Emiko (Emi) Hayakawa Bussey, a resident of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, passed away at 9:45 am, on July 19, 2020, at Adams PARC (Post Acute Recovery Center).
She was born August 21, 1929, in Aichi-Ken, Japan. In her earlier childhood years, Emiko and her family lived on Palau Island where her father held status similar to a governor. She and the family later moved to the Tokyo area. She attended Palau Island Elementary School (where she said she was the “brightest one!”), and afterward graduated from Yokkaichi High School in Tokyo.
She worked as a librarian at Camp Zama U.S. Army Base Library near Tokyo where she met her husband Lawrence J. Bussey, a soldier in the U.S. Army. She and Lawrence married January 28, 1957, in Tokyo. They had a total of 3 weddings once the Army gave them permission to marry. Lawrence was stationed in Korea at the time and took leave to travel to Japan to marry Emiko.
World War II presented many challenges to the Japanese people. She overcame these challenges with humility, grace, and a love for the American way of life. Emiko survived her share of hardships presented by the war. She was able to help her family endure tough times with hard work, determination, and a resilience to adversity. Despite these circumstances, she maintained an incredible love for American ideals, and an unwavering pride in being a U.S. citizen.
Emiko also worked as a seamstress at Pioneer Wear Clothing Company, and as a Quality Control Inspector at GTE Lenkurt in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
She loved gardening and spent much time caring for vegetables she grew and enjoyed having her hands “in the dirt.” She knew how to prepare the soil and meet all the adversities of gardening with a “can-do” attitude. Her intuitive gardening wisdom came from a deep desire to cultivate and nurture living things. She enjoyed sewing clothes for her three children, crocheting bead necklaces and enjoyed keeping up with the latest styles and fashions. She was a great cook. evidenced by the constant visitors she’d have in the kitchen having been enticed by the cooking aromas. Emiko also enjoyed fishing and on many occasions was observed with a full stringer of fish she’d caught while fishing at the Fort Gibson dam. She enjoyed bowling, tennis, and being outside. She loved taking time to teach her children origami paper folding, and Shodo, the art of creating Japanese letters with a special brush (Japanese calligraphy).
She enjoyed attending PTA meetings eager to hear of her children’s progress and also to learn about the culture of schools in America. She helped her children with their homework, but the education didn’t stop there. Watching her work, cook, garden and doing crafts instilled within her children the gift of “learning by watching.” She taught her kids the mind-set, “If you’re going to do something, it’s worth doing well.” She was a perfectionist and her kids thought she did everything well.
She loved her family and enjoyed dancing with Lawrence with an audience of her children in the living room to the “Tennessee Waltz.” She enjoyed old movies and playing games with her kids. Her love of family was evident in her smile whenever she was around them.
From Emi’s children:
Lawrence Joseph Bussey, son - “Strong, humble, fun, caring, protective and loving a mother as any child could hope for…Momma you will be missed and always remembered in our hearts”
Peter Edward Bussey, son - “When I was lonely, you were always there for me. When I was scared, you protected me. When I cried, you held me and told me everything was going to be all right. When it was my birthday you always baked me a cake. Mom, I will miss you dearly, but I know we will reunite one day because our faith is in Christ”.
Mary Ann Bussey Grisham, daughter - “Mom gave her life for the benefit of her family. Every action she took was other-oriented and came out of her deep desire to nurture and grow her people. In her words “I hope my children grow up to be good citizens, get a better education than I, and live a useful and happy life.” She had a deep strength, balanced with grace and humility, and a desire to make things beautiful.”
Emiko is preceded in death by her father Sozeamon Hayakawa, her mother Yosuko Hayakawa, her husband, Lawrence Joseph Bussey Jr., and her brother Ichiro Hayakawa.
Emiko is survived by her sister Yoko Ito, sister Tamayo Mogawa and husband Tadao: brother Eiji Hayakawa; three children, Lawrence Joseph Bussey III and his life friend Aletha Bolt, Peter Edward Bussey and wife Noriko, and Mary Ann Grisham and husband Jeff. Eight grandchildren include Lawrence Joseph Bussey IV and Celia Yazzie, Sara Emily Bussey Steward and husband Tomoyoshi, Craig Bussey and fiancée Amy Yip, Tyler Bussey and wife Whitney, John William Grisham and wife Heather, Amy Claire Grisham McMurtrie and husband Thompson, Anne Marie Grisham, and Sarah Jane Grisham.
Six great grandchildren include Aaron Joseph Bussey, Lawrence Bussey V (Jay), Adrianna Morales, Isaiah Steward, Clare Steward, and Brenna Hope Grisham. These precious ones all brought great joy to her in her later years.
The family welcomes donations to LifeROOTS, an organization that supports disabilities such as autism, as an expression of sympathy, in lieu of flowers. (Emiko’s great granddaughter Clare Steward receives assistance from LifeROOTS in Albuquerque, New Mexico). Your gift may be sent to:
1111 Menaul Blvd. N.E.
Albuquerque, New Mexico. 87107