Miyoko Helle, 57, of Marshall, Michigan passed away on Friday, December 23, 2022 at home surrounded by her loving family.
She was born on February 3, 1965 to Tadashi and Tsue (Nagato) Kuroda in Toyko, Japan.
On December 15, 1989 she married Don Helle (USN, Yokosuka, Japan) at the US Embassy in Tokyo, Japan. She graduated from Komazawa Girls High School in Tokyo. Miyoko continued her education at U eno Gakuen Junior College earning a degree in home Economics specializing in both sewing Yukatas (Dressmaking) and culinary arts.
Don and Miyoko moved to Michigan in August of 2010. Miyoko volunteered her time supporting the City of Marshall and its sister city in Koka City, Japan. Each year before the Marshall Middle School children would travel abroad, she would host basic etiquette classes ensuring the children would feel more comfortable with their host families in Japan. She always enjoyed hearing about the adventures and experiences they would share upon their return to Marshall. Mikoyo was an active volunteer with Battle Creek Unlimited in helping Japanese families transition to the United States. Don and Miyoko would often host many of these families in their home.
Miyoko was an outstanding cook, with exceptional detail being reflected in the presentation of colors and taste in the food she prepared. Miyoko loved to volunteer with her children's activities that revolved around their Marshall High School band and sporting events. Sharing her Japanese heritage with children was one of her favorite activities. She welcomed each with open arms recognizing for many this may be their first authentic Japanese meal, she loved teaching and sharing her love for food. Miyoko had a great sense of fashion with her favorite being 45 RPM clothing line based in Japan. She will be sadly missed for her ability to make everyone around her feel blessed because of her grace. Miyoko found good in everything as she told family and friends that she was grateful to have cancer as it made her appreciate everything more, our beautiful surroundings, the quality and character of our friends….such a blessing. She enjoyed wine tasting, reading Japanese books, Sumi the art of Japanese calligraphy, sewing and beading. Miyoko loved living in the State of Michigan and was always willing to show visitors the many sites throughout the state.
Miyoko is survived by her loving husband of 34 years, Don; her children, Rikka (Andy) Pedersen of Kalamazoo, Michigan and Kevin Helle of Miami, Florida, and her sister, Sakae (Edward) Carroll of Long Island, New York.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
Visitation for Miyoko will take place on Friday, December 30, 2022, from 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm at Kempf Family Funeral & Cremation Services, 723 US Hwy 27 N, Marshall, Michigan 49068. Following cremation, Miyoko will be laid to rest at a later date.
Memorials are suggested to St Jude Children's Research Hospital (501 St. Jude Place Memphis, TN 38105) or the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center, Pancreatic Cancer Research (1000 Oakbrook Dr. Suite 100 Ann Arbor, MI 48104-6815).
Please visit https://www.kempffuneralhome.com to view the online obituary, to sign the online guest book or to leave the family condolences.