On Christmas day, talented, funny, and much loved Chie passed away peacefully at the age of 97. She was a month and a half away from turning 98.
Her life was long and full, touching many people, not only here in our community, but throughout the world. She had friends in many states and also several countries.
At the time of her birth, her father owned an import/export business operating out of China, so Chie was born in Dairen, Manchuria (a northeastern province of China). After two months her mother insisted on returning to Japan.
At two years old she started playing the piano. This became her passion and her career. At one point, she was chosen from all of her school classmates, to play the music at the Tokyo Olympics. She had hoped to return to Japan for the 2020 Olympics.
Upon completing high school, she continued her musical education by attending the prestigious Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.
Chie was multilingual, speaking Japanese, German, English, and Chinese, and could speak and understand some words of several other languages. If you were to sneeze in Chie’s presence, you were certain to hear “Gesundheit”.
She was a lifelong learner who held certificates in Master Flower Arranging, Japanese Painting and Wood Carving, and Japanese Doll Making. Many in our community have on display some of the exquisite Japanese dolls that were made by her.
In 1962 she married Otis Bounds, and in 1967 became a U.S. citizen. While living in Japan, Otis met a man who sold United States real estate, so they bought one hundred acres for a ranch and in 1974 returned to the United States. After seeing the property, Chie was determined to return to Japan. They settled on selling the acreage and buying their home at 510 Tyler Street where they lived for over 40 years.
Chie and Otis did not have any children, but took in a young woman whose husband had died. Chie became forever “Mommie”, and the relationship was strong till the day Chie died. She also took in exchange students and children of friends in Japan. Her house was always a busy place.
Chie loved to travel and at one point took a European vacation taking in 7 countries and lasting several months. She often went to visit her dear friend in California, or would fly back to Japan to see family. She and Otis had just made plans, and purchased a new vehicle, to make the drive to Alaska, but he unfortunately passed away before they could go.
Chie spent her life passing her talents on to others. Whether she was teaching them music, Japanese language, or cooking, she was always involved in our community. She taught many local students and each one held a special place in her heart. They all became her kids, and are now passing the music on to their own children.
God Bless you Chie, thank you for enriching all our lives. You will be missed!