Masako (Takagi) Connelly of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, passed away on February 4, 2021, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, after a well-lived life of over 93 years.
Masako was born on June 5, 1927. Her husband Clarence of sixty-six years of marriage preceded her in death. Masako was born Kyoto, Japan, and lived there with her parents and brother, she attended school, learning English and preparing for her future life. In 1950, she met this Army corporal, who was on leave from his base in Korea, and had come to Kyoto as a tourist to visit the beautiful gardens and the large Buddhist temple. They started a conversation and she later said that “he was the most handsome man she had ever seen’’, he too was struck by her beauty, and they soon became engaged. After his discharge from the Army in June of 1952, they arranged for Masako’s immigration to the U.S., where Clarence would start a civilian job at Tinker AFB. Life here in the States was not easy, Masako faced a lot of prejudice in this country because of World War II, but she and Clarence faced it with a quiet dignity that would define their life together. My mother was Clarence’s cousin and the two of them grew up as siblings, and it was natural that my parents became best friends with Masako and Clarence and they traveled together on several trips. My mother and Masako considered each other sisters and would drink coffee together and go clothes shopping at every opportunity. On September 19, 1961, Masako became an American citizen. She considered this the second best day in her life (after her wedding to Clarence), and loved her new country. They would travel together everywhere in their Lincoln Continental “nicknamed Abe”, and after Clarence’s retirement from Tinker they would set off on day trips to all corners of the state. Theirs was a modern day love story filled with adventures.
Click here to view a webcast of the service on 2/24/2021 at 02:00 PM, Central Standard Time.
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