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Sally Toshiko Pierce


Posted By: Sarah Fletcher (email)
Date: 2/26/2024 at 08:35:27

Sally Toshiko Pierce, 99, of Iowa City, IA, peacefully passed away on Friday, February 16, 2024 at her home. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Inurnment will be in the Daytona Memorial Park Cemetery in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Sally was born Toshiko Saegusa on November 6, 1924, in Sendai, Japan to parents Hikoo and Yoshino Saegusa. As a young woman, she was an accomplished Kabuki dancer and had the honor of performing for the Emperor of Japan. Sally married Yukio Mikawa on January 2, 1950. They lived in Tokyo and moved to the US in 1957 with their daughter Kazi. They followed Yukio’s career as a research chemist, eventually settling in Columbus, Ohio. When she became an American citizen, she changed her first name from Toshiko to Sally. While in Columbus, Sally founded America’s first Sogetsu School of Ikebana (flower arranging). Sally was only 49 years old when Yukio died in 1974. After he died, Sally shifted her time and energy to ceramics. This ultimately led her to opening her own studio and store, Mikawa Clay Creations, when she moved to Daytona Beach in 1984. She met Lloyd F. Pierce on the golf course where she spent most of her days when she was not in the art studio. They were married from 1994 until Lloyd’s death in 2015. In 2019, when she was 95 years old, Sally moved to Iowa City to be near family.

Sally had such a wonderful zest for living life to its fullest. She always threw herself into whatever she was engaged in and strove to be the best in the field. She was fiercely competitive yet always kind and generous. She had a way of bringing joy to everyone she met.

She was an amazing cook who loved entertaining. She was an avid golfer way into her 80s – losing a $2 bet to her son-in-law caused her anguish. At age 90 she started painting in watercolor and within a few years managed to create almost 30 beautiful pieces. Sally enjoyed the arts in all forms. Being able to see performances at Hancher was a special treat. Mostly she loved being around her family. Living in the same town as her grandchildren and great grandchildren was her greatest joy.

Sally is survived by her daughter Kazi Alward (Lee); three grandchildren, Alec Alward (Emy), Sarah Alward (Nicholas Johnson) and Erin Boese (Brian); six great grandchildren – Archer, Cameron, Spencer, Elanor, Reid, and Graham – all of Iowa City; two sisters, Shunko Watanabe of Sendai, Japan and Reiko Mimachi of Tokyo, Japan; and many extended family members.

She was preceded in death by her parents, two husbands Yukio and Lloyd, and three brothers.

We are grateful for the kind support from the staff at Walden Place, Cornerstone Caregiving, and Essence of Life Hospice.

Memorial donations may be directed to the Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity (https://www.iowavalleyhabitat.org) or The University of Iowa Glaucoma Research Fund (https://www.iowa-glaucoma.org).

Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service

Johnson Obituaries maintained by Cindy Booth Maher.
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