Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Sue, small, but mighty

Sue Kunitomi Embrey passed away last Monday. I met Sue 14 years ago when I was involved in the 50 Year Remembrance of Japanese American internment commemorations, and when I went on my first Manzanar Pilgrimage back in 1992. I worked with her for 8 years while I volunteered for the Manzanar Committee. Sue was the Chair of the Manzanar Committee, which has organized the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage for the last 37 years. She was an activist, a historian, feminist, and she was the driving force behind Manzanar being designated a national park, the Manzanar National Historic Site. She dedicated her life to making sure that the stories of Japanese Americans interned during WW2 were told, documented and remembered.

Even though Sue was 83 years old, I considered her my friend. She was part of me & Tony's wedding ceremony, representing the Japanese American community, and she came to our baby shower. She was a small, but mighty, dynamic woman, a pioneer and a leader. I loved her, and I will miss her. My deepest condolences to her son Bruce and his family. A memorial celebration for Sue is being planned for June.

Sue at our wedding in 1998 (at left)

Me with Sue and Grace Harada in 2001

Sue in 2002 on the flatbed truck as I'll always remember her.

Me & Sue onstage at the 2004 Pilgrimage (Photo by: T. Walker)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Jenni,
Don and I are sorry to learn of Sue's death, but feel glad that we had met such as fine woman.
Fran and Don