Asako Geraldine Tanaka


Asako Geraldine Tanaka,  born in Redwood City, California, on June 25, 1923, daughter of Toma and Shiroku Hachisuka. Mom died peacefully with her family at her bedside on July 23, 2022, at River Valley Estates Senior Living Center, in Yuma, Arizona.

Gerri, as she preferred to be called, is preceded in death by her parents, her son, Donald Tanaka, and former  husband, Morris Tanaka. She is survived by her daughter, Lynnmarie (Michael) Hannapel of Longmont, Colorado and from Yuma, Arizona, daughter Cynthia Tanaka, and sons, Richard (Margie) Tanaka, Sidney (Anna) Tanaka, Wesley (Kenna) Tanaka, and sisters, Mary Hachisuka Mayeda, of West Covina, California, Nancy Hachisuka Takagi, of Salt Lake City, Utah. Gerri is blessed with 12 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Our mother was a fortress of strength and perseverance for our family.  She began her early life growing up in the area now known as Silicon Valley and endured the Depression as a young girl, only to face the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII.  With resiliency and determination she forged a new life, married and raised 6 children while living in the San Luis Valley in Colorado.  Gerri worked in the Colorado Judicial System as a clerk of the court in Alamosa, Colorado, but farming was the mainstay of family life.  After retiring, she moved to Yuma, Arizona, to live and be with her sons and their families.

A lasting memory of our mother is the warm, friendly welcome, and the always open door to her home, where one could often find themselves invited to dinner.  She was a master chef, once winning “Best Side Dish” at the Golden Shamrock Rib Cook-Off, in Yuma. She loved to make jams and jelly for others, from gathering rose hips to seeding pomegranates. She always demonstrated a willingness to help others, to listen and to share the bounty of the farm.  She taught herself to golf, to read the stock market, and she loved to bowl.  But, her favorite activities were gardening, and playing slots in Las Vegas!  She was a life-long learner and loved to travel.  Most importantly, she showed us how to have pride in oneself, in one’s work, how to treat others, and work hard.  She believed in honesty and truth above all.  Our legacy is to continually strive to live these values.

There will be no services at this time with burial in Salt Lake City, Utah.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations may be made in her memory to Best Friends Animal Society, bestfriends.org. or the Yuma Humane Society.   Gerri loved her furry friends and always found room for a stray dog or cat who came her way, adopting many rescue dogs who have since crossed the rainbow bridge to be with her today.

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