Sachiko Yamanaka Swanson

April 14, 1935 ~ January 11, 2024 (age 88) 88 Years Old

Sachiko Swanson Obituary

Sachiko Yamanaka Swanson was born in Shiga Prefecture, Japan on April 14, 1935. She passed away on January 11, 2024, after a long battle of Alzheimer's and surrounded by her family's love. Sachiko grew up in Kyoto, Japan and often shared stories of her childhood experiences. Her father, Kazuo Kawasaki, passed away at a young age, when she was just 4 years old. Her mother, Kazue Yamanaka, passed away when Sachiko was 9 years old. Her grandmother, Tomi, helped raise her and shape her into the hard working, loving, and compassionate person she was. She spoke highly of her grandmother and missed her dearly throughout her life. Sachiko had an older sister, Rudiko and a nephew that remained in Japan.

Mom met the love of her life, Lynn Swanson, during the Korean conflict when he was stationed in Korea. They met when he was on leave and went to eat at a restaurant in Japan where she was working. He impressed her by fishing for goldfish in the bowls on the tables with chopsticks. He wrote home to his parents that he had met the girl of his dreams and fell for her instantly. He bragged about her beauty and how she would dote on him. They were married in Kobe, Japan on October 22, 1956. It was difficult to get brides out of the Japan or other foreign countries and into the United States. After several attempts, Lynn took matters into his own hands by impersonating an officer and booking a room for him and his bride on the military ship going to the United States. Sachiko and Lynn boarded the military ship where Mom suffered 15 long days seasick.
She and Lynn settled near Monterey, California where they had their first daughter Jody. When Jody was 9 months old, Lynn left for Germany and mom moved to Pocatello to live with grandparents, Theodore and Minnie Swanson, on the reservation in Tyhee. There she would roam the farm, visit with the chickens and birds, and take daily walks to the mailbox located nearly a mile away. She studied and earned her American Citizenship and started attending and was baptized into the Seventh-Day-Adventist Church. Second daughter, Trudy was born 9 months after moving to Pocatello. Lynn did not return from Germany until nearly three years after he left. Eventually, they moved to their home in Chubbuck, where they were living when their son Ted was born.

Mom took pride in being a hard worker, whether in her garden, home, or the many jobs she held. She worked cleaning hotels, did line work at Lamb Weston, Kraft Foods, Ore-Ida, Weight Watchers, and Heinz. She always showed up early and worked as many overtime hours as possible she could because she loved work and everyone she worked with. She reluctantly retired at the age of 76. Our thanks to all of you for your friendship to her.

Mom loved her garden and poppies were her favorite flower. She had every color and variety of poppy. She spent hours planting, weeding, and arranging rock formations around her yard. In every corner of the yard, there was a small pile of rocks that was carefully stacked in an artistic manner. Her artist daughter, Trudy, inherited the love of art from her.

After working long hours, she would head to the mall where she could be seen walking the mall, very briskly, arms swinging, every day. She liked to shop for bargains to share with friends and family. This meant if you visited her or had a birthday, she always had something in the closet for you. She loved to give.

She liked to cook and was excellent at it, especially her Japanese dishes. She loved to host Thanksgiving and other parties with friends and family. She had a very small kitchen but would take hours to prepare the perfect meals. She often set up tables in the garage for her preparations and her table settings were set with fine China.

Over the years, Mom was a caretaker for Lynn's aging parents and great aunts. She cooked, cleaned, massaged, and loved each one with all her heart. She spoke so highly of each one and how important they were to her. She felt it was an honor to care and serve those she loved.

Mom was the perfect grandma. She loved to spoil the kids and take them shopping. She was always slipping them money and telling them not to tell grandpa, but he knew what she was up to. She cuddled, massaged, and made them walk briskly for exercise and taught them the importance of hard work.

Sachiko is survived by her three children, Jody (Robert) Mullin, Gresham, Oregon, Trudy Swanson, Omaha, Nebraska, Ted (Kimberly) Swanson, Pocatello, grandchildren Nathan White, Patrick White, Donny Stevens, Tomi (Sam) Kretzschmar, Rio (Nicholas) Tank, Bear Swanson, Gage (Katie) Swanson, Darby Swanson. Great-grandchildren Nicholas, Dylan, and Cash White, Joaquin Kretzschmar, Gisele and Agustin Tank, Lane, Memphis, and Koa Swanson. Bonus grandchildren Micheal (Angela) and Tom (Shantel) Mullin; great-grandchildren Michelle (Tommy) Rosecrans, Amanda, Jeffrey, and Mira Mullin and great-great grandson Cyrus Rosecrans. She is also survived by nieces and nephews: Robert Woodbury, John, David, and Cynthia (Ron Bertleson) Woodbury; Steve, Clinton, and Ted Schultz; Annita Checketts Mikkola; Judy Woodbury Gercie.

She was preceded in death by the love of her life, her husband, Lynn, parents, grandparents, sister, and many sisters- and brothers-in laws, aunts, uncles, and nephews and nieces.

Sachiko will be laid to rest near her beloved on Saturday, January 27, 2024, at the Restlawn Cemetery. Services will be held Saturday, January 27, 2024 at Cornelison Funeral Home 431 N. 15th Ave, Pocatello, Idaho 83201. Viewing will be at 10:00 am with services following at 11:00 am. We ask that in lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Alzheimer's Research or the Japanese American Citizen League Chapter.

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January 27, 2024

10:00 AM to 10:50 AM
Cornelison Funeral Home
431 N. 15th Ave.
Pocatello, ID 83201

January 27, 2024

11:00 AM
Cornelison Funeral Home
431 N. 15th Ave.
Pocatello, ID 83201

January 27, 2024

12:30 PM
Restlawn Memorial Gardens
2864 S. 5th Ave.
Pocatello, ID 83201


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