Susan (Sadako) Otsuki Hirano


1922 to 2018

Susan Otsuki Hirano of Watsonville passed away on Christmas Day at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz at the age of 96.

Susan was preceded in death by her husband Bill and son Dennis.

Susan is survived by four daughters, Judy Hirano-Davis (Kenny Davis) of Susanville; Joyce Hirano-Kuznik (Robert Kuznik) of Greeley, Colorado; Janice Hirano (Norman Durant) of Watsonville; and Jean Hirano (David Miller) of Redondo Beach; three grandsons Steven, Dennis, and Jackson; three granddaughters Jasmine, Sumiko and Melisa; and seven great-grandchildren in Illinois and California.

Susan, whose given name was Sadako, was one of five children born to Japanese immigrants Seizo and Moyo Otsuki in Nebraska. Her family farmed in eastern Wyoming and in the Scottsbluff, Nebraska area.

She attended Commerce County Wyoming schools and was a 1942 graduate of Douglas High School in Douglas, Wyoming where she participated in girls’ intramural sports.

Susan and Bill met in Nebraska where Bill worked on the Otsuki farm following his release from the internment Camp at Poston, Arizona. They were married in 1946 and took up residence in Santa Cruz County where he was employed in agriculture. Susan also worked on the farms and assumed primary responsibility for managing the household and rearing the children.

Following Bill’s death in 1993, Susan took up residence in Watsonville where she continued her passion for gardening and enjoyed weekly luncheons with friends at the Watsonville Senior Center.

Susan and Bill were long time members of the Watsonville Buddhist Church where Susan volunteered for many activities including Cub Scout den mother.

Susan is remembered by her family as a willful woman who enjoyed a laugh, and in her later years known as an avid and vocal team sports fan who relished daily telecasts of football, basketball and baseball.

A memorial service will be conducted at Mehl’s Colonial Chapel at 11:00 AM, Wednesday, January 2, 2019 followed by burial at Pajaro Valley Memorial Park. Mehl’s Colonial Chapel was entrusted with the arrangements.

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