Mrs. Sara H. Haruyama

Mrs. Sara H. Haruyama


Let us remember the life and ministry of Sara Hamilton Haruyama, who died peacefully at her home surrounded by her family on June 29, 2017 at the age of 82. Sara was the wife of Rev. Justin Giichi Haruyama, who served the North Carolina and New York Conferences for 19 years, from 1961 until his retirement in 1972. He died on May 28, 1980.

Sara was born on July 27, 1934 to Iron Lee and Fuschia Saunders Hamilton in Troy, NC. She earned her bachelors degree from High Point College in High Point, NC in 1955. While getting her masters degree at Teachers College at Columbia University in New York, she met Rev. Haruyama. Sara and Justin married in 1958, and in 1961 they made their way to Kagoshima, Japan as missionaries for The United Methodist Church. 

After 10 years in Japan, Sara and Justin decided to take on the new challenge of ministering to Japanese Americans in New York City. Sara taught English and American social studies at the Japanese School in New York.

In 1997, Sara again made a new home in Oakland, CA, becoming an active member at the Berkeley United Methodist Church. She is remembered by family and friends for her ceaseless kindness, great gift for friendship, love of family, spirit of social activism, fun-loving nature and insatiable appetite to learn new things.

Sara is survived by her three children: Andrew and spouse, Cynthia; Stephen and spouse, Robin; and Amy and spouse, Akemi. She is also survived by ten grandchildren: Justin, Dorothy, Stuart and spouse, Farzanah; Jared and spouse, Lauren; Aaron, Mark, Cherish, Skye, Maya and Anna; and one great granddaughter, Aiko.

A celebration of Sara's life will be held at the Berkeley United Methodist Church, 1710 Carleton St, Berkeley, CA at 11:00 am on Saturday, July 29, 2017. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Justin Haruyama Ministerial Scholarship Fund, c/o Japanese American United Church, 255 7th Ave, New York, NY 10001.