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Kimiko Tanbara

12/19/1924 - 03/21/2017
Service Date: 04/15/2017 at 1:00 PM
Location:Tacoma Buddhist Temple
After a series of medical complications, Kimi passed away unexpectedly, but very peacefully on March 21, 2017 surrounded by her family. She was the daughter of Masataka and Mitsu Fujimoto and had two older sisters, Yoshiko and Tadaye. She grew up in what was Tacoma’s Japan Town before WWII in the family home on Fawcett Avenue across the street from the Tacoma Buddhist Temple. She is a graduate of Stadium High School and the College of Puget Sound.

The only time Kimi did not live in Tacoma was when she, her family, and everyone of Japanese ancestry were imprisoned in relocation camps during WWII. She met George Tanbara in the Heart Mountain relocation camp. They were later married and during the next 65 years raised four children and made Tacoma their home.

Kimi loved to work. While attending college Kimi continued to help with the family dry cleaning business. After marriage, she worked at her husband’s pediatric practice and continued to work at Pediatrics Northwest until she fell 3 months ago. She will always be remembered for her cheerfulness, generosity, and thoughtfulness. She was a loving, energetic and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, auntie, and good friend. She always said, “Have a good time”, “Be careful”, and “Behave”.

Kimi is survived by her husband of 65 years, George Tanbara; her children, Gregory Tanbara (Barbara), Diane Taniguchi (Harold), Susan Brahm (Jerry), and Merilee Tanbara; grandchildren, Madison, Eleanor, George, and Mia; and many nephews and nieces. Kimi was the last member of the Fujimoto family, one of the founding families of the Tacoma Buddhist Temple.

Her memorial service will be held on April 15, 2017 at 1:00pm at the Tacoma Buddhist Temple, 1717 South Fawcett Ave, Tacoma, 98402. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Tacoma Buddhist Temple, Community Health Care, or to a charity of your choice. Please leave online condolences at Arrangements by Gaffney Funeral Home, 253-572-6003.
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