Sekiko “Kiko” Murayama VanDerSluis, 82, of Junction City, transitioned from this existence to the next on Oct. 25, 2019. Johnson Funeral Home of Junction City is assisting family with arrangements.
A memorial service and gathering will be held on Tuesday Nov. 5, 2019, 4 to 7 p.m. at the Dorothy Bramlage Public Library, 230 W. 7th St., Junction City. June Jones, the Soka Gakkai Eastern Kansas Chapter Leader, will be officiating the service.
A committal service will be held 12:45 p.m. Wednesday Nov. 6, 2019 at the Kansas Veterans’ Cemetery, 5181 Wildcat Creek Road, Manhattan, KS 66503.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any memorials be sent to the Soka Gakkai International (SGI)-USA online at: portal.sgi-usa.org/portal/contribution or by mail to SGI-USA Member Services, 606 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, California 90401 or to the Junction City YMCA, P.O. Box 113, Junction City, KS, 66441.
Kiko was born on Aug. 17, 1937, in Naha City of the Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, to Shunjiro and Keiko (Matsuda) Murayama. She graduated high school in Okinawa and continued her education in the United States at the University of Michigan, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree. She then went back home where she met a young soldier by the name of Richard VanDerSluis.
On March 5, 1970, they married in Okinawa. With Richard’s military obligation, the family moved to a few duty stations and ultimately settled in Junction City, where they have since called home. Kiko worked as a civil service employee for 32 years.
Kiko was a member of many organizations to include: Soka Gakkai International (SGI)-USA, University of Michigan Alumni (Life Member), the Kansas Chapter Okinawa Prefecture Association, National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Kiko also was a regular visitor to the Junction City YMCA where she enjoyed swimming three times a week.
Though she was active in these groups and her hobbies, her life was dedicated to her family. Kiko was the strongest person her family has ever known and set the absolute best example of how to overcome obstacles in life. Her positive outlook and faith was ever present. Kiko was truly the rock of the family and provided the perfect blueprint to her children of how a parent should really be.
Kiko was a true friend, devoted wife, and the absolute best mother one could ask for. Above all she was an adoring Obachan.
She will be dearly missed by all that knew her.
Kiko is survived by her loving family: her two sons, Thomas VanDerSluis of Topeka, KS, and Karl VanDerSluis of Allentown, PA; 4 Grandchildren; and a host of loving family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her loving husband, Richard Charles VanDerSluis.