Teruko Navatto (nee Kohara), 84, passed away peacefully with her family by her side on Thursday, March 29, 2018. Her passing was a result of a sudden stroke suffered only days earlier. Teruko, daughter of Totaro and Fumi Kohara, was born in Tokyo, Japan on July 5, 1933, the seventh of nine children. She immigrated to America in the mid-1950’s was a devoted member of Soka Gakkai International (SGI), a Buddhist organization that promotes peace and education centered on respect for the dignity of life. Teruko was one of the first District Leaders in SGI’s expansion into New Jersey in the early 1960’s and was instrumental in the formation of the first East Coast Chapter for SGI.
Teruko was a waitress for nearly thirty years at Crestmont Country Club in West Orange, NJ where she was known as “the only woman that could enter the Men’s Grill” during her tenure there.
She was predeceased by her loving husband Michael F. Navatto (1998) and is survived by her brothers Chiunosuke Kohara and Soji Kohara (both of Tokyo, Japan), her sons Michael E. Taylor (Valerie) and W. Calvin Navatto (Carol), her grandchildren: Michael Taylor, II, Jennifer M. Navatto and Philip Taylor and a great-grandson Jakaden Taylor.