In loving memory of Sachiko Fujimoto of Tokyo, Japan, who passed away at her home after a long illness due to pancreatic cancer. She is survived by her husband, Kenji Fujimoto, and daughter, Akari Fujimoto, both in Tokyo. Her illness was detected shortly after her last trip to visit friends in St. Marys four years ago.
The Fujimoto family lived in St. Marys from 1988 through 1994. Kenji was President of Mecha Tech Sysem Corp., a division of Orii Corp., and they chose St. Marys as their first location for a sales and service operation in the United States.
After Kenji’s return to Japan, the local office was moved closer to the Cincinnati Airport, where they remain today. Although a very small company, they were very supportive of the community, having started the Mecha Tech System Corp. Youth Exchange Fund through the Community Foundation.
Sachiko and Kenji were very active with international activities in the community and surrounding area, including opening their home to many people to enjoy Japanese culture, assisting with programs at the library and in the local schools, and assisting with the people to people exchanges with Japan.
Being one of the first pioneer Japanese families who came with the three new industries in 1988, she was very instrumental in enriching the existing Sister City relationship and brought American and Japanese people together to learn more about one another’s culture. She was named Woman of the Year by the St. Marys Sister Cities Organization. Some of her community involvement included:
Japanese language classes, worked with Japanese ladies on an origami project that won honors at the Auglaize County Fair, helped youth interested in traveling to Japan with learning Japanese language and prepared Japanese food for them, opened her home for Girls Day presentations invited many people in to learn about this celebration, assisted with the reception for Keidanren CBCC from Japan which included the brother-in-law of the Emporer at that time, left small gifts on friends door steps, visited people in nursing homes, organized Japanese girls to perform Japanese dance for presentation to the public, furthered the friendship between St. Marys people and the people of Hokudan-cho (now Awaji City) by being directly involved in regular activities and assisted with all visits from Japan, assisted with the establishment of Sister City relations between Celina and Van Wert and their sister cities on Awaji Island, went into the local classrooms and the local library to share Japanese culture with the community.
She was always anxious to hear the stories of the youth who traveled to Japan to learn their impression of their first visit. She loved international travel. She and her family traveled to many countries. In the most recent years they organized many tours to Czech. She never saw a stranger and used her warm and friendly way to learn more about other people.
Sachiko’s “American parents” were William and Jane Stewart; and, Allen and Kathe’ Sandkuhl. Her American sister was Frances Pyles and her family, husband Lee and children Michael Wehnes and family and Chris Miley and family.
Sachiko touched the lives of many people during her stay in St. Marys. Some of her other dear friends included Barry and Shirley Kemp, Terry Hesson, Bernadine Potbury, Mike and Miriam Lynch, Mary Ann and Kim Klopfleisch, Pam and Dean Hobler, Rees and Deb McKee, Phyllis Henderson, Ken and Kim Strickland, Randy and Sandy Henkener, Ruth Ann and John Woesner, Mary Alice and Mick McDermitt, Frances and Nick Van Schoyck, Jim Seifring, Dale Grimes Jr., Dale and Evelyn Grimes Sr., Dan and Sue Hosek, Doris Lawler, Stan and Nan Davis, Larry and Ronda Shelby, Mary Alice and Doug Brookhart and family, Dave and Jean Woodyard, Linda Burkholder and family, Jim Elking, Sue Nuss, Joni Ahlers, Chuck and Theresa Rowen and other teachers at West Elementary School, Jim and Pam Harris, Chuck Gregorovich and family, William and Eva Sell, Kraig and Chris Noble, Jackie Paulus and family, Larry and Sue Sullivan, Rachael, and family, Mary Jo and Dave Stilwell, Linda Koons, Bill and Paula Drummond, Deb and Jim Geis, Karen and Steve Hunter and many others too numerous to list.
Kenji Fujimoto and friends are planning a memorial service for Sachiko in April 2013, in St. Marys. Those who would like to be notified of the service and celebration of her life, can send an email to email@example.com with their name, address, email, etc.
The family has requested that no condolences or flowers be sent to Japan. Instead, her American sister has asked that these friends start writing their remembrances of Sachiko in the form of a letter to the Fujimoto family.
These will be put together in a book to be presented to the family at the memorial service. Please email your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to PO Box 337, Waynesfield, OH 45896.
A memorial fund has been established in Sachiko’s name through the St. Marys Community Foundation.
Memorial contributions may be made payable to the St. Marys Community Foundation in Memory of Sachiko Fujimoto and mailed to The Community Foundation, 206 E. Spring St., St. Marys, OH, 45885.