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Misako Marjorie McCabe

July 26, 2019

Misako Marjorie McCabe, 92, who endured life in a Japanese-American internment camp, cared for the sick as a nurse, and cheered herself hoarse as a college basketball fan, died July 26, 2019 in Marysville surrounded by her family at Memorial Gables.

Misako was born on July 9, 1927, in Delano, California, the Central Valley farm town famous for its table grapes. She was the last of five children born to Fuku Yamaguchi and Ryuzo Katano, who immigrated from Japan.

She was a Nisei, a second-generation Japanese American, and was one of 120,000 American citizens and others of Japanese ancestry sent by the U.S. government to internment camps during World War II. Her family was relocated to the desert in Poston, Arizona, where as a teen she lived from 1942 to 1945.

After the war, her family moved to Chicago, where Misako, known to many as Marge, graduated second in her class at Steinmetz High School. She went on to graduate from St. Mary’s School of Nursing in Quincy, Illinois, and was a proud member of the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps.

As a registered nurse, she worked at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, where she met her future husband, Edward Mathew McCabe. They married in 1951 and moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, where she worked at the VA Hospital and Ed earned his bachelor’s degree.

While living for many years in Marysville, she was a public health nurse for the Union County Health Department, where she brought care to people in their own homes and in schools. She also tended to the elderly at Heartland, a nursing home and rehabilitation facility.

Misako was not athletic, but that didn’t stop her from loving sports — especially Ohio State basketball, all things Big Ten and the Olympics. She would wake her children in the wee hours of the morning to witness moments of greatness during the Olympics.

But basketball was her thing. For over 20 years, Misako would travel with her children to first and second rounds of the men’s NCAA March Madness tournament all over the country.

She once delayed a surgery to see Coach Bobby Knight and his Indiana Hoosiers play in an opening March Madness round in Chicago, where she got his autograph.

Misako joyfully traveled the world with her family, venturing to places like Italy, Norway, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand and Alaska. She was less enamored of the endless hiking trips whipped up by Ed, and their many adventures on their sailboat in Lake Erie, where she never quite learned to wield a boat hook safely.

Then there was her relationship with nature. Misako felt the need to keep it tidy.

She loved to rake leaves, shovel snow, mow the lawn, pick up cans along Hinton Mill Road, and above all, pull weeds. She was an adversary of dandelions, pokeweed and crabgrass, going at them while standing, sitting, or lying on her side.

Most of all, she loved her family and her life in Marysville, where she lived for 50 years.

Misako was preceded in death by her brother, Joe, and her sisters, Aiko, Michiko and Chiyoko.

She is survived by her husband Ed and their four children: Harold (Starla) of St. Paul, Minn., Kathryn (Ira Pilchen) of Chicago, Diana (Gary Robbins) of San Diego and Sandra (Bob Hunt) of Philadelphia. Misako also is survived by five grandchildren: Naomi Vallis, Abigail Heiberger, Caleb McCabe, Cornelius McCabe and Laura Pilchen.

She is also survived by six great grandchildren: Madilyn, Jaeyden, Guinevere, Samuel, Kathryn and Eleanor.

Misako was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Marysville.

At Misako’s request, there will be no service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Memorial Gables. Underwood Funeral Home is assisting the family.


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