Chiyoko Sakamoto Okui passed away peacefully on Tuesday January 16, 2018 at the age of 87. She was a long time resident of Grover Beach, California.
Chiyo was born on July 23, 1930 in Pismo Beach to Kaichi and Taki Sakamoto who immigrated to the United States from Japan. She was the seventh of eight children. The Sakamoto family owned and operated a grocery store in Pismo Beach. She attended local schools and graduated from Arroyo Grande Union High School in 1948. Family life was disrupted by the outbreak of World War II when Chiyo, at 12 years old, along with her family were involuntarily evacuated and sent to Poston Relocation Center in Arizona, where they remained from May 1942 until the end of the war in 1945.
The Sakamoto family returned to Pismo Beach after the war. With the loss of the grocery store and all of their belongings, they were forced to start their life anew. The family shifted their efforts and went into the farming business which has continued to operate as Okui Farms for over 60 years. The Okui Berry Stand has become a popular local go-to for fresh strawberries.
In 1962, she married Hironobu “Henry” Okui and continued to manage and operate the family business while raising three children. Chiyo was a pioneer in the Central Coast farming community and played a prominent role in the strawberry industry. Chiyo was small in stature but big in personality. She will always be remembered for her hearty laughter and winning smile. Chiyo knew how to have a good time. She enjoyed travel, playing cards, and treks to Chumash Casino and Las Vegas. The big love of her life was grandson Jack.
Chiyo is survived by her husband Henry Okui; children Glenn (Alma) Okui, Charles (Kristin Halter) Okui, and Joan Okui; and beloved grandson Jack Okui;
sister Teruko Sakamoto; brother Robert (Sheila) Sakamoto; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Sunday, January 21, 2018 at Marshall-Spoo Sunset Funeral Chapel in Grover Beach.
Service will be held on Monday, January 22, 2018 at 11:00 am at the San Luis Obispo Buddhist Temple located at 6996 Ontario Road, San Luis Obispo. A private family burial will follow.