Sumiko Tanno Besse, 93, of Alpena, AR, formerly of Port Deposit, MD, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Friday, January 14, 2022. She was born August 10, 1928, in Sendai, Japan, the daughter of Naozo and Shin Tanno.
On March 30, 1953, she married the love of her life, William Henry Besse. Sumiko had a servant’s heart. She was very active in church and had a nursing home ministry, was involved in the Women’s Auxiliary, and gladly picked up those who had no transportation so they could be in church also. She was a certified music teacher of koto (a Japanese stringed instrument). She loved sewing clothing for her children, grandchildren, and other family and friends. She was very skilled in knitting and crocheting, and crocheted afghans for all of her children and grandchildren in her latter years. She was known for making strawberry jam from the garden her husband grew for her. Above all, Sumiko truly loved each and every member of her family, and she cherished any opportunity she had to spend time with them. She lived with her children the last years of her life. She was a member of Victory Tabernacle in Green Forest, and had been an active member of Stepney Faith Center in Aberdeen, MD.
She is survived by her son, Henry Dale Besse and wife Tondra of Memphis, TN; daughters Janice Johnson and husband Ray of Green Forest, AR; Pattie Tanno and husband Dominic Philippon of Harrison, AR; and Hallie Neville and her husband Tom of Wasilla, AK; grandsons Joshua Jones, Bill Besse, Jason Besse, James Rowland, Jonathan Besse and Shea Neville; granddaughters, Virginia Morris, Emily Tanno-Philippon and Tabitha Besse, as well as many great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her husband, William Henry Besse, her parents, and her brothers, Takashi, Toshio, and Katsumi.
Celebration Of Life memorial service will be at 2:00 p.m. Friday, January 21, 2022, at Smith Family Funeral Home with Reverend Jason Besse officiating. Visitation will be from 1:00 p.m. until the service time at 2:00 p.m. Private family interment in Auman Cemetery at a later date.
Online condolences may be made at smithfamilyfuneralhome.net.
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