Naomi Kawamura Ribeiro, 74, died on July 16, 2021, in Millcreek, UT, after battling Acute Myeloid Leukemia. She was bright and cheery and big-hearted — a mother, a grandmother, an example to us all.

See 2 Photos

Naomi was born in the small town of Marilia, São Paulo, Brazil, on October 6, 1946. Her childhood was simple; she had three younger siblings, her mother was a seamstress. She was a devoted student who excelled at learning new languages: She spoke Japanese at home and Portuguese at school, and also studied French and Latin.

Naomi went to high school and college in São Paulo, graduating from Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo in 1969 with a teaching degree. She became an elementary school teacher, and eventually worked her way up to become an assistant principal.

In her 20s, Naomi began attending the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; within it, she found the religion that would become her guiding light. After marrying a fellow congregant in 1974, she moved to Utah so he could study at Brigham Young University. There, she learned English and made several lifelong friends.

Naomi was a kind-hearted and dedicated mother of six. In addition to her full-time job as a mother, Naomi was heavily involved in the church, taking leadership roles as Choir Director, Relief Society and Primary President. She had a natural ability to connect with people and recognize where she could be of service- opening her home to all. She loved nothing more than seeing her house filled with people enjoying each other’s company — and she had a knack for making friends and guests feel like they were at home, instantly becoming a second mother to many. Her favorite tradition was getting the family together on New Year’s Day to make Japanese food, just like her mother had done.

In 1996, Naomi and her family returned to Utah. She eagerly took on the role of grandmother to her 8 grandchildren who she adored and cherished dearly. In addition to spending time with family, Naomi enjoyed crocheting, knitting, sewing, doing crosswords puzzles, reading, trying new recipes, listening to music, and watching any dog related videos she could get her hands on.

Naomi was a fighter. She was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in 2004 which she went on to bravely overcome all the while preserving her defining upbeat and optimistic attitude.

Naomi will be remembered as sweet, loving, supportive, generous, humorous and optimistic. She was a friend to all, preserving relationships that spanned distant geographies and time. She was light-hearted and fun bringing smiles and laughter through her silly dances and jokes. She endured more than her share of difficulty, yet she never complained, always finding the silver lining and pushing through with a smile and kind heart.

For Naomi, family and faith came first; there wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do for her children or her church. Through her devotion to both, she inspired others, and through her ever-present kindness, she touched many lives. Naomi’s greatest and proudest accomplishment was raising an incredibly tight-knit family who care for each other and those around them — and she did it by being herself. She showed her children how to turn a house into a home and how to welcome faith and friends; quite simply, she showed them how to love. These lessons will be carried by their families for generations to come.

Naomi’s last words were “be kind to one another”. Honoring and living this wish is how we will preserve her legacy.

Naomi is survived by her children Alexandre Ribeiro (Cristina), Erika Wright (Amos), Samuel Ribeiro (Roberta), Camilla Ribeiro (Steve Young), Jennifer Ribeiro (Aaron Patterson), and Sarah South (Clayton); her siblings Flavio Furukawa, Noemi Furukawa Lucas, and Peter Furukawa; and eight grandchildren.

Flowers can be sent to Memorial Murray Mortuary at 5850 South 900 East, Murray, UT 84121.

We invite you to make a blood donation with the Red Cross or other similar organizations to help those fighting AML. For more information please go to

To join the funeral services via zoom: Webinar ID: 986 7408 7965

Open Viewing: Friday, July 23, 2021 8:30AM – 10:30AM

Closed Viewing: Friday, July 23, 2021 10:30AM - 11:00AM

Funeral Services: Friday, July 23, 2021 11AM – 12PM

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Mountain Shadow 1st Ward

8173 South 3200 West, West Jordan, UT 84088

Graveside Services: Friday, July 23, 2021 12:00PM – 1:30PM

Memorial Mountain View

3115 East 7800 South, Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121

Luncheon: Friday, July 23, 2021 1:30PM – 3:00PM

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Mountain Shadow 1st Ward

8173 South 3200 West, West Jordan, UT 84088


Services Handled By

Memorial Mountain View Mortuary & Cemetery
3115 East 7800 South
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Life Story Info

Post Date

Jul 19, 2021

Personal Info


Concerned about this Life Story? Please let us know.
NEXT Avery "Reb" ElRay Oxley Avery "Reb" ElRay Oxley


Naomi deixou uma linda família e lindas histórias pra serem sempre recontadas. Ela continuará, de onde estiver, guiando e iluminando os passos dos filhos e netos com toda certeza.

Meu grande abraço a toda a família.

Daniela Rodrigues Jul 25, 2021

Nossos sinceros sentimentos pela vossa perda (que é nossa também) e as nossas orações fervorosas para que o amor do nosso Salvador Jesus Cristo vos enlace e dê conforto .

Nilce e Osvaldo Bassi Jul 23, 2021

We are so sorry for your loss.

She was a lovely woman and will be greatly missed.

Débora e família

Debora Oliveira Jul 23, 2021

Meus sentimentos a toda a família. Que Deus conforte o coração de todos. Ela foi uma mulher muito especial até o final. A sua força , resiliência e amor a família pode ser sentido mesmo de tão longe.

Cristina Caselatto e família.

Cristina Caselatto Jul 23, 2021

We send deepest sympathy and love to Naomi’s family. She was a beautiful and delightful woman. So loved and cherished by her children.

Sharla Patterson , Tempe, AZ, US Jul 19, 2021