Teruko Okuda, 78, loving wife of Yori Okuda of The Villages, Florida passed away of pancreatic cancer on July 31st, 2020. Teruko was born on December 9th, 1941 in Tokyo, Japan, to Michio Murayama, long time Governor then Senator from Yamagata Prefecture, and his wife Hide Murayama. She was the last of seven children.
Teruko met Yori Okuda in 1967 and they were married in May 1969 at Boston’s Harvard Memorial Chapel when Yori graduated from Harvard Business School. Teruko and Yori moved to Alexandria, Virginia in 1977 from Tokyo, and became a US Citizen in 2008. She is survived by her husband and son, Dr. Haru Okuda, and his wife Hemie and twin granddaughters, Yumi and Miya.
In 1982, at the age of 40, Teruko stepped into the art world working at Fisher Art Gallery in Washington, D.C. Her expertise was facilitating art deals with Japanese corporations for their corporate headquarters and residences. In addition to this work, she also aided the White House in conducting appraisals of gifts that were given from foreign dignitaries across multiple US Presidencies, including President Bush. In 1987, Teruko left Fisher Art Gallery to become an independent art consultant, specializing in contemporary art. She successfully organized shows for many American artists in Japan, working with major Japanese Department stores and Corporations. The culmination of her career led to the opening of her own gallery in Georgetown, DC.
“In an increasingly borderless world, different ideas, even opposing ones, will continue to fuse with one another or seek coexistence”. For Teruko, the gallery has been an American Dream come true. “I can find peace of mind in the art dealing business more than any other way,” Okuda says. – Japan Times
Teruko retired from the art business a year after 9/11. During her retirement, she helped evolve the Japanese Americans’ Care Fund, a non-profit supporting Japanese American’s with language barriers and other challenges, where she served as President. In recognition of her work, she received the ‘Foreign Ministry Award’.
Following her son’s move to Winter Park, Florida, Teruko and Yori moved to Pennecamp, The Villages, Florida, in 2011. With her move, Teruko was able to spend time with her twin granddaughters and family and had the opportunity to watch them grow up. She also enjoyed traveling, ballroom dancing, golf, bridge and Super Samba with her friends, the Fishbowl Card Shark ladies.