Our beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Toyoko “Toy” Murayama Shimizu, passed away Wednesday, July 28, 2021 in Salt Lake City, Utah with her children at her side.
Toy was born January 20, 1926 in Montebello, California, to Tsuneo Murayama and Kikuno Honda Murayama. Toy’s parents emigrated from Kumamoto prefecture on the southern island of Kyushu, Japan and worked hard to provide for their family. Toy was the second oldest of four children and when Toy was only seven years old her mother passed away, so as the oldest daughter Toy assumed adult responsibilities at a young age cooking and cleaning and as a result gained a strong work ethic that continued throughout her life. As a result of the start of WWII Toy and her family were sent to the Gila River War Relocation Center in Gila River, Arizona for approximately 3 years. Toy graduated from Canal High School in 1944. Toy loved all sports and lettered in Tennis and also was a very good softball player. Toy later attended the University of Utah for approximately 2½ years. Toy also completed a course in cosmetology and upon completion of beauty school she met many interesting famous people while she was employed at the Stylart Beauty Shop at the Hotel Utah. Later, she managed a beauty shop in Wyoming.
After the war, Ted met Toy and they married on September 17, 1947 in Salt Lake City, Utah. One of the things they enjoyed most in life was travelling together throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Ted’s military service resulted in many places of duty in the U.S. and overseas, where Ted and Toy made lifelong friends. While stationed in Vancouver, Washington Ted and Toy adopted their son, Ned as an infant. Ted and Toy then went to Spokane for 2 years when their daughter Treva was adopted as an infant. Ted and Toy said they realized their deepest wish and joy when they became parents. Ted and Toy said nothing in their life was more fulfilling or rewarding than to raise their son and daughter.
In 1964, Ted was reassigned to Kolding, Denmark for two years. Before leaving the Army, Ted, Toy, and their children went to France for 1 year. Ted and Toy returned to the United States after his tour of duty was complete. Upon returning to the United States Toy worked for the FAA and later at the Utah Air National Guard as the Commander’s Secretary until she retired in January 1995 with 28 years of service. Ted and Toy’s retirement years were spent caring for their large vegetable garden, which they loved to tend to and they canned much of the produce and always gave away the fresh vegetables and fruits to family and friends. Toy was a self-taught painter and loved coloring in her later years. Toy also enjoyed sewing, tatting, and knitting, and she was a great cook. Toy loved to bowl and did so until she was nearly 90. Toy loved attending the University of Utah Gymnastics meets with Treva and Donovan. Toy enjoyed road trips with her family, especially to California to visit relatives and good friends. While Toy’s declining health the past few years made travelling difficult, in her early 90’s Toy was able to enjoy a final road trip to California to visit loved ones.
Toy is survived by her son Ned (Janet) Shimizu; daughter Treva (Donovan) Bergstrom; granddaughters Whitney (Tyler) Klotz and Haley Shimizu; great grandsons Jamie and Jesse Klotz; and sisters-in-law Hana Kubo and Mai Shimizu of California; and many nieces and nephews. Toy was preceded in death by her husband, parents, brothers Sam and Ben, and sister Eiko.
Toy and family would like to express our deepest gratitude to the extraordinary doctors and medical staff at the University of Utah that she had over the years. We would also like to thank The Sheridan at South Jordan Assisted Living Community, University of Utah Outpatient Wound Care Clinic, Taylorsville Legacy Village Rehabilitation, Murray Intermountain Medical Center, and Summit Hospice staff for the caring and compassionate services you provided to make our mom’s last years and days more comfortable. A very special thank you to Dr. Nathan Ragle, who provided the most extraordinary care, with kindness and compassion, to our dearly beloved mom for many years. To all of you and many more than we can mention, our heartfelt gratitude.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a private, family only, graveside service and internment will be held at the Salt Lake City Cemetery.