Eiko Saito

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Eiko Saitō (斎藤瑛⼦), 77, originally of Tokyō, Japan, passed away surrounded by family on June 23, 2020, in Marysville, WA. She had been fighting Alzheimer’s disease for over ten years.

She was born to the late Eizō (榮三) and Toshiko (敏⼦) (née Mizushina ⽔品) on April 18, 1943, in Tokyō. Eiko attended Den-en-chōfu Elementary School (⽥園調布⼩学校) (‘56), Tokyo Gakugei University Middle and Senior High Schools (東京学芸⼤学附属・中学校と⾼等学校) (‘62), Meiji Pharmaceutical College
(明治薬科⼤学) (‘66), and Cornell University (‘89).

Eiko raised two boys—Stephen Alden Elliott, of Seattle, WA, and Lindsay Nicholas Elliott, of New Haven, CT—in the United States, the Philippines, England, and Japan. She was confirmed as Eiko “Anna” Elliott by Father William Eddy of Christ Episcopal Church in Tarrytown, NY, in 1986. She returned to the United States in 2011 to be closer to her sons on the East Coast. She lived for several years in New York City before moving to Seattle in 2018.

Over the course of her life, Eiko was a pharmacist, an executive assistant at the Industrial Bank of Japan/Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt and Bayerische Vereinsbank in Tokyō, an instructor of Japanese at Cornell University as well as Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and last but not least, a mother with exceedingly high standards.

Both tender and headstrong in equal measure, she made friends no matter where she lived, frequently in the choirs in which she loved to sing. A lover of classical music, even in the final moments of life she always seemed to have a tune on her mind, either humming a Beethoven melody, singing along to arias in Italian, or merely drumming out a rhythm with her fingers.

She enjoyed exchanging long letters and spoke beautifully in Japanese. She also spoke German and English, and once delighted some unsuspecting European tourists in the New York subway by conversing with their toddler in several languages. But she was also no stranger to the odd malapropism, and when something (or more problematically someone) was noisy or loud, she would proclaim it “lousy.”

She was a tireless walker. She prided herself on learning about an area by walking it and learning the paths and streets by herself, doing so in cities around the world. She loved giving walks to her older son’s dog, Lupin the 4th (as well as illicitly slipping him snacks from the table). Having traveled extensively by herself throughout Europe and elsewhere, at a time when this was more rare, she viewed walking as a symbol of her independence and health. (She also loved watching sports, especially watching tennis, baseball, and soccer; she was by some accounts a notably athletic child, a trait that somehow evaded her sons.) And even as her condition deteriorated, she strove to maintain an understanding of how to get places on her own.

Eiko is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law, Stephen Alden Elliott and Serap Yigit-Elliott, and Lindsay Elliott and Dana Karwas; three grandchildren; her siblings Yoko (瑤⼦) Edwards, Akio Saitō (斎藤暁郎), and Haruki Saitō (斎藤晴樹); and the father of her children, Stephen Hopkins Elliott.

The funeral service will be held at Queen Anne Christian Church in Seattle on July 7, 2020, at 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in memory of Eiko to Alzheimer’s or other dementia research organizations. (For example: https://www.alzinfo.org/memory-wall/eikosaito/).

⻫藤瑛⼦は、2020年6⽉23⽇、ワシントン州メアリズビルにて、77歳で家族に囲まれて 永眠しました。10年間アルツハイマー病と闘っていました。

故⼈は、1943年4⽉13⽇、今は亡き榮三と敏⼦ (旧姓は⽔品)の間に東京で⽣まれ、⽥園調布⼩学校(1956年卒業)、東京学芸⼤学附属中学校、東京学芸⼤学附属⾼等学校(1962年卒業)、明治薬科⼤学 (1966年卒業)、コーネル⼤学(1989年卒業)で教育を受けました。

⼆⼈の息⼦――スティーブン・オールデン・エリオット(ワシントン州シアトル在住) とリンゼイ・ニコラス・エリオット(コネティカット州ニューヘイブン在住)――を⽶ 国、フィリピン、イギリス、⽇本で育てあげ、1986年、ニューヨーク州タリータウンの クライスト・エピスコパル教会にて、ウィリアム・エディ牧師から瑛⼦・アンナとして 堅信を受けました。2011年、東海岸にいる息⼦たちの近くに住むために⽶国に戻り、数 年間ニューヨーク市に住んだ後、2018年にシアトルに引っ越しました。

キャリアにおいては、薬剤師として働いた後、エグゼクティブ・アシスタントとして、 フランクフルトの⽇本興業銀⾏、東京のバイエリッシェフェラインス銀⾏に勤め、コー ネル⼤学及びホバート・アンド ・ウィリアム・スミス・カレッジで⽇本語を教えました。また、⼦供に対する期待度が並外れて⾼い⺟親でもありました。

⼤好きだったので、聖歌隊を通じての友達に恵まれていました。クラシック⾳楽の⼤ファンで、⼈⽣の幕を閉じようとしていた時でさえ、いつも⼼の中に⾳楽が流れていた ようです。ベートーベンのメロディをハミングしたり、イタリア語のアリアに合わせて 歌ったり、指でリズムを刻んでいたりしていました。

⻑い⼿紙をやりとりするのが好きで、美しい⽇本語を喋りました。ドイツ語と英語も喋ったのですが、ある⽇、ニューヨークの地下鉄で、幼児を連れたヨーロッパ⼈旅⾏客 と出会ったときのことです。幼児と数カ国語で会話し始め、その両親は思いがけない出 来事にとても嬉しそうでした。

疲れを知らずに歩く⼈で、⾃慢は、世界の様々な都市において、ひとりで通りや⼩道を 歩き回って地域のことを学ぶことでした。⻑男が飼っていたルパン4世という名の⽝を 散歩に連れて⾏ったり、⾷卓からこっそりスナックをとってあげたりするのも楽しんで いました。まだそんなことをする⼈が少なかった時代に、ヨーロッパや他の地域をひと りで旅⾏して回り、歩くことを⾃⽴と健康の象徴とみなしていました。(また、スポー ツ観戦、特にテニスやサッカーの試合を⾒るのが⼤好きでした。⼦供の頃は、とても運 動が得意だったそうです。残念ながら、息⼦たちにはそれは遺伝していないのです

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