Takako Fridge passed away in her sleep on September 1st, 2020. She was born Takako Orikasa in Fukushima, Japan to Tamotu Orikasa and Tulu Okamoto. She was the youngest of 6 children. She grew up in Tokyo, Japan. Her mother passed away when she was 6 years old.
Takako met her first husband George Whitesides in Japan and they were married on January 5, 1956. She came to the United States in August 1956 and Omaha, Nebraska became her new home. They had twin daughters born August 1958. In 1963 she became a US citizen and changed her name to Mona Takako Whitesides. Later she divorced.
She moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1969 with her twin girls and later married Loyal Levere Bowers. They lived also in Reno, Nevada and Humboldt, Nebraska.
They moved back to Reno, Nevada in 1973, Mr. Bowers passed away. Takako later married Major General Ben Fridge on June 8, 1992 in Reno, Nevada. He passed away in 2001. General Fridge was the love of her life and his death was extremely difficult for her. She put herself into community service and the Republican Party.
In 2002 her daughter Teena wrote in a letter to her mother “...you are worth a million dollars (or more) to me. There is no other woman I know that is more classy, intelligent, beautiful, wonderful, kindhearted and loving as you!”
In 2003 the Mayor of the city of Reno, Nevada designated Takako as Goodwill Ambassador for Japan for the City of Reno, Nevada. Takako also received Senatorial recognition from Senator John Ensign as Goodwill Ambassador for Japan, for outstanding community service. In 2006, as Ambassador Takako Fridge, she received a Certificate of Congressional Recognition for Outstanding Community Service from Congressman Jim Gibbons. She also received a certificate of Commendation as International Goodwill Ambassador from U.S. Senator Harry Reid. Also in 2006 Lieutenant Governor Lorraine Hunt of the State of Nevada gave Ambassador Takako Fridge the entitlement of Advisor to International Goodwill Ambassador Inner Circle.
Takako moved to Las Vegas, Nevada after selling her home in Reno, Nevada until May 2016. She then lived in California close to her daughters.
On November 25th, 2017, she was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints.
Takako later moved to Utah to be close to her grandsons and great grandchildren. She loved adventures and part of that adventure was moving to different places near and far.
She was known for her sense of humor, joking and laugh. She loved to make people around her laugh and smile.
Kay wrote after learning of her mother’s passing, “She was a classy and strong willed woman who lived life on her own terms. She ruled with the mentality of a dragon mom and got more out of me in that way than any other...Mommy, may you find peace that you couldn’t always find on earth.”
Teena wrote after her passing “When I went to see her she looked like this beautiful sleeping angel. The feelings of love I felt were so peaceful and calming. What a reunion that is going on in heaven with her family. I’m so happy for her.”
Takako is survived by her twin daughters, Teena Sato (husband Hiroshi) and Kay Meyer, 9 grandchildren Jason Meyer, Phil Kenny (Claire), Nick Kenny (Sierra), Matthew Meyer (Kiran), Kyle Kenny (Aom), Zachary Freeland, Lia Renee (NamHyuk), Tyler Freeland (Michelle), Jamie Freeland (Nozomi) and 15 great grandchildren.
She will be cremated and there will be no public memorial service. In lieu of flowers, just love and be kind to one another.