at Christ United Methodist Church and a luncheon reception will follow at the Church. She will be buried according to her wishes, next to her son, in Bellevue, Wash.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials in honor of Hideko Okamoto to be sent to Christ United Methodist Church Music Program.