Cover photo for Ritsuko Windy Katsushima Anderson's Obituary
Ritsuko Windy Katsushima Anderson Profile Photo

Ritsuko Windy Katsushima Anderson

May 28, 1927 — February 13, 2023

Ritsuko Windy Katsushima Anderson

On Monday, February 13th, 2023, we took our last bow and whispered our final words to the woman who personified life’s beauty. A woman who through her actions taught us how to love our family and heritage unconditionally; and to practice resilience, humility, and compassion through the troughs and peaks of life. 

Ritsuko Windy Katsushima Anderson, better known as “Granny,” was born on May 28th, 1927, in Tokyo, Japan. After losing her parents and sister to the casualties of the Tokyo fire bombings, Granny was raised by her beloved older brother and aunt. 

Granny’s guardian aunt was a renowned artisan sought for her expertise in creating beautiful kimonos for her fellow artists, the geisha. Her renowned seamstress ability was passed to Granny which was an initial marker in what would cultivate a lifelong passion and respect for creativity; becoming herself a wonderful artisan in ikebana, painting, sewing, knitting, crocheting, and cooking. Granny generously gifted her designs to her family and friends who proudly wore these physical representations of her love. 

Granny met her lifelong friend, partner, and husband, Donald Ellsworth Anderson, in Tokyo, Japan where he was stationed during the Korean War. In 1952, they, along with their newborn daughter, boarded a ship to make the one-month journey to the United States to settle in Ogden, Utah. Together they faced animosity and hardship at a time when interracial marriage was illegal. However, due to Granny’s resilience, compassion, patience, and sacrifice, they persevered through these difficulties and became beloved pillars in their community; opening multiple businesses including Ogden’s historic Windy’s Sukiyaki. She continued this brave perseverance even after losing Don just a couple of months ago. His long life can be attributed to her open and nurturing heart. 

Our family was Granny’s breath and she was constantly surrounded by her 3 loving daughters, 7 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren. What we have learned from her cannot be captured in just a few words as she is our breath as well. Her lessons can be found through her eldest daughter’s ability to lead, her middle daughter’s songbird voice, the brush strokes in her youngest daughter’s paintings, and her grandchildren’s devotion to their family and culture. 

Granny was the epitome of "Wabi Sabi" - a Japanese worldview that is centered on finding the beauty in imperfection. Granny always found the good in the imperfect world around her. She was always giving and forgiving. Her presence was a safe space that accepted our imperfections and gave us the confidence to grow and persevere. 





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