Miwako Isago Haley, 84, passed away Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at her home in Strasburg, Virginia. She was surrounded by her loving family as she slipped away from this life after a tough battle with ALS.
Miwako was born on August 4, 1936 in Yokosuka-shi, Kanagawa-ken, Japan as the 3rd daughter and 10th of 11 children of Tojiro and Kura Isago. She survived World War II by hiding in temples and caves in the countryside of Japan with other children who were seeking refuge from the war. As a young girl, Miwako was a volleyball player and loved to play barefoot with her school team. At age 15, she began working as a housekeeper in the home of Ambassador Reischauer, where she would later meet and fall in love with her future husband Chief Allan Haley.
In 1964, Miwako left the shores of her homeland in Japan and travelled across the world filled with hope and the excitement of a new life with her love Allan. She arrived in Honolulu on Christmas Day, and then later travelled to Fallon, NV where she and Allan married. Miwako became a US citizen in 1974, an honor she was extremely proud of. Upon Allan’s retirement from the U.S. Navy, the couple moved to Strasburg, VA where they built their home, raised their four children and happily lived out the remainder of their lives.
Miwako was a member of JAWS, the Japanese women of the Shenandoah Valley. This amazing, loving and beautiful group of friends would meet once a month to share food and conversation and bonded over their shared connection to their Japanese heritage. The family is very thankful for the visits, meals, love and support given by the JAWS members.
Miwako will be most remembered for her generosity and love of sharing her food. She never missed an opportunity to share her famous Japanese potato Korokke among other Japanese treats to the local church, schools, Ruritan club, 4H group and community events. She loved to feed anyone and everyone. She also enjoyed gardening, her family and building the home that she loved so much.
Miwako was preceded in death by Allan, her husband of 48 years and their first child, Naomi Kathleen.
She is survived by son Martin Haley and wife Danyielle and his daughters Holly and Cheyenne of Strasburg, VA; daughter Patricia Haley of Moorefield, WV; daughter Mary Haley and her daughter Kohanna of Gainesville, VA; Michael Haley, his wife Monica, sons Cole, Gunnar and Ty of Glenville, WV as well as her sister Fujie, who still resides in Japan.
Miwako will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery with Allan and Naomi.
Donations in Miwako’s name can be made to Blue Ridge Hospice https://brhospice.org/donate/ and to the ALS Association https://donate.als.org/give/287064/#!/donation/checkout.
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