Etsuko “Betty” Yoshioka (Poston 318-10-B) was born on May 12, 1940 to Goro and Kiyoko Yoshioka. Like all others of Japanese ancestry in the U.S., FDR's federal government stripped her family of its property and belongings once WW II began. The family voluntarily moved from Los Angeles to Reedley, California to avoid immediate evacuation. Later, the “free” military zone changed and they were evacuated to the Poston, Arizona concentration camp 3. She was imprisoned with her parents and sister Hatsuko, for 3 years. A sister, Mitsuko, was born a few months after their arrival to Poston. Tetsuo, the brother of the family, arrived two years later.
After the war, the Yoshioka family rebuilt their lives, farming in Lawndale, California and eventually in Torrance, California. Her father died of heart failure at the age of 45, leaving her mother to support four children.
Betty graduated from Torrance High in 1958 and then from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her passport soon had many stamps and her wanderlust never faded. In her twenties she lived on the tiny Greek island Skiathos, harvesting olives for a year. In her seventies, she returned for a visit. She loved to run marathons, eat rich meals, and dance. She was a macramé artist, avid reader, and loved to take photos. She built a successful legal transcription business, served as land-lord and property manager to her real estate investments, and was her own boss.
Etsuko “Betty” Yoshioka died on October 7, 2015 following a prolonged battle with stomach cancer at the age of 75. She is survived by her long-time companion, Denzel Simon; sister, Mary Higuchi; nieces, Sachi Cunningham and Mari Higuchi; and nephew, Mark Higuchi.