Toguri, Dr. Etsuko, 93, passed away peacefully on November 30, 2019 at Sunrise of Aurora. Etsu was a true pioneer. As the daughter of adventurous Issei parents, Etsu was born in Queen Charlotte City on February 12, 1926. She graduated from Britannia High School, Vancouver in 1941. When the family was relocated to internment camps during World War II, Etsu was one of a small group of Japanese Canadian teenage girls permitted to attend Alma College in St. Thomas, Ontario under the auspices of the United Church Women's Missionary Society (WMS). The girls worked in the kitchen and laundry room for the finishing school while attending classes. Etsu studied at the University of Toronto Medical School from 1946-1951 and worked as a domestic in Rosedale to help finance her studies.
Etsu, as a physician, studied in New York, Washington and Hawaii before returning to Toronto and eventually started her own successful family practice in Scarborough where she was well respected by her peers and loved by her patients. As a young Japanese Canadian female doctor in the post-war period, she opened pathways for many others.
Etsu was pre-deceased by her siblings Eizo, Sam, Mary, Maki, Jim and David. She will be sorely missed by her surviving siblings Grace, Allan and Miki; and her many nieces and nephews. The family will be having a private Celebration of Life at a later date.
We sincerely appreciated the care provided by all the staff at Sunrise of Aurora, who were like an extended family to Etsu and to us.
If you would like to make a memorial donation, please do so to your favourite charity or to the Scarborough Hospital Foundation. On-line condolences may be made at www.roadhouseandrose.com