June Suzuki Kawamura 1923-2013
We celebrate and give thanks for the life of June S. Kawamura! June Lucille Suzuki was born June 22, 1923 to Kenkichi and Yoshiko Suzuki in Los Angeles, CA. She grew up with her older brother George in their home on Hobart Street. She was a lifetime member of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. An excellent student, she attended Los Angeles High School and then entered UCLA in 1941. In March of 1942 she was interned with her family at Santa Anita Race Track and then moved to Gila, Arizona. In 1943 with the assistance of the Episcopal Church she was able to leave the internment camp to attend Keystone College in Pennsylvania. The following year she transferred to Pembroke College, now part of Brown University in Rhode Island. She graduated in 1946 with a BS in Biology. After a year of Episcopal mission work on a Sioux Indian reservation in South Dakota, she came back to Los Angeles and took a job with the Department of Water and Power where she worked as a lab technician.
In 1948, June met and married Genji Gene Kawamura, founder of Western Marketing Company, which continues today as Orange County Produce, a four- generation family business. She and Genji had 5 children: Jan, Kathrine, A.G., Matthew and Julia. In 1958 the family moved from L.A. to Newport Beach where she lived in the same home for the next 55 years. She was actively involved with her church, St. James Episcopal; Newport Heights Elementary School PTA; Florence Crittenton and various other charities and affiliations. During her life she was a skier, traveler, reader and an avid golfer and bridge player with the Niners. Always the rebel, she had learned to fly in the late 1940’s and took flying lessons again after her 70th birthday. She was a devoted daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and friend whose passion for family, education and life inspired us all.
June passed away peacefully in the home she loved on February 27…National Strawberry Day! She is survived by her brother, Colonel George E. Suzuki (ret); her 5 children and their spouses: Jan Kawamura-Kay (Jeff), Kathrine Corliss (Sam), A.G. (Dianne), Matt (Jeana), Julia Kawamura (Giancarlo Piazzai); and her 10 grandchildren: Derek, Yvonne, Paul, Sarah, Vander, Carrie, Sandra, Philip, Madeline and Leonardo. In lieu of flowers the family suggests a memorial contribution be made to Padres Unidos, 708 N. Garfield, Santa Ana, CA 92701 or through their web site www.ocpu.org.
June Suzuki Kawamura