Chizuko Kojima, age 81, of Raleigh died early Wednesday, May 22, 2013, at Rex Hospital. She was the daughter of Rikijiro and Tsuuko Yoshimura of Gifu, Japan. As a teenager, she came to the United States in 1949 to study at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA. After returning to marry Ken-ichi Kojima in Japan in 1955, both moved to Raleigh so that her husband could study, research and teach at N.C. State University. In 1967, her husband was made the zoology/genetics department head at the University of Texas in Austin. He passed away in a car accident in 1971. Instead of moving back to Japan with her two young children, she brought them back to Raleigh in 1973, where she lived the rest of her life. She became an American citizen in 1980. In 1988, she married Duncan Stuart, professor emeritus at the N.C. State School of Design. He passed away in 2001. She has been a member of West Raleigh Presbyterian Church throughout her time in Raleigh.
Surviving are: her son, Kenji of Cupertino, CA; her grandchildren Kimi and Hana, both of Cupertino, CA who called her “Nana”; her daughter, Chiye Katherine of Mountain View, CA; the mother of her grandchildren Yoko of Cupertino, CA; and her sister Aiko Koyasu and husband Takao of Gifu, Japan. Also her dog, Jamie, a lot of Apple Computer products, and scores of people whom she felt she was lucky to call her friends.
She was an amazing, independent woman who has inspired us all.
Memorial services will be held on Tuesday, May 28, 2013, at 2PM in West Raleigh Presbyterian Church, 27 Horne St, Raleigh 27607. A reception at the church will follow. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent in her name to West Raleigh Presbyterian Church or the American Red Cross.