In Loving Memory

Kazuko Eda Graham

Kazuko Eda Graham

March 26th, 1927 - January 4th, 2019

Funeral

Friday, January 11th, 2019 at 1:00 PM

Pleasant Grove Bible Church,
4916 Lee's Summit Rd,
Kansas City Missouri 64136

Obituary

Kazuko Eda Graham, 91, Grain Valley, passed away at home on January 4, 2019 with her family by her side. A memorial service will be held at 1:00pm on Friday, January 11 at Pleasant Grove Bible Church, 4916 Lee’s Summit Rd, Kansas City, where friends and loved ones are invited to a reception following the service. Burial will be at Mt. Washington Cemetery. Memorial contributions are suggested to Living Foundations Ministry in Blue Springs for the benefit of Chuck Lynch’s Cancer Fund.

Kazuko Eda Graham’s Legacy of Faith

Kazuko Eda Graham, 91, soulmate of the late gospel singer Conrad Graham quietly slipped home to be with her Lord and Savior on the morning of January 4, 2019. After a long battle with heart failure, she passed at home surrounded by her daughter Catherine Tei Hensel; son-in-law Bradley Hensel; and her beloved grandson Braden Conrad Hensel. Born in Tokyo, Japan to her father Takehiko Eda and her mother Tei (Ogura) Eda on March 26, 1927. She grew up the oldest child in a closely-knit family. She was “Oneisama” (Eldest Daughter) to her sisters Noriko Eda, Hiroko “Barbara” Bolte and Kinoe Eda; and her brother Kazutoyo Eda. Kazuko studied martial arts, archery and floral design in college and majored in Physical Education. Her studies in English earned her a position as a translator for a retailer wishing to build a store on the local United States Air Force base. Kazuko met the love of her life at a dance, on base. When he asked her for a date she accepted and to her surprise, he arrived on his motorcycle! Conrad was so smitten that he soon sold that cherished motorcycle to afford a small wedding band. They were married within months on July 5, 1953. Conrad was barely 20 years old and she 26. They moved into a tiny house on the beach.

It was during this idyllic time in Japan that they met missionary chaplain Lyle Petersen and his wife Alice. Through their biblical teaching, the newlyweds were led to the cross of Christ. They both accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior and dedicated their lives to serving God.

At the end of Conrad’s four year tour, he brought his lovely bride home to live in Independence, Missouri with his mother Mary Katherine (Dunlap) Graham. “Kazuko” was not an easy name to pronounce for many, so she graciously asked her new friends and family to simply call her by her maiden name Eda. Mary welcomed Eda as a new daughter and they were devoted to each other. Conrad’s sister Beverly; niece Kathy; and brother Jerry Graham were equally as loving and soon the family included sister-in-law Pat, their children Mark, Kevin and Cindy as well as brother-in-law Dick James, great-niece Sheila Renz and great-nephew Steven Renz. Oh, the fun they had! As antique cars were built in the garage, Eda spent hours over the years laughing, cooking and watching the kids together with her growing family. She loved the kids with all her heart, praying for each and every one as they grew up. Each has their own special relationship with Aunt Eda. Many of her precious nieces and nephews now have kids and grandkids of their own and Eda followed every one with prayer. She was so proud of them. She was so excited when Mark’s daughter Nicole Graham and son Jared Graham graduated from the Air Force Academy! They carried forward the Air Force connection for her and served proudly.

Eda began working as a florist applying her natural talent to her love of floral design and decorating. Conrad’s rich tenor voice and abiding faith drew him to Calvary Bible College to pursue a degree in music ministry. Together they focused their energy in sharing the Word of God. Through Youth for Christ Ministry, camp meetings, concerts and as youth leaders at Pleasant Grove Bible Church. Eda and Conrad poured their love of Christ and each other into the teenagers they served. Through laughter, tears, music and ministry many young people accepted Jesus as their personal Savior, this was their legacy. Bringing precious souls to Christ was their mission. Doing so with beauty and joy was their special gift. Eda ensured that every concert, banquet, sanctuary, wedding, reception or activity was elegantly decorated with floral arrangements. Her personal touch was unmistakably beautiful. She was a favorite with brides. She treasured the dear friends she made for the rest of her life. They were more than friends, they were family. To her great joy after years of prayer, their only child Catherine Tei was born. Eda was a devoted full-time mother. Her sewing skills ensured that Tei’s outfits were adorable. Being a Christian mother was a defining role for Eda. She did everything possible to ensure that she glorified God as she raised her daughter. Eda and Tei spent summers in Japan where they had so much fun visiting family. By then her brother Kazutoyo and his sweet wife Tai had three boys: Toyohiko, Kiyohiko and Kazuhiko.

It was so exciting to her when her sister Hiroko “Barbara” moved to Texas after her marriage to Fred Bolte. Eda absolutely adored their children Spike, Sonja and Spica. The sisters would get together as often as possible.

When Conrad opened Con Carpets in Blue Springs, Eda’s sister Kinoe came to live with them and became secretary and bookkeeper of the shop. Barbara and Fred moved to Oak Grove and the three sisters were reunited. Family was everything to Eda. Going out for lunch and shopping with her daughter, sisters and nieces became a regular Saturday ritual that she loved so much. Eda loved and was loved by so many people. She welcomed guests into her impeccably decorated home and filled their stomachs with her famous taco’s or tempura. She was a gracious hostess. Her spaghetti salad and holiday fudge were other favorites among friends. The lucky ones even got her recipes!

Becoming a grandmother with the birth of her only grandchild Braden Conrad Hensel was so special for her. Having one child and one grandchild was exactly perfect for Eda. She showered her love on them in every way she could. She developed a very special relationship with Brae as the family lived together for the last year of her life. “Oba” will be deeply missed by him. He is determined to continue learning Japanese and be bilingual like his grandmother.

She was a beloved wife; devoted mother; doting grandmother; loving sister; treasured aunt and true friend. But above all, she was a faith filled Christian with a deep devotion to the abiding love of God. She sponsored missionaries; orphans in Uganda; donated countless hours to serving the needs of ministries; supported homeless families; helped women and children in crisis and made sure that children of prisoners would receive gifts for Christmas. In one case when a homeless family with many children came by Con Carpets, Eda quietly asked them to wait while she drove home, filled her car with clothing, food and several Bibles for them and then took family all out to lunch before they drove away. She simply helped in every possible way. Her gentle, quiet spirit desired nothing more than to glorify God. With Conrad’s passing in January of 2016, followed by her sister Barbara’s shortly after, Eda held tightly to the comfort of the grace of God. She continued serving her Lord in every opportunity. She was a true prayer warrior. She laid her burdens at the Cross and reached out to help others wherever she could. Barbara’s daughters Sonja and Spica remained close to their Auntie and were such comfort to her. She was proud of the wonderful Christian mothers they were.

She is preceded in death also by her sister Noriko Eda; brother Kazutoyo Eda and niece Katherine (Ferguson) Renz.

Kazuko Eda Graham is survived by her sister Kinoe Eda; daughter Catherine Tei Hensel; son-in-law Bradley Hensel; her precious grandson Braden Conrad Hensel; sister-in-law Tai Eda; brother and sister-in-law Jerry and Pat Graham; sister-in-law Beverly James and the enormous extended family of nieces, nephews, cousins and dear family friends all bound together by the love she had for each and every one.



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