Knitting 01

Fumiko Asano Bower

February 16, 1927 ~ August 18, 2021 (age 94)

Obituary

Fumiko Asano Bower passed away in Bradenton, Florida on August 18, 2021. She was 94 years old. Fumiko was preceded in death by her father Fusajiro Asano, mother Mitsuko Kanno, husband Martin Clement Bower, brother Wakichi Asano, sister Mary Osaka (Bill) and son-in-law Thomas Culler. Fumiko  is survived by her children; Marie Culler, Cornelia (Mark) Maffett, Bobbi (Ted) Camp and James (Mary Frances) Bower, a brother in San Francisco, Tetsuo (Keiko) Asano, as well as five grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, cousins, nieces, nephews and other close family members. Fumiko was born in Salinas, California on Feb. 16, 1927 where she resided until 1942. The family moved during the time of the Japanese internment with Fumiko eventually residing in New Jersey. In 1954, Fumiko and her family made Bradenton, FL their permanent home. Fumiko was also known as Mickey to her many friends and acquaintances. During her years in Bradenton, Mickey was a leader in Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts and 4-H Clubs. She was a constant support to her children’s activities throughout their school years, including sewing the Manatee High School Drill Team uniforms for her daughters and other members of the Drill Team. Sewing and being a seamstress became an early career accomplishment that Fumiko learned at a very young age. She was very determined and wise and her skills tested her when she was widowed at the age of 37. She could sew everything from doll clothes, clothes for her own very young children, upholstery, drapes, prom dresses and wedding gowns. Her career path transitioned when she managed Chidori’s Japanese Restaurant on Siesta Key, FL and later Englewood , Fl. Her final career was banking; she retired from Bank of America in 1992. Fumiko enjoyed lots of hobbies. She loved to garden and continued to do so for much of her life. She made tasty soups and sushi; she hid her secret teriyaki sauce recipe taped to the inside of the cupboard door. She could knit while reading a book and watching TV at the same time. She thoroughly enjoyed theatre, museums and music events. She was an avid reader,  loved crossword puzzles, and Bingo. She attended Aqua aerobics and yoga classes. A favorite pastime for many years was Sunday Mahjong with family friends. The joy of travel with Fumiko and the experiences that are remembered will be treasured memories, from sleeping in tents with blow up mattresses to sticking a chop stick in a leaky gas tank- enjoying National Parks, as well as foreign travel will be cherished memories. The Great Smoky Mountains are special to all of our family, with one member in particular, camping there just about every summer and has done so since high school. Fumiko will be remembered for the years she housed Japanese students during their long breaks from school and worked to improve their English skills while in Bradenton. The teenagers from years ago are now grown adults with families of their own who mourn the loss of Fumiko-San. Most importantly, Fumiko relished the special occasions and holidays spent with family and friends. She treated many people like family and was affectionately known as “Ma Bower” by neighborhood kids and others throughout her lifetime, always willing to offer her pearls of wisdom. Fumiko was dearly loved and will be missed by all who knew her. There are no plans for a funeral or viewing. A Celebration of Life will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions made in Fumiko’s name may be made to Tidewell Hospice, the Arts or organizations that serve the less fortunate.

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