June 9, 1923 - May 12, 2019
Chiyo (Fujimoto) Mikawa peacefully passed away on May 12th, 2019 at the age of 95. Chiyo was one of seven children born to Genzo and Umeyo Fujimoto. Born on June 9, 1923, in Isleton, CA, she moved to French Camp, CA, at a very young age. She attended Stockton High School, however was moved to an internment camp in Gila, Arizona, during her senior year. From there Chiyo moved to Philadelphia and attended and completed cosmetology school. At the age of 23, Chiyo moved back to French Camp to help on the farm. There she met and married Ben Mikawa on October 1949. They grew strawberries and grapes in Lodi, CA, and started their family. It was then she finally decided to put her cosmetology license to use and went to work at Phil's Beauty Shop for 16 years. After retirement, Chiyo and Ben moved to Stockton where they held many family gatherings and celebrated their 50th anniversary in 1999. Chiyo was still active and artistic, volunteering at the Delta Blood Bank, going mall walking and participating in tai chi, creating quilts for the grandchildren, crocheting, bunka embroidery, lapidary and jewelry making, sewing and baking. She thoroughly enjoyed her trips with family and had a special relationship with each of her grandchildren.
In August 2017 Chiyo moved to Brookdale Independent Living and continued her art classes, which she loved. Known there as "Chiyo the Artist", she was so happy to be able to just walk across the hall to her art class and see her friends. She also enjoyed and continued mall walking, having coffee and snacks with her friends. In January 2019, Chiyo moved to Arbor Assisted Living. Her family wishes to extend their sincere thanks and appreciation to friends and faculty at Brookdale, Arbor and Vitas Hospice for their continued support.
Chiyo is survived by her 3 children: Brenda Metcalf (Michael), Janet Niino (Ken), Vic Mikawa, 5 grandchildren: Jenise Stark (Bryan), Casey Garibaldi (Anthony), Scott Mikawa (Kaitlin), Kendra Mikawa, Melanie Niino, and 4 great grandchildren: Dominic and Elliana Garibaldi, Avery and Brayson Stark. Also survived by her youngest sister Aya Onizuka. Preceded in death by her husband of 56 years Ben Mikawa, sister Irene Nakano, sister Edna Yabuno, sister Mitz Hatanaka, sister Fumiko Fujimoto, brother Nobuo Fujimoto and daughter in-law Sherry Mikawa.
Her legacy will forever be cherished. Services will be private for immediate family.
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Cherokee Memorial is honored to serve the Mikawa family.