Michiko Kawanabe Pope

Michi remained true to her Japanese roots.

Michiko Kawanabe Pope died peacefully last September 18th at age 93. She lived most of her adult life on Vashon with her husband the former Col. William Pope. There will be a gathering at the Mukai House on March 5th from 1:00 – 3:00 PM.

Michi remained true to her Japanese roots. She talked of her birthplace outside Tokyo and how as a child she watched the great fire storms following the bombing during World War Two. From the eyes of a child, it was a beautiful sight, never to know the real horror of the night. As all her classmates, she was equipped with a leather helmet and a woven lunch box containing enough food for a week, in the event war destroyed the train tracks for her to return home.

For 47 years Michi supported and advised the creation of Island Spring Organics from the ground up. She sewed the cloths used to line the tofu forming boxes. She took care of the Lukoskie children Suluh, Tria, and Halina when their parents Suni Kim and Luke worked 24/7 on a shoestring or worse. As a young family, Sunday was the day to fill up at the Pope’s for dinner. She taught us Miso making and Luke still has a jar from that first batch. It is like fine wine, and she is remembered with each sip.

The three daughters were big Michi mochi fans. She would roll out the cooked, sweet rice, cut the sheet into 2” squares, roast them on the flame of the stove, sprinkle the browned cake with Tamari, and wrap it in Nori. Our mouths watered for the delicacies she would prepare.

Michi was certified in Japan to teach Ikebana, Japanese flower arranging, for years at her home on the island and achieved a high ranking in the Art.

Michi was predeceased by her husband William Pope and son Chuck Pope.

She is survived by her grandsons Kory and Kris Pope, their mother Kathy Pope of Everett WA, her brother Fumio Kawanabe of Tokyo Japan, and her niece Tomo Hatada of Honolulu Hawaii.

Donations in her memory may be made to Michi’s beloved next-door neighbors, an animal rescue center, Bauhaus Rescue Group, PO Box 2356, Vashon WA 98070, a 501c (3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code, U.S. Department of the Treasury (EIN 91-1870285).