Akiko Ikeda, 95, formerly of Westport, CT and Sarasota, FL, passed away peacefully on December 30, 2021, in Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin after a prolonged illness.
A loving and dedicated mother, Akiko will be dearly missed by son, Laurence Ikeda (Andrea DeCoro); daughter, Louise Lester (Thomas); daughter, Jennifer Ikeda Faugust (Michael); daughter, Mary Susan Ikeda; grandchildren, Stephanie, Stacy and Mark Ikeda, and Steven Lester; sister, Teruko Craig; brother, Masahiro Ugaya; and her many friends and relatives. She is preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Ikeda.
Akiko was born in Kyoto, Japan, and lived in Manila, Los Angeles, Bayside, NY, Shanghai, Tokyo, Beijing, Webster Grove, MO and Bronx, NY before marrying Thomas in December 1954 and eventually setting roots in Westport, where they lived for over 50 years and raised their family. In 2006, Thomas and Akiko began splitting time between Westport and Sarasota, to be close to Louise and her family. They eventually moved to Florida full-time, then became snowbirds again when Jennifer became their caregiver, enjoying Door County, WI in the summer.
Much of Akiko’s 25-year professional career was serving as administrative manager at the Norwalk Hospital Department of Psychiatry, where she created lasting friendships, but her passion was serving the elderly, women and youth, as demonstrated through her volunteer activities. She served on the Westport Commission for Senior Services for nearly 30 years, including the role of Chairman, from 1983 – 1989, and served on the Southwestern CT Regional Area on Aging on various committees in the 70s – 90s. Her involvement with the town’s first dedicated Senior Center was one of her most fond accomplishments. She received a service award in 2006, at which time she recognized those who worked with her. She also served as Chairman of the Board of the Community Nursery School for over 15 years, President of Church Women United and President of PEO Chapter J.
Perhaps through her experience of living in so many places, Akiko easily formed friendships; she truly cherished those who touched her life and loved her friends. She read voraciously as reflected in her extensive knowledge, and enjoyed the arts, participating in many trips with friends to museums, gardens and concerts. She also enjoyed watercolor painting, flower gardening and birding.
A memorial service will be held at a future date at the United Methodist Church of Westport and Weston. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Akiko’s name to the United Methodist Church of Westport and Weston. Through her last years, we imagined a picnic with all her friends and family at Compo Beach. For those who shared our love of Aki, visit your favorite spot and remember her beautiful smile.
Huehns Funeral Home, Inc. & Door County Crematory LLC of Sturgeon Bay are assisting the family. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Aki may be shared with her family through her tribute page at www.huehnsfuneralhome.com.