Miyoko (Inouye) Bassett
Tule Lake - Jerome

Brick #3111   Wall Location  Column: 65   Row: 12

Miyoko, born June 12, 1925, grew up with her beloved parents Saburo and Michiyo Inouye, and two brothers,William and George.
They were interned in Tule Lake in 1942. Thanks to the Japanese American Student Relocation Committee, first George, then Bill, were enabled to leave Tule Lake by 1943, to enroll in Swarthmore College, in Swarthmore, PA. Miyoko went with her parents to the Jerome, Arkansas camp in 1943,but was also able to join her brothers at Swarthmore by the autumn of 1943. Miyoko graduated from Swarthmore in 1947, and then, while living in her parent's home in the Philadelphia Hostel (where her parents were resident hosts for a series of students, for many years -- initially those coming out of the camps)in 1947, Miyoko entered Temple Medical School, and graduated with the M.D. degree in 1951. She then served a one-year rotating internship at Mt. Auburn Hospital, in Cambridge, MA.During that year, she met David R. Bassett (at that time a 3rd year medical in Tufts Medical School in Boston, MA.)(David received his M.D. degree in June, 1953.) In July, 1952, Miyoko began a 1-year pediatric pathology residency at St. Christopher's Hospital, Philadelphia. Miyoko and David were married on June 20, 1953, at Westtown Friends (Quaker)Meeting. Miyo began her clinical pediatric residency at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia in July 1953, and David began his internship at Philadelphia General Hospital. On September,29, 1955, Miyoko's and David's first child, Helen, was born at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital. In early November, 1955, Miyoko, David, and Helen left Philadelphia to go to India. They spent the next two years (until Nov., 1957) in the village of Barpali, province of Orissa, India, both working as physicians with the American Friends Service Committee (Quaker) Community Development project (begun in 1950). This two years represented alternative civilian service as a conscientious objector (in place of military service) for David. Returning to Philadelphia in Nov. 1957, Miyoko finished her pediatric training over the next several years, and David finished his internal medicine residency training, and 4 further years of medical fellowship training. On July 7, 1958, our son, David., Jr. was born, and on Oct. 8, 1959, our daughter Joanna was born. During these years, we were able to spend valuable and very enjoyable time with Miyo's parents, and with her brother Bill, his wife Eleanor (their Swarthmore classmate), and Bill & Eleanor's three boys. Also during this time, Miyoko and David became members of the Society of Friends, joining Swarthmore Quaker Meeting in 1960.
In August, 1963, we moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, where Miyoko worked at Kaukeolani Children' Hospital, and David worked at Queen's Hospital, directing the Hawaii Cardiovascular Study, and doing internal medicine clinical care, teaching, and research. We also had appointments with the University of Hawaii. We completed that work in August, 1963, moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where David had accepted a position in the Hypertension Division, Department of Medicine, at the University of Michigan. Miyoko soon accepted a position in the Department of Pediatrics, at the University of Michigan, with her place of work usually being at Wayne County General Hospital, 25 miles east of Ann Arbor. Here, she was involved with teaching pediatrics to University of Michigan medical students, and in the care of pediatric patients. In 1982, Miyoko experienced an episode of acute gastric bleeding. This required blood transfusion; and, resulting from this, Miyo developed non-A, non-B hepatitis (later recognized as Hepatitis C.) She was very ill for a time, subsequently recovering, with good medical care,(and,later, with the availability of interferon, to suppress hapatitis activity) but not having the energy to return to her regular pediatric practice. She was however able, for many subsequent years, to be active in the Ann Arbor community in many volunteer capacities.She was active in a number of community groups, including those with outreach to international students. Also, in the years following 1982, she was active on the Board of Friends School in Detroit; on the national Board of the American Friends Service Committee (attending meetings in Philadelphia and elsewhere several times each year), and on the Board of the Ecumenical Campus Center in Ann Arbor. She and David were active in the Ann Arbor Friends Meeting, serving as co-clerks of the Meeting for one or two years. During the Vietnam War era, both of us, being conscientious objectors to war, become war tax resisters, and also began legislative work in Congress to recognize conscientious objection to military taxation.
Miyoko was a wonderful parent, taking much interest in our children's development, education, and their family responsibilities, and was a beloved grandparent to our six grandsons.
In 2005,realizing that we were growing older, we explored living arrangements in a retirement community, ultimately deciding to move to Rochester, New York, to The Highlands at Pittsford, thus being near to Joanna, Mark,and Rob.We also made visits to Helen's family in Arlington, MA, and David's family in Knoxville, TN. In March, 2006, Miyoko was diagnosed with liver cancer.She underwent hepatic surgery in June,2006, then radiation, and brief chemotherapy. Slowly her hepatic cancer progressed.Miyo retained her steadfast and positive outlook on life to the very end, giving inspiration to others who also helped people with end-of-life issues. She knew the presence of her many friends and family, and they knew her presence in their lives. She died, quietly and peacefuly, on May 26, 2007. Moving memorial services were held at Rochester Friends Meeting, and Ann Arbor Friends Meeting. Her husband, David, and her children and grandchildren and her many friends hold her in our hearts, now as in her life, exemplifying the meaning of her name, Miyoko -- "beautiful life."

Assembly Centers
  • Sacramento
  • Jerome
  • Tule Lake
Brick Donors
  • Joanna Bassett
  • David Bassett, Jr.
  • Helen Bassett