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    WillieeArmellini
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    Kimiko Fujii Kitayama
    Kimiko “Kimi” Fujii Kitayama, 97, passed away peacefully on March 27, 2019 at her home in
    Union City, CA. Born February 11, 1922, the fourth of six children of Ryutaro and Katsu Yokobori
    Fujii, Kimi grew up on the family’s Hayward carnation farm. She was a freshman at UC Berkeley
    when in 1942, she and her family along with all others of Japanese descent were uprooted by
    the U.S. War Relocation Authority and moved to the Topaz War Relocation Center in Utah. Kimi
    left the camp to attend Brigham Young University and in 1947 graduated from the University of
    Wisconsin with a B.S. in Botany. After graduation, Kimi returned to Hayward to help revive and
    expand the family’s carnation business. Kimi was active in the Democratic Party, leading to her
    appointment to the executive board of the Democratic State Central Committee. She attended
    the Democratic National Conventions in 1960, 1964, and 1968. Kimi was named Hayward’s
    Distinguished Citizen for 1972 for her “tireless effort to make our community a better place and
    her willingness to serve mankind by involvement.”
    In 1977, Kimi married Ray Kitayama, one of the founding brothers of Kitayama Brothers Farms
    and Greenleaf Wholesale Florist. They had known each other a long time as both of their
    families were East Bay flower growers. Ray had become a widower with 4 children and Kimi
    coming into his life was a blessing. Kimi enjoyed the flower business and loved travelling with
    Ray to floral events and conventions. She was also well known and friends with KB Farms and
    Greenleaf staff throughout the companies. Her greatest role was as an amazing grandmother to
    her 5 grand-daughters who she loved dearly and was an inspiration to.
    Kimi was predeceased by her husband Ray and her five siblings. She is survived by step-
    daughter Jean (Terry Gehrke), and stepsons Stuart (Carol), Robert (Karen), and Scott (Eva).
    Memorial Service for Mr
    s.
    Kitayama will be held on Saturday May 4th at 2:00 at the San Lorenzo
    Japanese Christian Church, 615 Lewelling Blvd., San Leandro, CA 94579.
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