The People's Tribune

Hatsue Tanabe Smith

Hatsue Tanabe Smith died May 6, 2018 at Maple Grove Lodge in Louisiana at the age of 92.

Hatsue was cremated and her ashes will be interred at the Memorial Gardens Cemetery near Louisiana at a later date. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Sunday at Elmwood Presbyterian Church in Louisiana.

Visitation will be from 1 p.m., until time of service Sunday at the church.

Cremation rites were provided by Collier Funeral Home in Louisiana.

She was born April 22, 1926 in Kanagawa-ken, Japan to Seizo and Fusa Tanabe. She was the oldest of five sisters. They were Sumiko, Matsue, Yoshiko, and Yaeko, and also had a half-brother, Kazuo.

Her younger sister, Yoshiko Tamashiro, died in Hawaii on the same day as Hatsue.

Hatsue was married Dec. 24, 1952 in Yokohama, Japan to Elmer L. “Buddy” Smith, a soldier in the United States Army, and subsequently moved to the United States. Her husband died March 16, 1962, a passenger aboard a plane which disappeared, on a flight between Guam and the Philippine Islands enroute to Vietnam.

After her husband’s death, Hatsue moved to Louisiana, where her husband’s family lived.

She worked as a child care-giver for some time, and then took a job at Louisiana Plastics where she worked until her retirement, making many friends among her co-workers.

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