Janet Naoko Kato

Jul 27, 1939 – Dec 28, 2015

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Beloved wife, mother, sister, aunt and friend passed away peacefully, surrounded by family on December 28, 2015.

Janet was born in Seattle on July 27, 1939 to Hatsu and Kumaki Iwago.  She was the middle of three sisters and during World War II, the family was interned in Minidoka Relocation Center in Idaho.  The family returned to Seattle and Janet graduated from Garfield High School where she was a songleader and would go on to be a cheerleader for many family and friends later in life.

She graduated beauty school and worked as a hair dresser at I. Magnin and later provided many relatives with free haircuts, perms and advice.   Although she did not hold a degree in education, she taught all those who knew her the true meaning of family and love. 

She married Hideo Kato in 1961.  As they raised three children her main profession became “Mother”.  When the kids were grown, she worked at several wholesale showrooms in what is now the Pacific Market Center.

Janet was an excellent cook and loved good food.  She was always excited to cheer on the Seahawks and Mariners, especially when they were winning.  Most of all, she will be remembered for her huge heart, generosity and for being a great listener.  Perhaps her one vice was gambling - she loved to play the slots.

Janet is survived by her loving husband of 54 years, Hideo; son, Mark (Mary) Kato; daughters, Wendy Kato and Adrienne (Dane) Egenes.  She is also survived by her sister Marion (Ronald) Ohira, countless friends, and numerous nieces and nephews many of whom she was like a second mom to.  She is preceded in death by parents Hatsu and Kumaki Iwago and sister Lillian Yamamoto.

A celebration of Janet’s life will be held Sunday, January 24, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. at Blaine Memorial United Methodist Church, 3001 24th Ave S, Seattle, WA.


Eileen Tokita
Honolulu, Hi
Jan 22, 2016

I had the privilege of knowing Janet. She was a kind and beautiful human being. I am filled with deep sadness at her passing. My love and sympathy to Hideo, Wendy, Mark and

Mary, Addy and Dane.

Carol Burnett
Seattle, Wa
Jan 21, 2016

I worked with Janet at the Seattle Gift Center.. We traveled to Chicago together when we both worked for Enesco. She was proud of her family and talked about them often She would make the best homemade goodies and bring them to work. What a great lady.


Denny Iwago
The Villages, FL
Jan 19, 2016

Thanks for filling me in on some background that I never knew. Cousin Janet was a super person who was always very loving and giving. She made us feel so welcome whenever we would visit Seattle.

Deborah Jette
Eatonville, wa
Jan 18, 2016

I never had the pleasure of meeting her but knowing what two great women she raised in Ad and Wendy, she had to have been a wonderful person to know. I am so truly sorry for the entire family's loss.

kenneth & Miyeko Yoda
Pearl City, HI
Jan 18, 2016

With deep sadness on the loss of our niece Janet. She and Hideo were most loved with the family here in Hawaii. She will be missed. Miyeko was Hatsu's sister.

Cheryl Taylor
Seattle, WA
Jan 18, 2016

My heart goes out to all of you for the loss of a wonderful lady. I plan to be there to celebrate her life with you.

Keiko Yanagihara
Seattle, Wa
Jan 17, 2016

I was shocked and very very sorry to hear of Janet's passing .

I had tears in my eyes when I received the Kato Christmas card on which Janet wrote " remember to come on New Years".

What a generous soul and a wonderful cook. I will miss your smile and warm heart. Rest in Peace.

Please let me know if I can ever be of help. Remember I live just up the hill.

With love,


Shay & Virgil Holland
Monroe, WA
Jan 16, 2016

We are so sorry to hear of your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. I know Janet must have been a great cook because we have enjoyed so many delicious cookies that Addie has shared through the years. You must have many wonderful memories of cooking together.

Holly Nottingham
Snohomish, WA
Jan 16, 2016

Sending healing prayers and comforting hugs to you all.

This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.