Born in Ujiyamada-Shi, Japan on December 4, 1945
Departed on January 16, 2020 and resided in Hartsdale, NY
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It is with heart-breaking sadness we share with you that our beloved wife and mother, Yumiko, passed away suddenly on Thursday evening, January 16. Her husband Tatsuya and son Donjiro were by her side. Thankfully, she did not suffer. Her daughter Aliko is now also in New York with the family.
We had just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in October, Thanksgiving in November, her 74th birthday in December, and then Christmas together. In hindsight, this was God’s gift to our family to have so many celebrations with her this past year!
In the midst of our pain, we do have peace and even joy because we know she is dancing and singing in heaven with the Lord! We have all been richly blessed by her joyful and sweet spirit, and her heart to serve the Lord and others. On Wednesday, the day before she passed, she had spent an especially fun and special day with her two precious grandsons, Milo and Noah.
Information for Yumiko’s Celebration of Life
Wednesday January 22, 2020
12:00pm Memorial Service, by Pastor Eiji Osato メモリアルサービス（司式：大里英二牧師）
Ballard Durand Funeral Service
2 Maple Ave, White Plains, NY 10601
Following the service, approximately from 1:00pm, the Ban family welcomes all to their Westchester home for food and fellowship. メモリアルサービスの後、場所を坂 達也・柚実子の息子夫婦の家にて昼食を取りながらフェローシップの時を持ちます。ぜひどなたでもご参加下さいますようお願い申し上げます。
Yumiko’s four sisters in Japan have graciously offered to provide the flowers for the service. We are so very thankful. 柚実子の姉妹四人、その他多くの方々からこの式のために献花等を頂戴しています。心から感謝申し上げます。
More information will be coming soon about the livecast of the service, and memorial webpage where you can leave a message and later see a video of the bilingual service. If you would like to contact the family, email is preferred, either to Aliko_Ban@yahoo.com and/or DonjiroBan@gmail.com, or text 808-227-8030 and/or 917-673-6636. Thank you for your prayers, and your love for Yumiko.
God bless you,
Tatsuya, Aliko and Donjiro
Many are requesting information on how to give support. Indeed, Yumiko and Tatsuya embody the phrase “store your riches in heaven.” The Lord has always provided “just enough.” Yumiko gave her life to the eternal ministry of the Lord, writing and translating articles for Japanese Christians online for Walk With God Ministries, and hosting countless Bible study and prayer meetings in Portland, Honolulu, New York, and throughout Japan. It would delight her heart, in lieu of flowers that fade away, if you would consider making a gift to Walk With God Ministries in memory of her. Here’s a link to the Walk With God Ministries website: http://www.banministries.org/.
You were a second mother to me as I spent countless days and nights at your home as a child. Thank you for caring for me when I was sick. Thank you for your steadfast love of the Lord, family, friends and fellow believers. Your ministry was an example to us all and brought Glory to God in the Highest.
Yumiko was one of the very sweetest, most gentle women I’ve known. I can only imagine how much she will be missed by all those who loved her.
「天高し また会う日まで さようなら」
Yumiko is beautiful woman inside and out. She has touched so many lives, including Tatsuya and Yumiko supporting the Wakai Tea School. Thank you for the lovely video, I so enjoyed seeing her many moments with friends and family. The last moment in the video is priceless. My condolences to Tatsuya, Donjiro and Aliko.
Yumiko-sensei embodied wisdom, love and patience. As my Chado teacher so long ago in Portland, she truly inspired me with her grace and strength. How blessed and honored we were to know the Ban family in the Lake Oswego, Oregon days. Big love to Mr Ban, Aliko and Donjiro.
Here is the biography we had printed for the memorial service program:
Yumiko was born on December 4, 1945 (Showa 20) to parents Hideo and Harue Sakai. She was the 5th and youngest daughter, nicknamed “Mimi” by her family. She and her sisters were born and raised in Ise, Japan, then moved to Nagoya, all based on their father’s teaching posts. In Nagoya, her father taught Japanese Literature at the prestigious Christian girls school, Kinjo Gakuin, where Yumiko attended junior high, high school, and college. Outside of school, she also studied piano, Japanese tea ceremony and ikebana flower arrangement. She played tennis and was the leader of the choir, singing in many Messiah concerts. Over her entire life, she touched so many people with her beautiful singing voice and piano accompaniment.
Yumiko’s major was English Literature, so when Tatsuya was introduced as a marriage prospect, she received the blessing of her parents and boldly moved to America. In Lake Oswego, Oregon, she learned how to be a wife and mother – in a totally foreign country, language and culture. By herself she attended Mt Park Church nearby, and she prayed for her new husband’s salvation. When he did accept Jesus early in their marriage, so began their 50 year journey of studying the Bible and spreading the Good News.
Yumiko inherited her father’s teaching genes, and taught many people, in many subjects: English to other newly arrived Japanese ladies in Portland, tea ceremony, Bible study, and Japanese language to her children and grandchildren. She was a beloved friend and trusted counselor to all those around her. Whether they knew her for decades, or just a brief time, she tried to keep in touch with everyone by writing letters, then later learning technology like Facebook, Line and even using emojis in messages!
One amazing quality was that Yumiko was always enthusiastic to try new things and skilled in arts and crafts: sewing, knitting, macramé, Tole painting, Japanese calligraphy, making wagashi Japanese sweets, Jewish dancing, hula, and writing a blog! From childhood, when she and her sisters would roam the fields to play, all of them grew to love nature and flowers. Her home was always filled with plants; she even studied how to propagate African violets and orchids. Her delicious cooking and baking (even the experimental failed attempts!) are things we will remember and miss the most. She especially loved feeding her grandsons; every dish was lovingly prepared. Her last days were filled with her two favorite joys: actively playing with her grandsons Milo and Noah; and fellowshipping and praising the Lord with friends.
Many, many people have come to know Jesus and to love God more because of Tatsuya and Yumiko’s beautiful partnership and ministry. They made countless mission trips to Japan on their own, and with missionaries like Henry Gruver, for whom Yumiko was the primary translator. She was Tatsuya’s sounding board before, and supporter during all of his sermons. For the last 16 years, she has diligently translated many Christian teachings from English to Japanese for their website, Walk With God Ministries. This ministry spiritually feeds over 1500 Japanese visitors every month. Well done, my good and faithful servant!, says the Lord.
Yumiko will be dearly missed, but so lovingly remembered by: her husband Tatsuya; children Aliko & Mike, Donjiro & Esther; and sisters Sahoko, Natsuko, Mihoko and Yukiko. The family welcomes all who loved her to post messages, memories, and photos to her Facebook page and memorial page. Yumiko/Mom/Baba – we feel your presence still with us, and can’t wait to see you again in heaven!
Yumiko and Tatsuya contributed the most endearing fellowship to my life. We could sit and talk for hours about the things of God. I loved listening to them share about their mission journeys to Japan, walking by foot up into the mountains to share the gospel in the small villages and churches, or hear about a new book they were writing and translating. Sometimes we’d just share our “experiential” testimonies about the faithfulness of God’s love. As a married couple, they blessed my life and at times would make me giggle. Yumiko had a wonderful sense of humor! Very fond, loving memories of Yumiko, and my deepest condolences to Tatsuya, Donjiro, Esther, Aliko, Mike, Milo, Noah, and all family and friends she will be missed by.
Please click on the above link to watch the video of the memorial service from 1/22/2020. The service does not start until about 31 minutes into the video.
Yumiko was not only a dear friend but mentor guiding me in the principles of harmony, respect, purity and tranquilly as she taught me how to whisk a good bowl of tea from the heart. Generosity and true hospitality are but some of the treasures of life learned from her presence. Her beauty shone within and without. Inspired by the guiding light and love of Christ, she gave wholeheartedly in everything she did. Even now, she comforts us in the light and peace that radiates in her death. With palms together in gratitude, Diana Saltoon-Briggs