Atsuko S. Kusuda
        December 21, 1922 – April 22, 2020

Atsuko S. Kusuda, age 97, of Madison, passed away
peacefully from congestive heart failure, with her loving family
at her side, on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. She was born an
American citizen on Dec. 21, 1922, in Lindsay, Calif. During
World War II, Atsuko and her family were uprooted from their
farm in Lindsay, Calif. and taken to a Relocation Center in
Jerome, Ark. because they were Americans of Japanese
descent. This injustice did not result in bitterness or
desperation, rather she found a way to pay forward the
kindness that some had shown her while she was a student
at the University of Missouri. That was her nature: strong,
resilient, kind and gentle.

Atsuko received her Masters of Library Science degree from
UW-Madison and became a librarian for Glendale Elementary
and was the head librarian at Madison East High School. In
retirement, one of her favorite volunteer activities was to help
very young students learning to read. She encouraged them to
discover the enjoyment that she had found in recreational
book reading.

One of Atsuko’s favorite prayers was the “Irish Blessing” and
she lived her life metaphorically keeping the wind at her family’
s back and the rain gently falling on their fields. She held her
family close, especially her five grandchildren who brought
her so much joy. Atsuko stayed physically active with Tai Chi,
Balancing Act and an in-home Tuesday exercise session.
After her husband of 65 years passed, she was able to live
independently at home and enjoyed going to Manhattan Hair,
the Pinney Branch Library and her church, Lake Edge United
Church of Christ.

Atsuko was preceded in death by her parents; four of her
seven siblings; and her beloved husband, Paul. She is
survived by her three children, Misao (Dave) Michelfelder, Amy
(Vance) Roh and James (Patricia) Kusuda; five grandchildren,
Tony and Tyson Roh, Jenny and Ryan Michelfelder and
Stephanie Kusuda; and her great-granddaughter, Mya Roh.
The family has planned a private burial and request that any
memorials be given to one of Atsuko’s favorite charities, the
AAUW Monona-Madison, Wis. (American Association of
University Women) giving scholarships to local high school
Request for Fairness for COVID-19
Patients of Color

In light of reports of the overwhelmingly disproportionate deaths of
African Americans, Indigenous Americans and other people of color
caused by COVID-19, Blacks for Political and Social Action of Dane
County, Inc. urges area politicians, and leaders and members of
medical and service communities, when called upon, to provide fair
and equitable medical services to patients who are victims of the
ravages of institutional racism and to low-income service providers of

While viruses do not discriminate, practitioners might do so
unintentionally. We value and honor the work of medical professionals
and we thank them and staff members who provide a range of critical
services. We pray that all will be cared for based on need and not on
status. We ask for the Samaritan’s attention to “the least of these” in
this season of trial.

Rev. David A. Hart, President
Kirbie G. Mack, Vice President