Mary Hamada

1922 - 2014


In Loving Memory MARY HAMADA

May 17, 1922 – January 8, 2014

Former Walla Walla resident, Mary

Yamaoka Hamada, 91, passed away

January 8, 2014, at the Nevada State

Veterans Home in Boulder City, Nevada.

The youngest of six children, Mary

was born May 17, 1922, in Glenns

Ferry, Idaho. Her parents Toki Shimizu and Kunio Yamaoka came to the

United States from Ahemakin, Japan, making her second generation


Her father was a cook and her mother raised the family of

five girls and one boy. When Mary was four, her family went

back to Japan, living there for nine months before returning to

American. Shortly after their return, her mother died in 1927.

Her father remarried Chiyo Okazawa of Seattle in 1928. They

lived as a family in Baker, Oregon. Her father owned and was

a chef in a restaurant. After several years in Baker, the family

moved to Seattle. Mary graduated from Broadway High School

in 1940.

During WW II, Mary and her parents were sent to Camp

Minidoka, an interment camp for Japanese-Americans, where

Mary spent two years working in the hospital. From camp, Mary

joined the US Army, where she served as a nurse’s aid and was

also a sergeant. After the war she moved to Chicago, where she

worked as a pricer in a wholesale house. It was in Chicago that

she met Chuck Hamada and they were married November 6, 1952.

They moved to Walla Walla in 1954 to start the Hamada

family business. Mary worked on the farm growing cucumbers

and Walla Walla Sweet Onions.

She had many hobbies, including knitting and made many

knitted sweaters and afghans for her family. She always had

a smile on her face even in her later years. She loved playing

solitaire and Pinochle as well as going to Reno to play the slot

machines and Keno. She enjoyed attending all sporting events

of her children and grandchildren. She was a member of the

Walla Walla Bowling Association, B.P.O. E. Lodge #287 and St.

Paul’s Episcopal Church.

Mary is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Barbara and

Craig Woolsey of Las Vegas, Nevada; two sons and daughters-in-

law, Alan and Debbie Hamada and Harry and Ann Hamada

all of Walla Walla; six grandchildren: Jennifer (Dusty) Gaines

of Phoenix, Arizona; Lucas (Megan) Hamada, Andrew (Emily)

Hamada, Joe Woolsey, Ashley Hamada, and Andrea Hamada;

three great-grandchildren: Taylor Hamada, Brannan Hamada,

and Camden Hamada all of Walla Walla; and several nieces

and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and her

husband in 2008.

Family and friends may pay their respects from 9 a.m.

to 11 a.m., Tuesday, January 14, 2014, at Mountain

View-Colonial DeWitt, 1551 Dalles Military Road,

Walla Walla, Washington. The funeral service

will be 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 14, 2014, at

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Rev. Birch Rambo will

offi ciate. Memorial contributions may be made to

the Christian Aid Center or the Nevada State

Veterans Home through the funeral home.

Family and friends may write memories

and sign the online guestbook at


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