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
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