Michiko Dardas, 73 Lawrence, MA
Michiko Dardas, 73, peacefully died on Tuesday February 23 at home after a long illness. Michiko was born on April 8, 1947 on the island of Miyako-jima, Japan. It is part of the chain of islands that includes Okinawa and lies approximately 190 miles south west of Okinawa. As a child, she moved to Okinawa with her parents.
In the late 1960’s, Michiko worked on a U.S. Marine station on Okinawa. It is here that a strapping young Marine from Lawrence, MA by the name of George Dardas, met her. When George’s draft enlistment was completed in 1970, he was discharged back to Massachusetts. He later returned to Okinawa to reunite with Michiko and ultimately, bring her and their son, Thomas back to the United States. She would live the next 42 years in their Dorchester Street home in South Lawrence.
Michiko would spend her days raising four of their children while making Japanese crafts. In the 1980’s, Michiko and George opened the first Japanese restaurant and sushi bar in Lawrence. The Hanagasa Restaurant was located on Essex Street and featured a multitude of traditional Japanese fair, sushi and even Mochi (a Japanese flavored ice cream). The restaurant ultimately closed in 1985.
Michiko loved her crafts and her poker. She and her husband would even enter poker tournaments and she was a regular at Foxwoods. In 2013 both her and her husband moved from Lawrence, to Hudson, NH with their daughter Linda. She was a fan of “Hello Kitty” and would spend her later years watching her Japanese channel and playing online poker. Sadly, she was preceded by her husband George that same year.
She is survived by her children, Kenichi and his wife Yoko of Chiba, Japan; Thomas, Linda and Steven with his wife Krissy of NH and Cindy of MO; Her surviving siblings Shigeo Nikawadori, Kazue Nikawadori, Sachiko Nikawadori, Toshiko Amano, and Kazuo Nikawadori all of Japan; her grandchildren, Gauge, Jonathan, Michael, Christopher and Nicholas; her nephew Shawn along with untold extended family and friends.
We take solace in the knowledge that she is reunited with her beloved George, grandson Karsten and countless other loved ones. She leaves behind a legacy of love and sacrifice for her children and those for whom she cared. She will be forever cherished. We love you Mom.
Per Michiko’s wishes, there will be no calling hours or public service. There will be a private ceremony for immediate family. Michiko will be buried with her love, George in Methuen during spring, and a portion of her ashes will be taken back to Okinawa where she will be laid to rest in a family plot.
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