Toshiko Keistler, age 91, left earth to be with Jesus September 17, 2022. She was a faithful servant of the Lord Jesus Christ who brought His love to others through her. Toshiko was full of joy everyday of her life, always smiling, and putting others first. Her infectious smile and humorous demeanor brightened the day for everyone who met her.
Toshiko was born in Tokyo, Japan January 20, 1931, the first child of Naoji and Masa Komiya. Toshiko’s childhood was shortened when the allies fire bombed Tokyo while they were out of town. She and her father walked 45 miles to Tokyo to find his employees charred bodies in a bomb shelter. When they returned to Kisarazu, she began helping take care of her siblings, doing chores, and riding a train to the countryside to trade items for food for the family. Being a girl, she was only allowed to go through eighth grade. After eighth grade, she attended seamstress school and typing school. When her mother died, Toshiko was twenty years old, and began helping raise her siblings, the youngest was three. She also worked two and three jobs seven days a week. Women were not allowed to borrow money then, but Toshiko and one of her sisters paid cash to secretly build a house for the family.
Toshiko met her husband, Charles, and they were married September 22, 1969. They were assigned to several commands during Charles’s career where she made many friends. Toshiko worked as a telephone operator/interpreter, a waitress, a seamstress, a café manager, Duty Free Sales Associate, and at a monogram business before retiring. After retiring, Toshiko, as a member of Myrtle Grove Baptist Church, worked in the clothing room for thirty years helping provide clothing for needy families, and she “pitched in” to help others where needed. Toshiko also knitted booties and lap blankets for nursing home patients and shut ins, knitted baby blankets for expecting mothers, did clothing alterations for friends, and made other items and crafts to give to people. She also cooked meals to take to people who were sick.
Toshiko and her husband hosted three foreign exchange students who attend Escambia High School. One from Japan, Yukari Ringo, one from Denmark, Rene Vestergard, and one from Ukraine, Tania Malinka. Yukari and her family have visited several times throughout the years, and Yukari calls her “mom.” Tania stays in contact through social media.
Toshiko is survived by her husband, Charles, Sisters Tomiko Kuroji and Eiko Takahashi, brothers in law George, James, and Robert Keistler, two God Daughters Elizabeth Carter and Valentina Smith, and many nieces and nephews.
Charles appreciates and thanks the doctors and nurses at Cardio Consultants, Baptist Hospital, who helped provide an excellent quality of life for Toshiko. Charles also appreciates and thanks Hospice Nurse Phoebe Mayfield for the excellent care provided to Toshiko during the past nine months. He also thanks all of Toshiko and his friends who provided support and prayers during the twenty years of Toshiko’s illness.
A memorial service will be at Myrtle Grove Baptist Church October 21, 2022. Visitation will be at 10:00 AM, Memorial Service at 11:00 AM, followed by a celebration of life meal in the Family Life Center.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Gideons International to purchase Bibles to share God’s truth and love around the world
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