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Saturday, March 18, 2023
5:00 - 7:00pm (Eastern time)
Holding her daughter's hand and with a small sigh, Akiko Kozuchi, 96, passed away peacefully the morning of March 9, 2023.
Akiko was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. After her father passed, her mother moved the family to Japan where she was raised. She came to America by boat to marry and raise two children. Akiko did not work outside the home, preferring to spend her time taking care of her husband, children, and home.
Taught by her mother, she was quite the seamstress, sewing Halloween costumes, doll clothes, and even her daughter's business clothes for her first job. Akiko was bilingual, translating at local hospitals and for Japanese doctors on sabbatical in Charleston. Her love of animals led to a parade of pets: cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, and even a couple of iguanas.
She loved the beach and to travel on cruises. Akiko returned to Japan many times until her last visit in 1987. After that, her grandnephew Masayuki (Kumiko) Asano set up Skype visits with her sister that always brought both of them great joy and happiness.
Akiko enjoyed flowers inside the house and out, her favorites being orchids and hibiscuses. She was happy when cardinals and bluebirds came to her bird feeders. Always one to keep her mind active, Akiko enjoyed a good game of Yahtzee, asking "Do you want to lose?" knowing she was going to win more than lose. Bingo, too, was her favorite. Playing two or three cards at a time, she made sure she won a prize.
Surviving to hold her in their hearts and memory are daughters, Ann (Kevin) Whitsett and Sharon Kozuchi-Layne (William "Bill" Layne); grandson, William "Bill" Layne; sister, Mieko Ishizuka; and extended family.
Akiko is predeceased by her husband, George; brothers, Albert Hamada and Henry Hamada; sister, Gladys Hamada; and brother-in-law, Kenji Ishizuka.
Special thanks to the staff of Ashley Gardens who cared for her with love and respect. Also to Crescent Hospice for their care and comfort.
The family will receive friends on Saturday, March 18, 2023, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at McAlister-Smith Funeral Home West Ashley.
Interment will be private.
Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at www.mcalister-smith.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to McAlister-Smith Funeral Home, 2501 Bees Ferry Road, Charleston, SC 29414, (843) 722-8371.