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Hattie H MatsumotoMay 6, 1923 ~ February 7, 2017 (age 93)
Hattie (Wakabayashi) Matsumoto
Long time Vashon resident, Hattie Matsumoto, 93, passed away peacefully on February 7, 2017 after a brief illness.
Born Hatsuyo Wakabayashi on May 6, 1923, Hattie grew up in Tacoma and attended Stadium High School. During World War II, the Wakabayashi family was sent to the Heart Mountain Relocation Camp in Wyoming. There while working as a secretary, she met her late husband Frank Matsumoto of Vashon. After the war, Hattie and Frank resided in Caldwell, Idaho, later moving to Minnesota and Chicago, before returning to Frank's hometown of Vashon in 1950.
The couple settled into a home next to the K2 plant where they began growing strawberries. Frank later went to work for K2. Meanwhile Hattie walked into the Kimmel's grocery store west of town where she asked the manager for a job and fondly remembered him asking her if she could start the next day. She accepted the position where she worked for the next 37 years in the produce department, becoming a friend to many who gathered fruits and vegetables touched by her loving, caring hands.
Later, they moved to their home east of town. Hattie enjoyed bowling, traveling, and in later years, tending to her yard and vegetable garden. She took joy in her long walks on the island with her sister-in-law Ann Matsumoto. Hattie will be remembered for her gentle soul, loving smile, and how she deeply cared for family, friends, and her dog Skippy. Hattie is survived by Ann, sister-in-law Kazue Wakabayashi, and many nieces and nephews.
There will be a celebration of Hattie’s life on Saturday April 8th at 1pm. Arrangements are being handled by Island Funeral Home. Remembrances may be made to the Vashon Sportsman's Club or Vashon Community Care Center.