Thursday, August 4, 2005
Mary O. Itami
Mary O. Itami, a native of Hood River, Ore., died April 13, 2005, in Milwaukie, Ore., at the age of 80.
Mary Ogawa was born Aug. 1, 1924, in Hood River. She attended and graduated from Barrett Grade School and Hood River High School. During World War II, she was interned in the Tule Lake Relocation Center in California. Upon release from the relocation center, she lived for a short period of time in Cleveland, Ohio. After the war, she returned to Hood River and then lived in Portland, where she worked as a secretary for the War Relocation Authority.
Mary married George T. Itami in 1947. In 1951 they moved to Milwaukie, where Mary was a homemaker. George died in 2002.
Survivors include her son, Galen, and his wife Patty of Portland; brothers Masao Ogawa of Hood River and Joe Miyamoto of Toyama, Japan; sisters Kiyo Kamikawa of Vancouver, Wash., Heide Nakamura of Reedly, Calif., June Masatani of Monterey, Calif., and Lois Okita of Portland; granddaughter, Lindsey Itami of Maui, Hawaii, and grandson, Nick Itami of Portland.
Memorial services were held on April 18. Arrangements were by Mt. Scott Funeral Home. Burial was at Willamette National Cemetery.
Remembrances may be made to the Portland Providence Medical Foundation Hospice Program, 4805 N.E. Glison St., Portland, OR 97213-2967.
Dad was born to Albert and Martha Brunquist in Hood River, Ore. The morning of Dec. 12, 1921, was laden with deep snow and with only a sled to get to the Hood River Hospital. They made it in time and Robert Louis Brunquist was born. Dad grew up on the family farm in Parkdale.
While growing up he was active in 4-H raising calves, watching silent movies in the hall above McIsaac’s store and also kept busy with the farm life. From stories Dad has shared over the years, he also enjoyed the usual teenage boy antics such as one Halloween night, with some help from friends — they were able to hoist an old buggy to the top of McIsaac’s store and then pull the fire alarm. The mystery has finally been solved after all these years.
Dad proudly served four years in the U.S. Navy, with two on the destroyer mine sweeper Hopkins and the other two on the Hornet, which was an aircraft carrier.
Before returning to the family farm in Parkdale, Dad held various jobs ranging from testing buttermilk fat in cows to milking lots of cows on Sauvie Island. Dad also worked at Hanel’s Mill on a plainer saw and drove a school bus in the Parkdale area.
Dad married Lela Mae Sampson in 1949; together they raised three daughters in Parkdale; Barbara, Margo and Marti.
In 1977 Dad and Mom decided it was time to retire from farming and sold the farm to our good friends and neighbors the Laurance family. Dad and Mom started out as snowbirds traveling to Quartzsite, Ariz., each winter, and then later moved there full time.
Mom preceded Dad in death in March of 1998. One year later he moved to Roseburg, Ore., to live closer to Margo. The last six months Dad has been living in Everett, Wash.
Dad’s heart and soul never really left Parkdale; he considered it “Home.” He died on April 20, 2005.
Dad is survived by his brother, Leland Brunquist, three daughters and sons-in-law; Barbara, Margo (Mark Hess), Marti (Rick Montgomery); six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made to your local VFW chapter.
Dad we love you and know that you are greatly missed by all who knew you and especially by those who were touched by your bright blue eyes and warm, kind smile.