I was given the gift of life, and now have to give it back. This is a difficult thing to do. But I want to be remembered as someone who lived in the present, someone that had no regrets. I was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March, 2013. Lucky for me, it was diagnosed early as far as pancreatic cancer goes and after surgery and chemotherapy, I was given the gift of five more years. I returned to life as I knew it and lived it to the max with no regrets! – dinners with family and friends, trips with my daughters and their families, working out at the gym, trips with friends, birthday and Christmas celebrations. I was able to watch my Grandchildren grow. The cancer almost became a thing of the past. Unfortunately, it returned and was found to be metastatic in 2018. More chemo – but this time it was more difficult. I soldiered through though, determined to buy myself just a little more time. Although I can say without hesitation that I lived a full and happy life with no regrets, cancer is powerful and it became a battle I could no longer win. I fought long and hard, but now the suffering is over and I am at peace. I have rejoined my soulmate and husband, Kenji, my sister Wanda, my mother, Dorothy, along with many other loved ones.
I am Joann Barbara Naruko, age 71 and I peacefully left this world on Saturday March 30, 2019 in Moorpark, CA while on vacation surrounded by family and friends. I was born on August 17, 1947 in Culver City, CA and spent the last decade living with my daughter and her family in Maple Grove, MN. I am survived by my daughters, Kim Naruko-Stewart (husband, Matt) and Kristin Naruko (husband, Michel), seven grandchildren (Jakob 16, Emma 14, Piper 12, Eliana 10, Aiden 8, Luca 7 and Max 4), father, Robert and step-mother, Joyce.
A Celebration of Life Memorial service will be held at 2pm on Friday April 19 at David Lee Funeral Home 1220 Wayzata Blvd East, Wayzata, MN 55391. There will be a visiting hour before the service with snacks served after the service. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the American Cancer Society.