Eiko Pierce, our beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, passed this life with her family by her side on May 2, 2023.
Born the third of seven children to Tsuyo and Kazaku Tokai in March of 1932 in a small fishing village on the Sea of Japan, Eiko showed a strength and sense of independence early in life.
Through the privations of war, she worked diligently in school, excelling in mathematics and English. The social changes in post-war Japan presented new opportunities for Eiko to pursue her dream to travel the world. Her hard work eventually earned her a position in the MWR accounting office at the USAF base in Tachikawa. There, she met the love of her life, Ray. They began their 61-year romance amidst the itinerant life of an Air Force officer, moving from Japan to Alabama, Michigan, and eventually San Francisco. In a quaint San Francisco restaurant, Ray proposed by firelight.
Eiko and Ray were betrothed in California, starting their small family at Norton Air Base with daughter Stephanie and son Stephen. Through the family’s travels and moves from California to Colorado, Eiko formed the foundation and heart of the family. Despite living in a foreign country, she independently managed the Pierce home during Ray’s numerous trips as a military and commercial pilot. Eiko’s diligence served as an example that established her children’s work ethic. She applied her boundless energy to art, becoming a muse for her children’s musical skills. The Pierce home became a reflection of Eiko’s artistic and design talent, from landscapes and portraits she painted to floral-themed stained glass she designed to the fabric adorning each room. Flowers were a particular love of Eiko’s, and she maintained a beautiful garden filled with lilac, iris, rose, and tulip.
Eiko’s faith, empathy, and loyalty drew many to her. She formed close, lasting relationships with a tight circle of friends, supporting each other through times of happiness and grief. She spent countless hours caring for the welfare of the members of her church. She opened her home and heart, providing support to both young and old in times of need. Eiko’s heart is best described by Corinthians 13:
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunted not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Eiko is survived by her husband, two children, five grandchildren, and three sisters.