Mary Kasai was born in Downey, California, on December 12, 1928. She was one of 6 children born to Isa and Yataro Maeda, and she grew up on a working strawberry farm. Mary and her brother Johnny would put together small crates for strawberries and enjoyed playing outdoors.
When Mary was a young teenager, her life took a different turn. Her family found themselves interned in a concentration camp in Arkansas during World War II. She was involved in youth activities and first learned how to sew in camp.
After being released from camp, Mary moved with her family to Japan for a brief time. While in Japan, she met Leonard Kasai. They eventually moved to Spokane, Washington and married. Soon after their move, they welcomed twin girls, Cheryl and Carol. Mary was a very devoted and supportive Mother to the twins. She nurtured the growing girls in a variety of educational and creative pursuits.
When her daughters were very young, Mary enrolled in a local vocational program and became certified as a Medical Technician. She worked full-time for the Spokane County Health Department until her retirement in the early 90s.
After her retirement, she moved to Sacramento to live near Cheryl. She quickly found a spiritual home at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church. St. Mark’s provided Mary with many lifelong spiritual and social connections.
Mary’s life can be viewed as a life ‘well lived’. She may have had her share of heartbreak and rough patches, and still she was able to shine through it all. She had such a strong and tenacious spirit. She was a loving and supportive Mother. She was a kind and thoughtful friend. She was the fun-loving “Bachan” (Grandma).
Mary will be sorely missed by all who knew her, and we will all remember her LOVE.
She is survived by her daughters Cheryl Kasai of Antelope, California and Carol Love (Don) and Grandson Ross of Windsor, Colorado; siblings Jean Makishi and Johnny Maeda; also numerous nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Mary’s life will be held at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, 2391 St. Mark’s Way, Sacramento, CA 95864, on Saturday, January 15th, 2022 at 10:00 AM. A live-stream viewing of the memorial service will be available on St. Mark’s YouTube channel - St. Mark's UMC Sacramento - YouTube.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorial donations be made to St. Mark’s United Methodist Church.
Celebration of Life
St. Mark's United Methodist Church
2391 St. Mark’s Way