Frances Nishimura

April 29, 1917 - Dec. 4, 2019


Frances Nishimura died peacefully Dec. 4, 2019, in Portland, Oregon, at the age of 102 with family at her bedside. She was born in Auburn, Washington, where she was raised by her childless uncle and aunt after her parents and siblings returned to Japan. It was there that she met her future husband Shizuo “Nish” Nishimura whom she married in 1943 while they were in Tule Lake Internment-Segregation Center before being moved to Amache Relocation Center in Colorado for the duration of World War II. Upon their release from the internment camp, they settled in Ontario, Oregon, where they raised their family and Frances was active in her community and church.

She loved gardening, arts and crafts and enjoyed entering her produce, flowers and art in the Malheur County Fair, always bringing home many ribbons. When Treasure Valley Community College opened in Ontario, she was happy for the opportunity to enroll in classes. It was there that she learned to use her computer when she was in her 80s and continued to take art classes until her move to Portland to be closer to her daughters in 2008.

She was a special mother, grandmother and great grandmother who lived a long and meaningful life, meeting it with a positive spirit, generosity, resilience, sense of adventure and good humor. She will be greatly missed.

Frances was preceded in death by her beloved husband Shizuo, son Wesley, brother Tomio, and two sisters in Japan. She is survived by her children, Gene (Susan), Elaine (Gary) and Karen (Ed); grandsons, Michael (Debbie) and Christopher; great grandchildren, Kaitlyn and Matthew; and sister, Toshiko in Japan.

At her request, there was no funeral. Interment next to her husband at Evergreen Cemetery in Ontario will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple or to a charity of your choice.

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