Haruko (Kozu) Watanabe

Brick #314   Wall Location  Column: 40   Row: 20

Haruko (Hark) Kozu was born January 8, 1920 in Seattle WA to Sakuichi and Itsu (Seki) Kozu. Hark was the second oldest daughter with three sisters and 3 brothers. Hark attended Washington Grade School (K-8) and went on to graduate from Garfield High School in Seattle, WA. After finishing high school, she worked in an office and then went to California for 2 years.

When Hark returned to Seattle, she met Jun Watanabe in August 1940. Her family owned a grocery store not too far from the barber college Jun was attending. They were engaged on February 14, 1941 (Valentine's Day) and married on March 15, 1941 in Seattle, WA.

In May 1942, she and Jun were evacuated from their home and housed at a temporary camp at the Puyallup Fairgrounds. In June, they were then sent by train to the Minidoka Relocation Center in Hunt, ID. Hark gave birth in 1943 to their first child, Nancy, while interned at Minidoka. They were all together until May 1944 when Jun was drafted for active duty with the U.S.Army/442nd Infantry. Hark and Nancy remained incarcerated until 1945.

In early 1946, Hark and Jun re-established residency in Seattle where they continued to grow their family to 5 children: Nancy, Daryl, Russell, Beth and Byron. Hark was a dedicated homemaker taking care of the kids while Jun worked.

By 1972 after raising the kids, Hark decided she wanted to go back to work. On April 20, 1972, she began working for The City of Seattle in the Seattle Engineering Department as a Clerk. She continued to work up until the late ‘70’s when it was necessary for her to quit her job to care for and spend more time with Jun who was diagnosed with bone cancer. Jun preceded her in death in 1980.

Hark and Jun took great pleasure in taking road trips to Reno. After Jun’s passing, Hark continued to make trips to Reno with family members. Her favorite games were playing the dollar slot machines and keno.

In her free time, Hark enjoyed cooking and baking along with quilting, sewing, knitting, crocheting and crafting. She was a member of the Southeast Seattle Senior Center where she joined Lee House in 1981. She was leader of the quilting group for 2 years producing a queen-size hemstitched quilt for raffle each year. She was also a member of the Jefferson Park Senior Center where she created many delightful crafted items for bazaars. She was a self-taught bridge player and eventually joined the Monday Bridge Group at the Southeast Seattle Senior Center.

In August 1997, Hark succumbed to pancreatic cancer. She and Jun were married for 39 years.

Assembly Centers
  • Puyallup
  • Minidoka
Brick Donors
  • Beth (Watanabe) Nakatsu
  • Russell Nakatsu
  • Allison Nakatsu
  • Daryl Watanabe
  • Shirley Miles-Watanabe
  • Suzan Watanabe
  • Russell Watanabe