Mae Kikue Ochi

  • Born: September 19, 1926
  • Died: July 30, 2019
  • Location: San Mateo, California

Crosby-N. Gray & Co. - FD-96

2 Park Road
Burlingame, CA 94010

Tel. (650) 342-6617

Tribute & Message From The Family


Mae Kikue Ochi
September 19, 1926 – July 30, 2019
Resident of San Mateo
Beloved wife of Tadashige "Tad" Ochi, predeceased by sisters Peggy Williams and Edith Yamamoto of Honolulu, Hawaii. She is survived by her children Sam (Muffie) Ochi of Sarasota, Florida; June (Tim) Chan of San Mateo; Marie (Allan) Ochi-Jacobs of Palo Alto; Chico Ochi of Davis; and Amy Sides of Oakland; along with nine grandchildren Ian and Ella Flambures, Derick and Deanna (Jeremy Martins) Chan, Henry (Erica Kim) and Michael Jacobs, Kristopher Kenji Ochi, and Maureen and Audrey Sides. Mae also has four great grandchildren, Lila Flambures, Ronan Jacobs, Bobby Martins and Emma Martins.
The youngest daughter of Nihachi and Saku Ogawa, Mae was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. Growing up with sisters many years older than her, Mae enjoyed spending time in the kitchen of her father's café, The Kappa Kea Grill in Honolulu.
At age 14, Mae was sent to Japan to finish her education and learn more about Japanese customs. From 1941 to 1944, she attended Tokyo Kanto Kotojo Gakko Girl's High School. In late 1944, Mae was introduced to Tadashige Ochi of Ehime-Ken on Shikoku Island. They married on April 4, 1945 and settled in the town of Sakurai, where Tad commuted into Hiroshima for his middle school teaching post. On August 6, 1945 as the train was moving toward Hiroshima, Tad saw the mushroom cloud that devastated the city.
Mae and Tad emigrated to Hawaii in 1954, with four children. She was able to reintegrate with her Honolulu roots and family. In 1956 they relocated to San Mateo, California where Tad started his career as a landscape gardener and Mae worked as a housekeeper and as a stock clerk at Ah Sam's Florist. In 1960 the youngest daughter, Amy was born.
When the children's doctor asked her to clean and maintain the fish tank in his office, Mae did it so well other medical offices requested her help. Over time, each week on her day off from Ah Sam's, Mae's white Impala station wagon would be filled with equipment, fish foods, an occasional fish(es) and often several of her children. The fish tank cleaning (and maintenance) mobile would travel from San Mateo to Palo Alto. Her service was in much demand so she recruited help, a co-worker who later took over the operation to develop as a small business. In 1973, while recuperating from an injury to her shoulders, Mae studied for and obtained her GED high school diploma. After training in office procedures, she was hired as a clerk for San Mateo County, a post she handled until retirement. Mae was a prolific reader, an avid cook, played Beethoven on the piano, and sang along to pop music—from Elvis to the Bee Gees. Every new year she and her daughters worked late into the night preparing traditional Japanese dishes for their annual New Year's Day open house for family and friends.
The Ochi family is especially grateful to all who aided in her care, including Heritage Inn, and Heartland Hospice. A private family service is planned; please direct any memorial donations to a favorite charity or to the San Mateo Buddhist Temple, 2 South Claremont Street, San Mateo, CA 94401