OBITUARY: Kaye Kishiye (Morishita) Yamaguchi

Kaye Kishiye (Morishita) Yamaguchi

June 8, 1929 ~ Feb 13, 2021

Kaye Kishiye (Morishita) Yamaguchi, 91, died peacefully at her residence in Beaverton, Oregon, on Feb. 13. Her children were with her during her passing.

Kaye was born on June 8, 1929, in Gresham, Oregon, to Shintaro and Tsunase Morishita. She was the middle child of six siblings. Kaye grew up on a farm in Gresham. When the war broke out with Japan, her family was relocated first to the Portland Assembly Center and then interned at the Nyssa Labor Camp in Nyssa, Oregon. This had a large impact on Kaye and her family. Upon release, Kaye’s family farmed in Oregon Slope, Ontario, Oregon, and Weiser, Idaho. Kaye graduated from Ontario High School. She then moved to Portland, Oregon, with her sister June, to work and attend sewing school. Kaye moved back to Ontario when she was called home to work on the farm.

Kaye married Kazuo Yamaguchi on Dec. 19, 1951. They farmed in Vale until 1973 and then moved to Ontario to farm. They enjoyed playing sports, cards, bowling, dancing and spending time with family and friends. They were members of the Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple. At the center of their lives were their four children, Colette, Doug, Marla and Lisa. Kaye became a widow in 1986 and sold the farms shortly thereafter. In 2005, Kaye lost her youngest daughter, Lisa, to cancer. When asked what she was most proud of, she said it was raising her four children and have them attend college.

Kaye was a natural athlete and enjoyed softball and basketball in her early years and golf and bowling later on. Friends said she could throw a softball harder than anyone. She was also an excellent cook and made the best shrimp tempura.

Kaye always worked hard and instilled this in her children. She worked on the farm, as a legal secretary for Swan, Butler and Looney and office manager of the Ontario court system.

In 2003 Kaye reunited with an old boyfriend, Sam Uchiyama. They were always together traveling between his home in Fife, Washington and her home in Ontario. One of their favorite pastimes was to go to casinos. They often could be found at the Emerald Queen having dinner and playing slot machines. They also took several trips to Hawaii and made annual trips to Las Vegas with her family.

In her later years, Kaye lived in an assisted living facility in Meridian, Idaho, with her sister Anne. In 2019 she moved to an assisted living facility in Beaverton to be closer to her daughters and their families. She enjoyed spending time with her children, grandchildren, siblings and friends.

Kaye is survived by her children Colette (Tom) Yamaguchi-Napier, Douglas (Joyce) Yamaguchi and Marla (Shannon) Yagi; her grandchildren Katie (Rami) Mansoura, Derek and Jered Yagi; and siblings June Morinaga, Anne Enoki and Charlie Morishita.

Kaye was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Kazuo Yamaguchi, her daughter Lisa (Brian) Tonar, her siblings Haruo Morishita, Mickie Atagi, Nancy Shigeno and her partner Sam Uchiyama.

Kaye had an infectious smile and positive spirit that she carried throughout her life. She was a great role model for her children as she showed great strength and courage during challenging times.