YAMAOKA, May May Yamaoka or as some would fondly call "Mayko" or "Maysie", passed peacefully at home on Monday, January 15, 2018. Born at Amache, an internment camp in Granada, Colorado during World War II, and the daughter of second-generation Japanese American parents, May was the "baby" of four children, 14 years separating her from her oldest sibling. At the end of World War II, when May was two, she and her family moved back to their well-taken care of ranch in Petaluma where she grew up. Her passion for giving and helping people led her into a career in nursing where she dedicated 43 years of her life, a majority of those years were at Community Hospital (Sutter Medical Center) in Santa Rosa. If May wasn't at work, caring for new moms and newborn babies, she was at home helping her husband in the garden, harvesting and processing loads of tomatoes, persimmons, pears, you name it, or playing hidden object games and jigsaw puzzles online and "liking" and commenting on photos on Facebook. May was artistic and crafty, both in the kitchen with her delicious home-cooking and cake-making, and on a sewing machine making clothes for her daughter and curtains for the house. A social butterfly, May was known to strike up conversations with strangers and never ceased to amaze her husband and daughter by running into someone she knew wherever they went. May was a generous soul who never let anyone leave after a visit to the house without a bag of veggies from the garden or homemade Satsuma plum raspberry jam. May was preceded in death by her parents, Harry and Elaine Otani, brother Henry Otani and sister Dorothy Shimizu. Survived by her loving husband of 38 years, Dennis, brother Bill Otani (Rose), daughter Charlene, son-in-law Tom Garland and her adored grandson, Evan Garland. Friends and family are invited to attend a memorial service to be held at 12 p.m., Saturday, February 17th at Enmanji Buddhist Temple, 1200 Gravenstein Highway South, Sebastopol, CA 95472. A visitation is also being held at Daniels Chapel of the Roses, 1225 Sonoma Ave., Santa Rosa, CA on Sunday, January 28th from 3 p.m. - 8 p.m. for those unable to attend the memorial service or that wish to have a private moment to pay their respects (please note that only photos of May will be present and family will not be in attendance).
Published Online in the Press Democrat from Jan. 24 to Jan. 25, 2018