Shizuko Daniel died peacefully in her sleep after a long battle with dementia on August 15, 2023, holding the hand of her beloved husband of over 63 years, Jerry V. Daniel.
The youngest of five children, Shizuko was born in Urawa, Saitama-ken, Japan, on January 3, 1936. After attending school to learn English, she became a tour guide for one of Japan’s largest tour bus companies, Hato Bus Company. During the mid 1950’s, it wasn’t common for women in Japan to have careers, but Shizuko was always one to flout the rules of conventionality. Because she was fluent in English, she was often called on to take famous visitors from the United States to tour sites around Tokyo. She met her lifelong love, Jerry, on one of these tours while he was stationed in Tokyo. They soon got married, and she moved to the United States with him.
Together, they lived in Maine, Missouri, Japan, and Texas as Jerry was transferred around with the Air Force. They had three children who followed them from place to place. After Jerry retired, they settled in Fayetteville, Tennessee.
Shizuko will be remembered for her incredible capacity for kindness. She was the rare kind of person who could hold strong opinions while always seeing the best in everyone she encountered. She loved meeting new people and she loved to be helpful. She loved to bake, sew, and crochet. She loved all animals. She could never turn down any stray who ended up at her doorstep. She and Jerry loved to volunteer at the Lincoln County Humane Society, driving animals to their forever homes.
She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. She was always there for the people she loved when they needed her, baking chocolate chip cookies, sewing wedding dresses, tending to grandchildren, offering comfort, a hug or a lighthearted joke.
Shizuko is survived by her loving husband, her three children, Donald (Joanie) Daniel, of Huntsville, Alabama, Patricia (Rob) Friedman, of Decatur, Georgia, and Stanley (Patty) Daniel, of Huntsville, Alabama, and her grandchildren, Madeline Friedman and Jack Friedman. Shizuko also is survived by four step grandsons that she acquired later in life, Kelsey Kurzeja, Kenneth Kurzeja, Kyle Kurzeja and Keaton Kurzeja, her brother, Yujiro Ishii, of Urawa, Saitama-ken, Japan, and her sister, Koharu Ishii Villazor, of Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada.
Shizuko was preceded in death by her parents, Ryu and Katsuichi Ishii, her sister, Yoko Taguchi, and her brother, Kyohei Ishii, all of Urawa, Saitama-ken, Japan.
There will be a graveside service to celebrate Shizuko’s beautiful life at 2 pm on Friday, August 18 at Cedar Hills Memorial Gardens in Fayetteville, Tennessee. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Shizuko’s memory to the Lincoln County Humane Society or your favorite charity.