Caroline Kay Matsuyama Nakashima passed away peacefully in her sleep on Oct 18, 2023 – 6 months shy of her 100th birthday. Caroline was born to Tomozo and Hisa Matsuyama on April 7, 1924 in Fresno, CA, the last of 8 children. She and her family were detained at Jerome Camp for Japanese Internment in Arkansas from 1942 – 1943. She left for Hamline University in Minneapolis, MN to receive a BA in Music. Caroline returned to Fresno and met and fell in love with Tom Nakashima on a church outing. They married on June 16, 1951 and were married for 69 years until Tom passed in May of 2020
Caroline was a supporter of the arts throughout her life. Her interests included photography, stained glass, sculpture, piano and gardening. She attended local theatre and symphonies up until a week before her passing. She loved her family, her dog Mommi, the Giants, the Warriors (especially Steph Curry), Scrabble and a good root beer float. She also loved a good party and had an uncanny knack for making strangers feel like family. From the many foreign exchange students to the new members of her extended family, Caroline embodied inclusion and acceptance with grace. She will be remembered for her generosity and sense of community through the many friends and family she leaves behind
Caroline is predeceased by her husband Tom and survived by daughters Jill (Dennis Shea), Dawn (Jonathan Newman) and Bev (Bob Malatesta), son Stu (Ann), grandkids Taylor, Zachary, Mari, Charlie, Leah, Aya and Andrew
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in her name to Livingston United Methodist Church, Modesto Symphony or Japanese American National Museum.