Yoshiko Oizumi Smith passed away peacefully in her sleep on Monday, June 8, 2020, ten days before her 88th birthday. She was born on the northern Japanese island of Sakhalin on June 18, 1932, and as a schoolgirl fled with her family to Tokyo when they were among the Japanese forced by Soviet occupation troops to leave Sakhalin. She lived through the privations of the war years in Tokyo, and later recounted being trained with other schoolchildren to defend themselves if the American soldiers came to Japan. Who knew that the GIs who came to post-war Japan would come peacefully, and that among them would be a young Army enlisted man from Washington state, his father Dutch and his mother English? Yoshiko met PFC Clifford Harold Smith where they both worked, at Tokyo Army Hospital, and their 61-year marriage began in Tokyo in 1953 and lasted until Cliff's passing in 2015. Yoshiko lived the life of an Army wife -- making homes and bearing and raising four boys at Army postings in Japan, California, Okinawa, North Carolina and Alabama before retiring at Cliff's final duty station and she kept the home fires burning through Cliff's overseas deployments to conflict zones in Korea and Vietnam. After Cliff's active military service ended, they were active in their church and community in Daleville, Alabama for many years before moving to the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay. Through it all, Yoshiko was known for her humility, her kind and gentle ways and servant heart that reflected her love of people from around the globe and from every walk of life, and for an artistic talent that she freely shared. Yoshiko is survived by her sister, Tomoko Ichikawa of Aomori, Japan; sons, Jim Smith (Valery) of Fairhope, AL, Cliff Smith (Myra) of League City, TX, Terry Smith (Kim) of Dalton, GA, Tim Smith of Lawrenceville, GA, granddaughters Sarah Smith, Catalyna Smith and Marlena Smith, and great-granddaughters Talia and Madani. She will be interred with Cliff at the Alabama State Veterans Memorial Cemetery at Spanish Fort in a private service to be scheduled at a later date.
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