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Koko Nina Suzuki Fisher, affectionately known as Nana, 88, of Asheville, NC was escorted by her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ to her Heavenly home on Doyobi (Saturday in Japanese) December 17, 2022, surrounded by family and friends at her daughter's home in Candler, NC.
Nina was born a Japanese American Citizen on Getsuyobi, (Monday in Japanese) November 5, 1934, in Whittier CA. She was the oldest of six children born to Yoshimichi and Toshiye Kobayashi Suzuki. Nina was seven years old when WWII began December 7, 1941, when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Shortly after the war's outbreak all Japanese and Japanese- Americans were forced into leaving their homes, valuables and business behind under Presidential Executive Order No 9066 signed by President Franklin D Roosevelt in early 1942. This triggered the evacuation and forced more than 120,000 Japanese people to be uprooted and forced interned to concentration camps spread across the southwest of the US. These camps were built in the middle of swamp lands infested with mosquitos and snakes and were surrounded by barbed wire fence and guarded by white American soldiers. These camps were set up as military type barracks with living space being bare minimum. The Suzuki Family was interned in Rohwer, Arkansa. Nina and her family were one of the last families to leave the internment camp in November 1945 as they had nowhere else to go. Race prejudice was rampant against the Japanese at that time which made it difficult to find a new place to call home. The family made their way to Missouri and ultimately Cape Girardeau, MO became their new home. Her father regained his footing there and became a full-time commercial gardener and established his own landscaping business. He also raised test-rose bushes for the American Rose Society. Prior to the war her family had their own business as commercial gardeners and sold their wares to the Los Angeles floral markets
Nina attended school at College High and graduated in 1952. She also attended Southeast Missouri State College and completed her education in Art and Physical Education in 1956. She was a member of the Pep Squad, band, Girls' sports club, Future Teachers of America, Readers' Guild, Aquatic club and Sorsis. She was an avid tennis player in school and throughout her life.
Nina met her husband, James E Fisher (Jim) while he was stationed in Fort Campbell, KY in 1958 as he was serving in the US Army. Jim and Nina were married in Asheville. Jim proceeded her in death on April 24,1994. Together they owned and operated Fisher Flooring Company in Asheville. Nina and Jim were faithful members at Morningside Baptist Church 1959-1974, and then joined Starnes Cove Baptist Church in 1974 in which she was still an active member. She never met a stranger that she didn't love. Nina enjoyed fellowship everywhere she went. People were her passion.
Nina is survived by her two daughters, Kay Privett and husband Tracy of Candler, Julie Fisher and life partner Ed Garren of Arden; one son, Brian Fisher and wife Kate; daughter-in-law, Sonia Fisher Pressley (Mitch) all of Candler; six grandchildren, Raiana Williams, Tiffany Burleson and husband Chris, Brody, Darby, Zoe Fisher and Adam Roberts; four great-grandchildren, Alijah Walker, Alivia Williams, Layla & Lilly Roberts; three brothers, Arthur Suzuki of Jackson, MO, Mac Suzuki of San Francisco, CA, Pat Suzuki and wife Paula of Cape Girardeau, MO; two sisters, Jane Maroon of Dover, DE and Kay Nicholson and husband Don of Venice, FL.
She was proceeded in death by her father, Yoshimichi in 1979; mother, Toshiye in 2007; husband, Jim in 1994; and two sons, Mitch in 1987 and Trigger in 2019 Fisher.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, January 14, 2023, at 1pm at Starnes Cove Baptist Church with visitation 2 hours prior.
The family would like to thank the Four Seasons Hospice of Hendersonville for their care of Nina. The many friends and family that came by to visit with her or called to say hello and check on her wellbeing or sent cards of encouragement and loved on her. Also Thank you to Western Carolina Mortuary Service for their assistance.
Her presence and beautiful smile will be greatly missed here. Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; love leaves a memory no one can steal.
Memorials may be made to Starnes Cove Baptist Church, 149 Starnes Cove Rd, Asheville, NC 28806.