Celebrating the Life of
Sep 18, 1932 - Jan 30, 2021
The Virtual Celebration of Life for
Saturday, March 6, 2021
4 p.m. Pacific Standard Time
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This virtual event will use Zoom video conferencing which requires an internet connected computer with a web camera, or a smart phone with the Zoom app installed.
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In the US dial +1 (646) 558-8656
Use Meeting ID 966 3835 1991
International phone numbers here
Sally Sumiye Osaki passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 30, 2021. She was 88 years old.
She was born the youngest of six siblings to Tadahiko and Chika Noda on a small farm outside Selma, California. Both her parents immigrated from Kumamo-to, Japan, in the early 1900s. Due to the unjust incarceration of Japanese American’s during WWII, from the age of 9 to 12 years old, she grew up in the Gila River Concentration Camp in Arizona. The family returned to Selma in 1945, and her parents continued to farm until their retirement. After graduation from Selma Union High School, she moved to San Francisco to attend a dental assistant school.
In 1958, she married Wayne Yoshito Osaki and raised four sons in San Francisco.
Sally was an active stay-at-home mother for more than 20 years. She was a regular school volunteer and served as President of the PTA’s of the schools attended by her four sons from 1963 - 1980. In the late 60’s she advocated desegregating the public school district. In 1979, Sally successfully organized city-wide parent sit-ins at the Board of Education during a seven week strike to persuade the Board members and the Teachers’ Union to negotiate and end the strike.
Sally was the first Japanese American woman to work in city politics and government. She was a political consultant for several local election campaigns. In 1979, she was the Coordinator of Volunteer Operations for the run-off campaign of Diane Feinstein’s first term as Mayor.
She went on to work as the Administrative Assistant to Supervisor Louise Renne, providing representation for the Asian American community who were underrepresented at City Hall. In 1981, she worked with Supervisor Renne and Mayor Feinstein to introduce a resolution to support redress and reparations for the incarceration of Japanese American’s during WWII. San Francisco became one of the nation’s first cities to apologize and acknowl-edge this unconstitutional wrongdoing. One of her proudest achievements was successfully establishing funding for the first Asian American residential substance abuse program.
In 1983, a mock-trial was convened by Superior Court Judge Daniel M. Hanlon in the “Court of Historical Review” to determine if the Chinese fortune cookie origi-nated in San Francisco or Los Angeles. Sally partici-pated to prove that the origin of the fortune cookie was Japanese and not Chinese. Following her research, Sally presented proof and documentation that the fortune cookie was Japanese and introduced in San Francisco around 1910 by Makoto Hagiwara, the founder of the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park.
Sally was amused that for over 30 years, she continued to be sought after for her research on the fortune cookie by various media sources, in the book “Fortune Cookie Chronicles” by author Jennifer Lee. Lee’s own investigation concluded that Sally was correct.
For the 1984 Democratic National Convention, Sally was the Director of Volunteers, responsible for selecting and assigning over 5,000 volunteers from throughout the country. She often described working intense 15 hour days of an unbelievably exciting Democratic Convention that led to the historic nomination of the first women, Vice President Geraldine Ferraro. The Democratic Convention Chairperson, Governor Martha Layne Collins of Kentucky, commissioned Sally, a Kentucky Colonel, the highest honor bestowed by the Governor of Kentucky, to recognize an individual’s outstanding service to the community, state, and nation.
She later worked for Mayor Feinstein and served as her Program Manager and Budget Analyst to the Health Department. In the early years of the AIDS Epidemic, she served as staff to the Mayor’s AIDS Task Force. She later worked for Mayor Art Agnos before becoming the Executive Assistant to the Director of the Health.
In 2003, she proudly retired after 22 years of service in the legislative, executive, and administra-tive branches of city government for the City and County of San Francisco.
No matter how busy she was with work, volunteering, or raising her children, Sally played poker every month with the same group of women for over fifty years. She enjoyed watching the San Francisco Giants and 49ers and Golden State Warriors, playing mahjong, researching her family ancestry, and taking cruises. She loved growing orchids, looked forward to the Feinstein staff reunions, talking to the women at the dog park, and the annual family vacations to Donner Lake.
A lifelong Democratic and on hospice care, she wanted to stay alive long enough to witness President Trump’s defeat and Kamala Harris’s inauguration as Vice President. She achieved that dream passing away ten days later.
Sally was a breast and colon cancer survivor. Her passing is predeceased by all her brothers and sisters Masaru (Buzz), Haruko (Herky), Kenji, Satoru (passed away at age 2), and Yoshiye (Yo). Her husband Wayne passed away in 2015. She leaves behind four sons, Glenn, Paul, Dean (Diane), Jon (Julie), and three grandchildren, Shannon, Mika, and Lee.