Aiko Takita, 89, died peacefully on December 8, 2014, at her children's temporary home in Orem, Utah. She was born November 23, 1925 in Sendai, Japan to Naoshichi and Wakuri Shigihara.
Aiko shared her joy and happiness through her talents. Before WWII, her childhood painting was sent to the U.S. for school exhibition. She enjoyed creating shoes made from cloth, paper and crayon that resembled leather. Her singing voice was equal to that of a professional singer. She served in the Japanese Imperial Army as a secretary in the Tokyo headquarters, later working at Kishodai, the Japanese government weather forecast agency, until her marriage to Kanzo Takita.
She was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She was baptized by her son when he returned from his California mission. She enjoyed doing temple work for her ancestors at the Salt Lake Temple. She also served by creating beautiful flower arrangements for Sunday church services.
Though Aiko was a fulltime housewife, she was involved in many social activities as the wife of the owner/president of a small electronics company. During the company's growth, she used her bookkeeping skills to help the firm grow. She found time to dress her children in current fashions and original designs, including designing her son's kindergarten school uniform. She became an instructor for Sogetsu flower arrangement and often represented her area. She was a key member of the Koriyama City Mother's Choir. She mastered and performed Noh in Tokyo Suidobashi's prestigious Noh Auditorium, with some of the top performers. Shortly after learning Shodo (Japanese traditional calligraphy), she attained 3rd place at Japan's nationwide Shodo competition.
Following her lifelong commitment to learning, Aiko began to learn English when she was nearly 70 years old. She then came to the U.S. to live with her son and his family. She continued her oil painting and decorated the home with her Japanese oil and water paintings, as well as other crafts. Her legacy of the importance of "becoming, rather than just doing" will live on in her family and descendants.