By Carole

It is with great sadness that we note the passing of several of our members (or their family member) since our May Newsletter:

untitled–Ann Alling Edwards:  9/5/23-6/5/16, age 92.  She is remembered as being energetic, creative and fun.  She was a dedicated stay-at-home mother of 6 who was active in her Burns Park neighborhood.  She also had 25 grandchildren.  As her children left home, she joined International Neighbors in the 1970s.  She actively participated in the English Conversation Groups as a leader from 1973-1979.  She became close with many of the international women she had in her groups and included them in family events and even visited some of them in their home countries.  What a great, enthusiastic member she was!

untitled1–Marilee Kelly:  2/4/26-5/26/16, age 90.  She loved nature, poetry, books, music, the arts and crafts (knitting and quilting).  She had come to Ann Arbor as a U of M College of Engineering student (one of two women who graduated in 1949) and worked at Willow Run airport in aeronautical research.  She had 4 children and 7 grandchildren.  She joined International Neighbors in the 1960s and remained active in various roles, including English Conversation Group coordinator, English Conversation Group leader (1970s) and President (1994-1995), until fairly recently.  It was Marilee’s suggestion in the late 60s to start having summer Conversation Groups. She was a wonderful asset to our organization and will remain very dear to this writer’s heart, as she was one of my first presidents when I joined IN.  She brought energy and enthusiasm to my early years!

untitled2–Haru Wada: ? – 5/22/16.  Originally from Hokkaido, Japan, Haru came to the U.S. to study Metallurgy at the U of M.  After receiving her PhD, she worked as a Metallurgical Engineer for many years.  After her retirement, she joined International Neighbors in 1970 and was a member of one of the original Reading Groups led by Win Pierce.  Haru was mostly responsible for the daunting task of converting the paper files of the membership database to a computer system for its record keeping efficiency.  She was extremely helpful to the Guest Coordinator at that time with the change-over.   She truly moved International Neighbors into the future with a more advanced system and updated approach.

She helped many young Japanese women become oriented to the Ann Arbor area, especially after she became the Guest Coordinator (2001-2004).  She was also Tea Group Coordinator from 2005-2006.

When International Neighbors was looking for sources for fund-raising, it was Haru who introduced IN to the existence of the JBSD (Japan Business Society of Detroit) and gave us information on how to ask for money from them.  And we’ve been thankful to receive their support since then.

Haru loved to have little luncheons for her friends and the ladies who helped with the Guest Committee – all those who helped mail out the bulletins for so many years.

Haru was a loving, kind, generous and thoughtful woman.  Those of us who knew her will miss her smiling face and helpful generosity. She is survived by her daughter and her grandson.

Here are two paragraphs from two of her friends, who offered some memories:

“We worked as the Guest team to welcome newcomers to the International Neighbors.  Haru was always there as a team member and willing to help whenever needed.  She was dedicated to IN.  She learned the Access computer database program for herself to create the Guest database and maintained it for years.  When I became in charge of the guest database, I followed her system and could rely on her knowledge.  She was very generous with her time to guide me whenever I needed help.  She was very kind and warmly welcomed new guests to our community.  Her death was so sudden and I miss her very much.”  Hiroko Goto, former Guest (Newcomer) Coordinator

“Many sweet memories are passing before my eyes.  I got to know Haru-san through IN.  Almost 10 years ago, my German friend brought me to her house for lunch.  It was the first time to see her.  She welcomed me warmly with her delicious dishes.  Then I joined her Guest Coordinator team and enjoyed working together.  The more I worked with her, the more I realized her warm-hearted personality.  She was a very good cook and took her ingredients seriously.  It was a happy time to have lunch or dinner at her house with some glasses of wine.  She was also very thoughtful.  When her friends were in need, she always took care of them with loving kindness.  Of course, I was one of them.  She supported me a lot before I got a job as a florist.  Sometimes she asked me to send flower arrangements to her friends.  She saved me interesting articles from the New York Times which related to flower arrangement.  She gave me many chances to keep my motivation.  What is more, I finally got a job by her recommendation!  She had immense knowledge.  When I faced my difficulties, she gave me sound advice.  My husband and I called her ‘Super Woman.’  I am sincerely grateful that I met her.  She is in a different place now, but she is in my mind as a super hero.”  Miwa Kameyama.

–Irena Kliman:  4/2/1919 – 9/20/2016, age 97. Our long time very active member Irena Kliman passed away on September 20,2016. She was 97 years old and was active in the Red Oak Tea Group into her early nineties.

Over many years, she was helping our guests in many ways: driving them, opening her home to the group and guiding newcomers into Ann Arbor living.

She was a true hostess in the best way. We said farewell to Irena during her funeral on Friday,Sept.30.

untitled3Seena Sauber: 12/29/96-8/6/16, age 19.  He was the son of one of International Neighbors’ long-time members, Robina Sauber.  His was an untimely death of a bright, energetic young man.  He was a Marine at 17 years old, joining from Saline High School.  He is survived by his siblings, mother, father and grandparents.  A terrible loss…we should never have to survive our children.

If any of you would like to send us your memories of Ann, Marilee, Haru and Seena, we would be happy to include them in future Newsletters.