1923 - 2018
Ryo Magara Terasaki passed away in her adult family home in Bellevue, WA, on December 14th. Ryo was born in Los Angeles in 1923, and was a Downey resident from 1952. Ryo was preceded in death by her husband of 58 years, Dr. Shigeo Terasaki, who passed away in 2003, after practicing medicine in Downey for several decades. She was also preceded in death by sisters Yo Kikugawa and Kana Hirose, and brother Hideo Magara. Ryo is survived by her sons Dr. Wesley Terasaki (Barbara), Stanley (Nancy), Dr. Rodney (Beth), and Carey. She is also survived by 6 grandsons, 3 granddaughters, 6 great-grandchildren, numerous nephews, nieces, in-laws, second cousins, and an older sister, Dr. Sue Makita. Ryo raised her sons as a stay-at-home mom; she was a strong proponent of the practice of reading to her young children. Ryo and Shigeo raised their sons in a loving environment that stressed education, and allowed for other achievements. Ryo was also a registered nurse. But, one day, she wandered into an art class, and turned that experience into a career of oil and watercolor painting; she painted, instructed at community colleges and adult education schools, demonstrated, and competed at art shows for decades. For many of her senior years, she hula danced. In 2017, Downey High School honored Ryo’s and Shigeo’s sons with induction into the DHS Hall of Fame. In the induction literature and during the induction ceremony, Ryo and Shigeo were recognized for raising their sons in the nurturing environment that was the foundation for their sons’ HoF achievements. They were especially recognized for overcoming the hardships many Japanese Americans endured during and after WWII, due to Executive Order 9066 and other acts of prejudice. Ryo and Shigeo refused to see themselves as victims of those hardships; instead, they saw their lives in Downey as opportunities for meaningful work, raising their children, and enjoying life. Ryo will be interred alongside Shigeo at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Southeast Japanese School and Community Center, in Norwalk, and Cerritos Baptist Church.