In Memoriam

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Ruth Mitsuko Nishino Penfold ’43

A picture of Ruth Nishino Penfold

Ruth Mitsuko Nishino Penfold ’43, July 23, 2009, in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, from complications related to Parkinson's disease. Ruth was a junior at Reed in December 1941, when she and her family, along with thousands of other Japanese Americans, were banished to internment camps. Before she left, she entrusted her mother's precious ikebana tools to the Reed library. (Ruth, Gus Tanaka ’45, and Hattie Katawara Colton ’43, were featured in the article “On the Home Front” in Reed, November 1999.) After the war, Ruth married a fellow internee from the Minidoka camp in Idaho, and moved to Canada, where she worked as a legal secretary. She took pleasure in opera, theatre, bonsai, gardening, cooking, and baking. Ruth was a member of the Hamilton Ikenobo Ikebana Society for many years, and was a board member of the Women's Institute of Ontario and the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. She also enjoyed family camping and travel with husband Frank Penfold. In 1985, she earned a BA in sociology and fine arts from Brock University and was honored at the ceremony as the year's oldest graduate. Survivors include a daughter, a son, and two grandchildren. Our thanks to Gus for his assistance with this memorial.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2011

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