Shigeyo Sandy Millenson

Shigeyo “Sandy” [Nozaki] Millenson 1929-2018 Every night, for 10 months after her husband died, Shigeyo looked at his photograph and said, “Please come and get me.” Shigeyo mourned her husband, Donald H. Millenson, of 39 years. “Your daddy was my life!” she told Don’s children. She and Don had met in the late 1970s—he frequented the Asian restaurant where she worked. Both had been married and divorced, but only Don had children, all three of whom were young adults by 1978 when Don and Shigeyo married. When she met Don, Shigeyo adored and spoiled a little, white toy poodle, her only baby. Shigeyo was born near Hiroshima, Japan; an orphan, she was adopted by distant relatives. She didn’t talk much about life-before-Don; the memories were of painful times in Japan, both before and after World War II. But she did like working in a post office and selling cosmetics before she left Japan for North America. Once in the U.S., she followed the path to citizenship and was naturalized in Los Angeles, CA, in 1967. Because her pregnancies had ended in miscarriages, and two marriages had ended in divorce, Shigeyo always said her life began anew when she met Don. The woman he fell in love with was beautiful and talented. She loved to play the koto, prepare Japanese dishes, and pursue her talents for bunka embroidery, origami, greeting card design, Hawaiian dance, and flower arranging. She loved to watch Japanese news and entertainment broadcasts and Korean soap operas on television. She took art classes and English classes; maintained friendships with Japanese friends (for years they shared Korean drama DVDs and visited each other bearing gifts of persimmons, sushi, and tea.) She and Don lived a quiet, simple life in retirement and enjoyed their later years together, until age and illness took their toll. Even then, they were like little love birds–blowing kisses at each other from their respective walkers, taking naps together, and covering for each other’s weaknesses, whether in memory, hearing, eyesight, or strength. Toward the end of their lives, Don and Shigeyo were supported by loving friends and family, wonderful caregivers and hospice providers. Finally, it was just has Shigeyo had so often said when confronted by fate: “Nothing I can do more.” Now she and Don are together again, holding hands and blowing kisses. If you knew her, you will have your own memories to add to this brief remembrance. If you didn’t, please join us in gratitude for her life and for the end of her pain and suffering.

In loving memory of Shigeyo Sandy Millenson. Shigeyo Sandy Millenson was born on April 25, 1929 and passed away September 21, 2018. Entrusted to the care of Cremation Society of Orange Coast (800) 678-0669

Messages of Condolence

  1. Michelle Vidal says:

    The beauty of love shared for all of us….thank you. I’m so sorry for your loss. Life is a joy to be shared. Death is the joy transitioned. Blessings to all of you.

  2. Bonnie Rucobo says:

    What lovely memories of a beautiful woman, Andi. A marvelous photograph.

  3. Amanda McQuade Crawford says:

    Rest in peace, beautiful Shigeyo,
    May you and Don and that little, toy poodle, perhaps, walk in persimmon groves of exquisite serenity, and share tea and loving kisses. With love from your Andi’s friend, Mandy.

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