Remembering Akiko Ikeda

Longtime Westporter and advocate for the elderly Akiko Ikeda died Thursday in Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin, after a long illness. She was 95.

Akiko was born in Kyoto, Japan, and lived in Manila, Los Angeles, Bayside New York, Shanghai, Tokyo, Beijing, Webster Groves Missouri and the Bronx before marrying Thomas in December 1954. They settled in Westport, where they lived for over 50 years and raised their family.

In 2006 Thomas and Akiko began splitting time between Westport and Sarasota, to be close to their daughter Louise and her family. They moved to Florida full-time, then became snowbirds again when Jennifer became their caregiver, enjoying Door County, Wisconsin in the summer.

Akiko Ikeda

Much of Akiko’s 25-year professional career was spent as administrative manager at Norwalk Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry, where she created lasting friendships. But her passion was serving the elderly, women and youth, which she did through her many volunteer activities.

She served on the Westport Commission for Senior Services for nearly 30 years (including chair from 1983 to ’89), and on the Southwestern Connecticut Regional Area on Aging from the 1970s through ’90s.

Her involvement with Westport’s Senior Center was one of her most proud accomplishments. She received a service award in 2006, at which time she recognized those who worked with her. She also served as chair of the Board of the Community Nursery School for over 15 years, president of Church Women United, and president of PEO Chapter J.

Her family says, “Perhaps through her experience of living in so many places, Akiko easily formed friendships. She cherished those who touched her life and loved her friends. She read voraciously and appreciated the arts, participating in many trips to museums, gardens and concerts. She also enjoyed watercolor painting, flower gardening and birding.”

She was predeceased by her husband, Thomas. She is survived by son Laurence (Andrea DeCoro), daughters Louise Lester (Thomas), Jennifer Ikeda Faugust (Michael), Mary Susan Ikeda; grandchildren Stephanie, Stacy and Mark Ikeda, and Steven Lester; sister Teruko Craig, brother Masahiro Ugaya, and many friends and other relatives.

A memorial service will be held at a date to be determined at the United Methodist Church of Westport and Weston. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Akiko’s name to that church (click here).

Her family notes, “Through her last years, we imagined a picnic with all her friends and family at Compo Beach. For those who shared our love of Aki, visit your favorite spot and remember her beautiful smile.”

Expressions of sympathy, memories and photos of Aki may be shared with her family through her tribute page (click here.)

3 responses to “Remembering Akiko Ikeda

  1. Diana B Pils Marino

    My condolences and prayers for the entire family. What a wonderful woman she was. I went to school with her daughter, Jennifer, and she was as sweet and smart as her Mom! May she rest in peace.

  2. Akiko was lovely. She was smart, professional, even-keeled and so so kind.
    She was an inspiration to many who worked with her.

  3. Thomas B Hood Jr

    Akiko Ikeda was a sweet and transcendental modern women. I knew her and her husband, Tom from our church. Akiko was involved in nearly everything and we are better for knowing her. Prayers for all of her family and friends.

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