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TSUJI, Kim

March 4, 1937 – Surrey, British Columbia
January 24, 2019 – Calgary, Alberta

Kim Tsuji of Calgary passed away on Thursday, January 24, 2019 at the age of 81 years.

Kim was born in Surrey, BC but spent most of her life in Raymond, AB. Her early years were spent tending to her siblings, helping out on the farm and beginning her life long love of learning. In 1956 she got the opportunity to take a one-year program to become a teacher and found her calling.

After taking leave to raise three children and help on the farm she determined she wanted to continue her career as an educator and pursue a university degree. During the summers she drove to Lethbridge to take courses and in the winters took night school eventually earning her bachelor’s degree. She continued taking classes after that to focus primarily on the teaching and learning of language and in particular, reading. Kim received many awards for the work she did to advance early childhood education in the county. She spent twenty-nine memorable years at the Raymond Elementary school eventually becoming Principal until her retirement in 1994.

Besides teaching, Kim had a passion for painting, pottery, and gardening. She spent many hours at her potter’s wheel creating beautiful pieces of functional art that were often gifted to friends and family. She also had a green thumb and was generous in providing help and advice to others. However, her greatest love was spending time with her family. Kim was always the connective glue in our families ensuring we stayed in touch and supported each other.

Kim will be remembered for being a compassionate caregiver, amazing wife, mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, mentor and friend. She was a positive presence in so many lives and we are grateful for her love and all that she’s inspired us to do.

Kim is survived by her children, Jeff (Jackie) Tsuji, of Okotoks, Kathy (Chris) Millich of St. Helena, CA, Tammy (James) Dalton of Calgary and her grandchild Mackenzie Dalton of Calgary. In addition, she leaves siblings Michie (Harumi) Takaguchi, Hideo (Marian) Fukushima, Jean (Doug) Webster, Ron Fukushima, and John (Lois) Fukushima. Also, left to mourn include sisters-in-law Judy Fukushima, Sadie Higo, Kin Matsuno, Midori (Ken) Tanaka, and brothers-in-law Yukio Tsuji, Ray (Lena) Tsuji as well as many nieces and nephews.

Kim was predeceased by her husband Mitsuo Tsuji, her brother Hiroshi Fukushima, two brothers-in-law, Hisashi Matsuno and Ted Higo, parents Torazo and Hisako Fukushima and parents-in-law Asakichi and Kimi Tsuji.

A private family gathering will be held in Calgary. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. In lieu of flowers and koden please donate to your favorite charity.

The family would like to thank the health care teams at Revera McKenzie Towne Retirement Residence, McKenzie Towne Long Term Care Residence, and AgeCare Walden Heights, and Dr. Christine Luelo for the wonderful care they showed Kim over the years.

In living memory of Kim Tsuji, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek, 14441 Bannister Road S.E., Calgary, AB, T2X 3J3, Telephone: 403-256-9575.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Darcy and marilyn Ralph

    A note to the Tsui family. Thinking of this great lady and leader in the field of education brought back many memories of her service as an administrator, teacher and friend. Kim was a great example of hard work, kindness, believing in the best of all those around her and being a friend to all. Kim was such a shining example of promoting literacy. She loved books
    We could go on and on. Thanks for sharing her when she was so active in the town of Raymond
    Have fun celebrating her great life.
    Our deepest thoughts are with you
    Darcy and Marilyn Ralph and family

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  2. We are sorry to hear of your loss as Kim was such a great person with great spirit in her. Always enjoyed seeing her with both our kids when the girls where young and the memories of her working in the gardens. We always enjoyed seeing her come by and having chats with her. She will be missed.
    Our deepest sympathies.
    Love, John, Kim, Kaileigh and Ian Morrison

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  3. Harry & Yvonne Sugimoto

    Our deepest condolences to the Tsuji and Fukushima families. Kim was my grade 3 teacher in Raymond and an inspiration to all nisei and sansei of Japanese descent in Southern Alberta. Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time.

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  4. Mrs. Tsuji was my Grade 1 teacher in 1974. Her passion for learning, and kindness to all of her students has stuck with me. She is an example of a life dedicated to her family and to her community. I am thankful to her for the positive impact she has had on my life.
    My thoughts today are with my schoolfriend Tammy and the entire family.
    With kindest respect,
    Hunter Heggie

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  5. Dear Tsuji Family-
    I was so saddened to hear of your mom’s passing. She was an amazing lady and my favorite teacher. She was so encouraging and kind. She helped me bind a book of stories I had written that I treasure to this day. I also remember vividly looking up to the board and realizing I’d missed her entire explanation of long division day-dreaming, leading to a life-long misery with math! My heart goes out to you- we are never ready to lose our moms. I hope your warms memories will help to see you through this difficult time.
    -Patti Hill

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  6. Amelia ( Coppieters ) Quinton

    Mrs. Tusi was the principal while I and my siblings attend Raymond Elementary School.
    She was The Best!! Her kind smile greeted you every day. It was a joy, and you looked for reasons to go to the principals office!
    This Great lady will be sadly missed. Our thoughts and Prayers are with her family.

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  7. Kim was an exceptional person. I feel privileged to have known her! She was a big part of my 3 childrens elementary education. Jeri Lynn Ralph

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  8. When I think of Mrs. Tsuji, her beautiful smile and kind nature always come to mind. She was truly a lovely lady. She will be missed.

    Heartfelt condolences to the Tsuji family in this difficult time.

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  9. Jacquie (Bennett) Fleming

    I just loved Mrs. Tsuji. She was the kind of principal you that you compare all other principals to. She was firm and you knew her expectations, but you felt she was your friend. She truly cared about you. She was in your corner, cheering you on. I remember a little trick I was taught to know the difference in spelling principal and principle. The difference is “pal”. And Mrs Tsuji felt like my pal!

    I also remember a few of my friends received some extra literacy support from Mrs. Tsuji. I was so jealous. I wanted Mrs. Tsuji time! (And she gave out little treats after, so it added to my jealousy.)

    Mrs. Tsuji left an impact on SO many of us. What a legacy she has left. And I will always remember her.

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  10. Sherry Anderson Kay

    I feel so blessed for the positive influence of Kim Tsuji as my most favorite teacher ever! Sending my love and condolences at this time of grief to her loved ones.

    Kathy, know that you and your siblings are in my thoughts and prayers! Hugz!

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  11. Jeanne Hicken Stone

    Mrs. Tsuji was someone special! She will always be remembered as a kind, gentle, patient educator! We are so grateful to have known her! She was definitely a very positive influence in our children’s lives. Our love and respect go out to your family at this time❤️

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  12. Gillian Chipman French

    Thinking of you Tammy. I know my mom (Iris Chipman) sure missed your mom when your parents moved to Calgary. Your in my prayers
    Gillian Chipman

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  13. Kim’s love of lifelong learning and her ability to see each student as a unique individual, her quiet strength as she mentored new teachers and her personal integrity are qualities I admire. I am glad to have rubbed shoulders with this good woman both professionally and personally. I will miss her. Please accept my condolences.

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  14. Chemaine (Christensen) Tieland

    So sorry for your loss. Your mother was a delight to be around and it was a pleasure to be taught by, know and work with her. She was a dear lady and I just loved her.

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  15. Joy and Gordon Saruwatari

    How sad we were to hear of your mother’s passing. She was such a wonderful lady and we were truly honored to be considered friends. We know that she has found peace in her heart at last.

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  16. Linda Tollestrup

    I have such loving and wonderful memories of Kim. I worked at the Raymond Hospital years ago. How well I remember her faithful hospital visits to family. She was such a tender and compassionate caregiver. I will never forget that about her. She was neighbor to my sister, Joan ZoBell, and Joan said she remembers ongoing kindness from the Tsuji family, and memories that will endure forever. Condolences to the entire family. The life of this noble woman is an example to all.

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  17. Susie (Dudley) Erickson

    As I look back on all the wonderful teachers I had in Elementary school Mrs Tsuji was one of the best. She was my grade 3 teacher. She was always so kind and patient. I remember when we were really young going with Kathy across the field from our house to yours and into your little house. It was always full of flowers. I’m sorry for your loss. A mom is a special blessing. My thought and prayers are with you Kathy and your families.

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  18. Dear Tsuji family, I am so sorry for your family’s loss!!! What a beautiful person Kim was, both inside and out and we were all left so much better for having known her. I am lucky enough to have a piece of her pottery. I was so sad when she moved away from Raymond but I never forgot her beautiful smile and positive attitude!!!

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  19. Mrs Tsuji taught four of my children in Grade 1 at Raymond Elementary and I appreciated the positive start to their education which she gave them. They are Christopher , Malcolm, Stuart and Natalie Sopal. They always spoke highly of her. Our youngest, Marianne, was so disappointed when Kim was not assigned as her Grade 1 Teacher! Whenver I visited Kim’s classroom I was impressed to see the students working diligently and happily together. I could see she had a gift with the young ones. Our condolences on the lose of a great lady.

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  20. Clark and Deanna Hardy and family

    We send our condolences to Kim’s family. She was a wonderful teacher and friend. Her talents blessed many and we treasure the memories we have of her. Her time in the school with Mr Hardy and all the staff will always influence us for good. Tnanks Kim.

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  21. Dorothy Ann (Palmer)Hoare

    When I think of my favourite Elementary Teachers Mrs. Tsuji is Top of the list. She instilled confidence in me and taught me how to handle responsibility. Her love for her students was so evident. She sacrificed much to ensure we were educated well. I will always treasure my memories of her.
    My sincere condolences to the Tsuji family. May you find peace in your memories of her.

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  22. Karie Tollestrup Baldry

    I love, respect, and admire your beautiful mother. Kim was my first mentor when I got my first teaching job at Raymond Elementary School. She taught me so much about the qualities that are important as a teacher and as a person! Mrs. Tsuji exemplified so many qualities I aspired to, and I will always remember her quick smile and the twinkle in her eye as she worked with me and taught me so much in my early years of teaching. The children loved her, the staff loved her, the parents loved her – her legacy is astounding and it is with fondest memories that we send our condolences. She was one of the most thoughtful people I knew, and I smile remembering her and the wonderful influence she was in my life. Much love and many prayers sent your way at this time.

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  23. Kim was Principal during my grade 1-3 years. At some schools, getting sent to the principal’s office was a threat. With Mrs. Tsuji, going to her office was something to look forward to. I remember getting to go to her office on my birthday where she wished me a happy birthday and opened up a big desk drawer filled with little toys to pick from. The world would be a better place with more people like Kim Tsuji!

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  24. With sympathy on the loss of your mother Kim. I was not so fortunate to have had her as a school teacher (though several of my siblings did) but I remember her from Raymond days. The Fukushima and Tsuji families were friends of my parents, Nim and Fumi Sugimoto. Everyone thought so highly of your Mom. I have several friends who worked with her in the Raymond school system and they always speak with admiration for your Mom and the teacher, colleague and mentor that she was. Our condolences to you all at this sad time.

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  25. Linda (Workman) Van Mill

    I am so sorry for your loss of you mom. I have very fond memories growing up with all of you. Your mother will always be in my heart.

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  26. My condolences to the family of Kim Tsuji and I thank you so much for sharing her!After first entering my life her first year teaching as Miss Fukishima, this extraordinary lady has continued to take the time to keep in touch and offer encouragement not only to me, but to many other past students. She will forever be lovingly remembered.

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  27. My memory of My Auntie Kim was that she was always so kind and easy to talk to for me even as a child. That’s what made her such an amazing Teacher (even though I didn’t get her in Grade 1) But even at Church and just when our family’s got together she was always smiling and compassionate to everybody else’s needs. I think it’s her Smile that I will miss the most. It beamed of Happiness and Love.

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  28. Dwayne and Janice Hall

    Our minds were filled with a flood of wonderful memories when we read of Kim’s passing in the Lethbridge Herald this morning. The tributes to Kim are so touching. Kim, Dwayne, and Karma Nilsson all retired in 1994. What a privilege to teach with her and to serve under her leadership! To know her was to love and respect her! May all Kim’s family be comforted in knowing of her love for each of you.

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  29. I am sad to hear of the passing of someone who was so influential in my early life. My thoughts are filled with happiness and joy, as I reflect on my interactions with her. She was so kind, understanding, and wise. I am grateful for the opportunity to know her. She will be missed.

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  30. To the Tsuji, Fukashima and extended families.
    The Endo family (children) extend our sympathy. Kim’s children, her siblings Michie, Hideo(Little Porky), Jean, Ronald, Johnny. Judy and her siblings. All were close friends with our parents. We all lived in Stirling in tough times and good. Remembering all the families.
    George Endo, Amy(Emiko Endo)Powell, Roy, Ruth

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  31. Sheila Lund Layton

    Dearest Tsuji family. My mom was Jacquie Lund. I remember your mom very well. She always made me feel loved and I know she was one of my mom’s best friends. Such an amazing lady!!! She will be missed.
    With love
    Sheila Lund Layton

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  32. Jeff, Kathy & Tammy. I’d like to pass on my condolences.
    What a wonderful tribute to your mother. She was special person as she touched many life’s.

    Ryan Heggie

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  33. To Tammy, Kathy and Jeff Ron and I send our deepest sympathies to you and your families on the loss of your Mom. Although I wasn’t fortunate enough to have her as my school teacher I knew her well from growing up in Raymond She is remembered fondly by so many whose lives she touched. Karen Nishiyama & Ron Wegner

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  34. The Sato Family

    We will remember Kim as the generous, thoughtful, capable and go-getting “nesan” of her family, who always had a new idea and line of pursuit, a smart and accomplished woman, an inspiration to us all!

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  35. The Sato Family

    We will remember Kim as the generous, thoughtful, capable and go-getting “nesan” of her family, who always had a new idea and line of pursuit, a smart and accomplished woman, an inspiration to us all!
    Bev & Dave Foy
    Rochelle Sato & John Atwood
    Brent & Carla Sato
    Robin & Tom Tamura
    Trevor & Rhonda Sato
    Ryan & Sandy Sato

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  36. May peace and comfort find you during this difficult time. Kim was an amazing person.
    Shannon and Gene Kawade

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  37. I have such fond memories of Mrs. Tsuji in Raymond Elementary! She was the kindest teacher, always smiling! She laughed easily and was always encouraging. She was the teacher that every child wished could be in her class!! She was a gentle soul and will be missed. My heart goes out to her family at this time. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  38. Brooke ( Baldry) Byam

    I am so sorry to hear of mrs. Tsuji’s passing. She was my principle and the best one at that. She was kind and loving and always made everyone feel important and like they belonged. Raymond elementary would not have been the same safe haven it was without her. My favorite was going for lunch and a treat in her office for my birthday. My love goes out to all of her family.

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  39. James/Sherri Gibbs, Ken/Sharon Moriyama

    Thinking of you Jeff, Kathy and Tammy,
    We are saddened to hear of your recent loss and send our deepest sympathies. Kim will be missed by many. May your memories bring you comfort during this difficult time.

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  40. Kathy,Tammy, Jeff and families,

    Our thoughts go out to you all during this difficult time. I never had your mom teach me but I was fortunate to do my student teaching with her. She was a wonderful teacher!
    We also were fortunate to receive some of her beautiful pottery which we still have and we think of her when we use it. She was such a compassionate, talented,knowledgeable , giving and gentle soul!
    She touched so many lives!
    Love from,
    Dianne , Rick and the Romeril Family

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  41. Family of Tosh Takeda

    To the family of Kim Tsuji,
    We were sorry to hear about the passing of such a wonderful lady and we offer our sincere condolences. We each have such fond memories of her and she touched so many lives – all for the better. She will never be forgotten.

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  42. My condolences to the Tsuji family on Kim’s passing. She will be greatly missed. Kim was truly a maverick in the field of education. In a profession that can be didactic in its promotion of conformity, Kim gave her students and staff avenues to voice their diversity. Not only did she encourage uniqueness and self promotion, she applauded them. She was my mentor and my friend. Without Kim’s support I may not have attained my masters degree. May memories of happier times sustain each of you in your grief.

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  43. Barbara Jean Salmon

    Dear Family Of Kim What an exceptional lady she was She was a teacher & friend to the Raymond community She was always kind & gentle encouraging all to make there own decisions with education never forcing her opinion! My daughter Candice was in Grade 1 with Kim by Christmas she was back in Kinder! We thank Kim for kind ,gentle encouragement to start again Candice now is an exceptional K teacher & loving her career as a teacher She learned much from Kim!
    I had the privilege of going to school with Kim’s brother Hideo Fukushima & witnessing the love & Care they all showed for family Love Barbara Heggie Holt Salmon

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  44. I have learned so much of this wonderful lady through her sister, Michie, who has been my friend for many years. My sincere sympathies to all of Kim’s family to who she was a shining light.

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