May Miyeko Sato

May Miyeko Sato

LANSDALE, Penn. — May Miyeko Sato, 95, of Lansdale, Pennsylvania passed away on October 28, 2023 after a brief illness.  She was born on September 1, 1928 in Seattle, Washington, the third of ten siblings born to Tsuneshin and Suimatsu Kaname.  During World War II, she and her family were forcibly relocated along with approximately 120,000 others of Japanese ancestry after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The family was moved to an incarceration camp in Tule Lake, California, where they remained from 1942 – 1945.

After World War II the family moved to Hartford, Connecticut and then the Philadelphia area. May stayed in Hartford with distant relatives to complete her senior year of high school, and then worked as a secretary for Travelers Insurance.  She helped support the family by sending funds and assisting her non-English-speaking father with the startup of the family business, T. Kaname & Sons, Waverly Gardens, in Glenside, Pennsylvania.  She lived briefly in New York City, and then moved with some of her sisters to Chicago, Illinois. 

On April 25, 1953, May married Kay Sato in Chicago, Illinois.  They eventually settled in Rochelle, Illinois to raise their family. 

In Rochelle, May worked for Aigner's, Caron International and Del Monte Foods. She retired from Del Monte in 1983, and then did volunteer work including deliveries for Meals On Wheels and teaching keyboarding skills to students.

Although she was not a regular church goer, she met the Lord through a Billy Graham Crusade and her Bible is highlighted with verses that reflect values that she held dear, comforted her, and leaves as part of her spiritual legacy.  “That ye love one another; as I have loved you”, John 13:24, and finally, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  John 14:27. 

May enjoyed gardening, reading, crossword puzzles and card games. Some of her favorite performers included Engelbert Humperdinck, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles and The Ink Spots. She also loved Japanese food and culture.

She is survived by four daughters: Diane Bjornson of Arlington, Virginia; Joanne (Jeff) Rowe of Charlotte, North Carolina; Linda (Keith) Adams of Rockville, Maryland; Marianne Sato of Lansdale, Pennsylvania; four grandchildren: Suzanne (Brad) Harris of Forest Park, Illinois; Kirsten (Kurt) Bugden of Charlottesville, Virginia; Michael Bjornson of Chicago, Illinois; and Stephanie (Trey Barhite) Rowe of Statesville, North Carolina; and her two youngest siblings: Roy and Judy Kaname of Lansdale, Pennsylvania.

A service for May will be planned at a later date when she will be reunited with her late husband, Kay, at Arlington National Cemetery. Donations can be made in May Sato’s memory to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, To leave a note, memory or photograph, please request a link at