Tomi Poland, wife of Jack Virgil Poland of Oscoda, Michigan Our beloved mother, Tomi Poland, 91 years old sadly passed away peacefully in her home in the early morning of December 27, 2022. She had been cared for by her devoted daughter, Carol Read of Fenton for two and a half years. Born to parents Jungi Tamagusuku and Ushi Tamashiro in Wawashi-son, Shimajiri-Gun, Ryukyu Islands, she was the youngest of her siblings. As a survivor of WWII, she was taken from Okinawa as a child and placed in forced labored camps in Shiga-ken, Japan. In addition to being orphaned by the war, she was raised by her oldest brother Toyozo and later lived with her Aunt Uto, her father’s sister. She graduated from doll-making school and became one of the best seamstresses/tailors of her time, making her own patterns and would make men’s suits from scratch. Tomiko, which she was often called, would measure you, create a pattern, and custom design dresses and outfits for all ages and sizes. She had a talent for multiple crafts to include, carving and burning wood, making flowers from fabric, crocheting with fine thread, quilting and creating museum pieces of artwork known as crewelwork. Some of her earliest works remain in the family. Tomiko married the love of her life, Jack Virgil Poland in Naha, Okinawa who preceded her in death and became our devoted mother and homemaker. She leaves behind her five children, the oldest son Joseph Kazuo Poland, Carol Jyunko Poland (Read), Burt Yoshio Poland, Susan Fujiko Poland (Turner) and Mark Steven Poland; 13 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and one great, great grandchild. She is the last of her generation from Okinawa. Her husband and his siblings have all passed. Remaining are her two sister-in-laws, Elizabeth Ann Poland, wife of Alan Blair Poland residing in Germany and Sandra Lee Van Norman, wife of Gordon Wayne Van Norman of Oscoda, Michigan. She also leaves behind many nieces, nephews and cousins of our large Poland and Lovelace families. Tomiko was preceded in death by her brothers Toyozo Tamaki, Sumio Tamaki, and her sister Sumiko Taba. She also leaves behind many nieces and nephews in Okinawa. Every morning and every evening, mom would go to her husband’s portrait and chat and pray for her family. Mother was a woman of faith and wisdom maintaining her health to the end. Tomiko attributed her long life to her vitamin and exercise regimen. With having five children, she kept an immaculate home and took pride as being a homemaker. She was an avid lover of nature and foraging in the woods. Oftentimes, she took her five children down to the Pine River to go fishing while dad was working. Fishing was a big part of our family life and mother could identify many edibles of the woods. She will always be remembered for her exquisite cooking of cultural foods and gourmet delights. Our mother was a skilled dancer of her Ryukyuan culture and could jitterbug and swing dance among the best. She loved competition and karaoke. Mom had a beautiful voice and between her and dad, they enjoyed singing. In memory of our mother, the family will have a Celebration of Life on her birthday, August 17, 2023. Family and friends will be updated with the venue and details of the upcoming event.
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