Beatrice Mieko Araki

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Beatrice Mieko Araki (Otera)

Also Known As: "Bea"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Alhambra, California, United States
Death: October 21, 2008 (87)
Garden Grove, Orange, California, United States (Natural causes)
Place of Burial: Garden Grove, Orange, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Yakow Jacob Otera and Chiyo Shizu Otera
Wife of Kakuchi Araki
Mother of Dwight Ken Araki; Stuart George Araki; Private User and Kevin Ricky Araki

Occupation: Homemaker
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Beatrice Mieko Araki

Beatrice Miyeko Araki

June 25, 1921 to October 21, 2008

Bea’s grandparents (Tsunekichi Otera and Tsuru (Kato)) emigrated from Japan to Seattle Washington in 1906 (10-4-06) where Mr. Otera opened a tailor shop. Eventually, they were joined by their children: two sons and two daughters. Yakow Jacob, the oldest son, married Chiyo “Shizu” (Hasegawa). Kimi, the oldest daughter, married Shiro Ito, Tetsuya remained a bachelor for many years until he got married late in life in Japan to Sachiko, and Chiyoko, the youngest daughter at that time, married Tom Sashihara. My mother Ada, the youngest child, was born in Seattle and married Arthur H. Endo.

The Otera family moved to Los Angeles in 1916 where my uncle “Jacob” (Yakow, the oldest son) opened a tailor ship near lst and San Pedro in the heart of what was then and still is called “Japanese” town. Except to my mother, the usage of hands for handcrafts and sewing apparently was an interest and skill passed down through the Otera clan. All of us in the Otera clan have some dollies created by Kimi Ito and/or Chiyo Sashihara. I have a beautiful embroidered mountain and lake scene hanging in my office which was created by my cousin Bea. While being busy as a mother and grandmother, Bea enjoyed all kinds of hand work. She was especially skilled in knitting, tatting, crocheting, and Japanese-style "Bunka" embroidering

Bea was born in 1921 in Los Angeles (6-25-21) to Yakow and “Shizu” Otera. My uncle Jacob got divorced shortly after Bea was born, and she lived in Japan with her mother for a number of years. During her elementary school days, she returned to United States and was cared for by our aunt Chiyo and Uncle “Tom” Sashihara where she became the “older” sister to the Sashihara children: Tom, Diane, and Maureen in Alhambra, CA.

Bea graduated from Alhambra High School and, attended L.A. City College while working at Uncle Tom's drug store at the corner of lst and San Pedro in Japanese town.

When Executive Order 9066 was issued in early 1942, the Otera clan was living throughout the greater Los Angeles area. In an attempt to keep the family together, Uncle Jacob, who worked and lived in Japanese town, was designated to be the head of the Otera family clan so the Otera’s, the Ito’s, the Sashihara’s, and the Endo’s all came to lst Street (5-9-42) with our suitcases and gathered as a family group to be bussed to Santa Anita Race Track where we all lived for close to half a year behind wire fences.


Eventually, late in 1942 (9-5-42), the Otera clan was transported by train to the newly built Heart Mountain Relocation Camp near Cody, Wyoming by train. I visited the Heart Mountain in June 2006 and there still is a train track parallel to the highway from Cody to Powell right next to the camp site.

I don’t remember if Bea was still staying with the Sashihara’s or if she lived with someone else while in Heart Mountain since her father Jacob and our grandmother Tsuru were in the end room of the barrack next to the Endo family while the Sashihara’s had a larger middle room in another barrack in the same Block 28.

While in Heart Mountain, Bea taught home economics in the school system set up at Heart Mountain. Toward the end of World War II, Bea was allowed leave camp early and travel eastward to Lockport, New York where she worked as a maid for the Pinkham family.

Later when the Sashihara family had relocated to Cleveland, Ohio in 1944, and the Endo family had also relocated there, Bea joined them in Cleveland and she lived in an apartment house on 63rd Street between Hough and Euclid which my parents were managing on behalf of the Sashihara’s. Bea apparently worked in some defense industry job making uniforms

Bea has told her boys that she met their father Kakuchi Araki through mutual friends. She said she was wary of Kaki because some of the guys he hung out with were “wild”. Their first date was a “romantic” bowling outing.

Six months later Bea and Kaki were married on J.V. day in 1945 (9-2-45) in a beautiful outdoor wedding in the Shakespeare Gardens overlooking Lake Erie in Cleveland. Shortly after getting married, Kaki and Bea moved back to Los Angeles and lived in "Normandy House" with the extended Araki family. Kaki worked for Helm’s Bakery during this time.

Bea and Kaki’s immediate family was also getting larger, since in the next five years three of their sons were born;

Dwight in July 1946

Stuart in July 1949

Warren in May 1951

For the next five years after the birth of Warren the Araki family moved to Borrego Springs, CA, where Kaki was a foreman for Lynn Farm. Both my brothers Douglas and Victor spent several summers working in Borrego Springs at Lynn Farm.

In 1956 Kaki decided to move to Cypress, here in Orange County, where Kaki developed a gardening route and Bea was busy looking after her sons. In 1957, they bought their first and only home on Bowles Avenue in Garden Grove where Kevin was born in July 1958.

As the boys were growing up, Bea was a full time housewife and mother as an active supporter of children's activities – PTA, Booster Club; high school sports activities, (.etc.). She was also an active member of the Orange County Cymbidium Society.

Kaki became a judo instructor so all the boys participated in many judo tournaments with the entire family present to root each other on. Bea must have done a fabulous job as a mother since all the boys achieved excellent grades throughout high school and all of them were elected to student body leadership positions.

As Bea’s boys graduated from college, they left the Bowles Avenue home to seek employment elsewhere. Stuart and his wife Deborah are the only one who stayed in the Los Angeles area. Dwight, his wife Aki, and their two sons eventually ended up in Colorado, Warren, his wife Saundra, and his children lived in Texas and Japan, and then moved to Indiana upon returning to the United States, and Kevin and his children live in Alaska.

So Bea and Kaki began traveling to visit their sons, daughter-in laws, and grandchildren.

The family was devastated by the accidental death of Dwight, the oldest son, in August 1991 and later, the passing of Kaki in August 1995 during surgery after 50 years of marriage with my cousin Bea.

As Bea curtailed driving at night or long distances, my nephew Timothy would often pick her up and drive her to our family gatherings either at my house and my mother’s house in El Cajon, California. Bea continued to live alone in Bowles Avenue home until July 2006, when she moved to "New Era Guest Home" Residential Care facility in Garden Grove where she lived until she died peacefully on October 21, 2008 (at approximately 6:30 a.m.).

Besides her sons and daughter-in-laws, Bea is survived by her grandchildren: Randy and his wife Mary, Craig, Andrew, Brittany, Jasmine, and Laurel. There is also great-granddaughter Zoe.

Note: Expanded from outline prepared by Warren and Kevin Araki on 10-23-04.

         Expanded by Arthur A. Endo (10-24-08 and revised on 10-27-08).
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Beatrice Mieko Araki's Timeline

1921
June 25, 1921
Alhambra, California, United States
1946
July 20, 1946
California, United States
2008
October 21, 2008
Age 87
Garden Grove, Orange, California, United States
October 27, 2008
Age 87
Garden Grove, Orange, California, United States