Lillian F.

Lillian F. "Lil" Kurahara

Friday, December 15th, 1922 - Friday, April 24th, 2020
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Lillian F. Kurahara was born on Dec. 15, 1922, in Hood River, Ore., and passed away April 24, 2020, at the age of 97. Lil lived in the Hood River Valley for almost her entire life, first leaving at the age of 17 to attend Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore., where she majored in chemistry. In 1942, during her sophomore year, her studies were cut short when she was forcibly removed with her family, first to Pinedale Detention Center, Calif., and then to Tule Lake Incarceration Center, Calif., followed by Heart Mountain Incarceration Center, Wyo. After arriving at Tule Lake, Lil became an assistant teacher, where she met her future husband, Jan Kurahara of Sacramento, Calif. They married on March 7, 1943, and were happily wed for 66 years until his passing in 2009. Returning to the Hood River Valley after the war, Lil and Jan raised their family and worked in their orchard. In addition, Lil sewed clothes for her three children and, as they got older, volunteered at school and extracurricular activities whenever she was needed.

Once their kids had grown and left home, Lil worked as a assistant librarian at Wy’east High School for one year, and then went to work at the local radio station, KIHR, for over nine years, where she wrote commercials, kept radio logs and the station books. She also hosted a weekly 15-minute program that catered to the homemaker called “Notes for My Lady.” She left the radio station to take a job at the Hood River County Assessor’s Office, where she worked for over 15 years as the deputy assessor until her retirement in 1989. One of her responsibilities of considerable note during her tenure was to oversee computerizing the tax records. Upon her retirement, the Hood River News reported, “A key staff member in the county office of assessment and taxation has retired, and her former boss says it may be some time before the office runs as quickly and smoothly as it has in recent years” (Nov. 8, 1989, page 16).

After retiring, Lil and Jan enjoyed traveling to see family, but were happiest at home in Hood River, where she enjoyed cooking and entertaining family and friends. Lil continued to stay busy, volunteering at the Hood River Museum, Providence Hospital gift shop and providing countless scrubbers and other handmade crafts to Happy Hands. She enjoyed playing the piano, had a beautiful singing voice and sang in the church choir. Lil was a gifted seamstress, knitter and crocheter, avid reader, master word unscrambler and enjoyed regularly texting with family.

She is greatly missed by her family and all those fortunate to have called her a friend. She was quick witted, kind, welcoming, humble, exceedingly generous and loving. She was always so proud to introduce people to her kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, great-great-grandkids and all who joined her family. She made each one feel special and loved as she supported and celebrated their achievements.

Lil was preceded in death by her husband, Jan, and sister, Mary. She is survived by her children, Jan Jr. (Carole) Kurahara, Ron (Peggy) Kurahara and Karen (Larry) King; her grandchildren, Kris (Mike) Van Dooren, Ron (Cyndee) Kurahara, Jon (Kim) Kurahara, Stephanie (Kevin) Boehm, Melanie King, Melissa (Matt) Nishio and Scott Kurahara; her great-grandchildren, Dominic, Lily (Brigham), Nate, Tyler (Grace), Dayna, Eli, Christopher (Katrina), Montana, Dakota, Chloe, Mason, Jordan, Chantel, Isaiah (Hannah), Anna, Josiah, Rebekah, Ariana, Mimi, Nola, Wren and Rye; her great-great grandchildren, Evan, Mason, Tano and Riyo; sister, Jean Kado; sisters-in-law Jane Kurahara and Reiko Kurahara; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to Providence Brookside Manor for the kindness and special care they showed Lil through her time there, and especially at the end of her life.

Per Lil’s request, there will not be a public service, but the family will gather at a future date. In lieu of flowers, please send charitable donations in Lil’s name to either Happy Hands or Providence Hospice of the Gorge – Hood River C/O Anderson’s Tribute Center (1401 Belmont Ave. Hood River, OR 97031)

Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson's Tribute Center (Funerals • Receptions • Cremations) 1401 Belmont Avenue, Hood River, Oregon 97031. Visit to leave a note of condolence for the family.
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Maiko SASAKI sent flowers to the family of Lillian F. "Lil" Kurahara.
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Penny Stubbs

Posted at 04:33pm
Dave Stubbs and Lil, December 8, 2019.

Penny Stubbs

Posted at 04:20pm
Lil was such a loving friend to our Mother Mickey Stubbs. We have always kept in touch with her from our Idaho home to hers. She was the loveliest of human beings. She told us about the forcible removal of her family to detention camps. As we write this, our coffee cups rest on her coasters. We loved visiting with her in December. Our family was staying at the Hood River Inn, and that evening Dom was our server. Lucky us! Our memorial to a wonderful person will go to Hearts and Hands.
Penny and Dave Stubbs

Mike Webber

Posted at 01:49pm
To Lillian’s family, allow me to say, I’m sorry to hear of her passing away. You were blessed to have an extraordinary Mother, it was evident to all when sharing family news, (here) was an avid fan of her children and grandchildren. I pray you have fond memories to sustain you in this intense period of mourning.
I worked with Lillian for four years, starting in April 1985. I’m a native Oregonian, but without Mrs. Kurahara, I was incomplete with the Hood River public. I remain indebted to her workplace advice. A team leader, in every sense of the word. She was the human dynamo in the office, she led by example, and no doubt just as focused at home tending her family.
Surely, as a member of the Japanese community during World War II, Lillian must have suffered some personal offenses. From my observation it did not have a lasting adverse effect. Nothing ever slowed her down and her force of energy kept her in place as a genuine citizen of Hood River County.
With all due respect to Mrs. Kurahara.
Mike Webber

Pete Buttaccio

Posted at 08:43pm
To the Kurahara Family:
My sincere and heartfelt condolences go out to All of you as you mourn the passing of Granny.
She was an amazing lady who touched and enhanced so many lives. Granny was extremely kind,caring,and generous to me.
She will always have a special place in my heart . Take Care and God Bless !
Sincerely, Pete Buttaccio


Posted at 02:54am
Please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of your loved one. Her memory will reside forever in my heart.
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