SUGI, TEI (1917-2016)

 Tei Sugi (1917-2016)

     Tei Sugi (Trokey) (Poston 328-10-B) was born on October 4, 1917 in Santa Clara, California and the youngest of seven children to Sadajiro and Haru Sugi. Her father had been a school principal in Japan and operated a grocery store in Los Angeles. Tei attended both elementary and high school in the Lincoln Heights in East Los Angeles. She received an A.A. degree from the Los Angeles Junior College in 1937. Due to California miscege-nation laws, she was married in the state of Washington. The married couple had one son, Jim Trokey, and soon became divorced.
     During WWII, Tei Trokey a single parent with her 2-year old son Jim, and her mother Haru Sugi, were forced to leave their grocery store business and evacuate to the Heart Mountain,
Tei Sugi
Wyoming concentration camp. Her father was separately evacuated to the Santa Anita Assembly Center. On October 26, 1942, he arrived at the Poston, Arizona concentration camp.
On November 16, 1942, Tei, James and Haru Sugi transferred to the Poston, Arizona camp to join him. Tei Trokey was 25 year old and held several important positions working with the youth at Poston camp 3. She worked for the school as a liaison to resolve conflict between students and/or staff, and taught high school girls’ physical education classes. She was a substitute teacher for Junior High English and Math classes, and a Probation Officer for group of rebellious boys. She organized and sponsored clubs for young girls and elected block 328 council representative. She was  selected to represent Poston 3 at both the National Y-Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, and the Methodist Youth Fellowship Camp in the San Bernardino mountains. She was a “Singspiration” song leader held at the Christian Church, and played 2nd base on the All-Camp Girls’ Softball Championship team which traveled to Phoenix, Arizona.
    On July 7, 1945, Tei with her son James, and her parents, left Poston, Arizona and returned to Los Angeles. Their home which had been registered to a Caucasian relative  prevent from losing it during the war was not immediately vacated when they returned. 
      Tei was active with her son’s Sunday School education, Boy Scouts, and started the sober grad night at his high school. She worked for the Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department and 27 years with the Los Angeles Unified School District, before retiring in 1983. She playing golf and past president of the Southern California Nisei Women’s Golf Association. She took yearly trips to the L.A. Dodgers spring training games in Arizona, and traveled to various VFW and 442nd RCT veteran activities with her long-time friend, Sadao Kodama.
     Tei Sugi, 98, and former resident of Alhambra, and Keiro and Laguna Niguel, California died on April 9, 2016. She is survived by son, Jim (Violet) Sugi; grandchildren, Denise (Chris) Beaufort and Wendy Herbert; great-grandchildren, Evan and Taryn Beaufort, Kayla and Casey Herbert; and many nieces, nephews and other relatives.