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Life Story / Obituary
“Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28
Eiko Pickard of Grand Rapids, Michigan, formerly of Traverse City, Michigan left this physical world on July 02, 2022, at the age of 94. She now enjoys the rest and perfect peace that only Christ can give.
Eiko is survived by her children, Michael Allen and Bekki Reed; Patrick Gordon and Lorretta Reed: Phyllis Marie and Thomas Berry; Leroy and Cheryl Pickard: Christopher Charles Pickard: and Melissa Ann Fleck – Pickard. Eiko also leaves behind 20 Grandchildren and numerous Great-Grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Milton Pickard and her brother Yasuo Kobayashi and dearest friends, Ruth Cady, and Peggy Grewe.
Eiko was born Eiko Kobayashi on March 3, 1928, in Osaka, Japan. She lived a difficult life there with an understanding of the horrors of war that most will never know. She was able to return to Japan on three occasions and she always held the Japanese people and their culture close to her heart. After moving to this amazing country, she married and had three kids. With her memories of surviving on soup made with water and grass still vivid in her mind, she was determined that her children would never go hungry. Despite working a full-time job, you could find her kitchen canning and freezing all summer ensuring that her children were well fed.
After her children were raised, she fell in love with and married Milton Pickard, who was raising his own three children. She remained busy, still working while raising her second family.
Eiko loved music. She had a beautiful singing voice and would often listen to Gospel music, singing along with the likes of Kitty Wells. She loved to watch the Detroit Tigers and watched Sumo wrestling which is a favorite sport in her country. But her real passion in life was cooking. She could cook an entire meal out of nothing. She loved to make her family Japanese dishes. She would garnish each dish to perfection and her sushi was absolutely the best! She was happiest feeding those she loved.
When Milton passed away, she eventually moved to Grand Rapids with her daughter and son in-law. There she would spend time walking in the gardens, helping to keep the flowers tidy. She would also help harvest the vegetables and had a keen eye, making sure nothing was left behind.
Her Greatest gift in life was to make everyone feel welcome and accepted. She loved everyone that walked through the door, and they could feel it. She loved her family and they loved her. Most that met her described her as “sweet”: she had that gift.
Eiko left this world in much the same way she lived her life, with strength, courage, and a strong concern for the welfare of her family.
The family would like to say a heartfelt thank you to Amanda, Brian, Pastor Mike and the rest of the Spectrum Hospice Team. We could not have completed mom’s journey without you. You provided her with comfort, love and you were her greatest advocate and a source of security. Also, a special thank you for Mom’s aide, Shasta, who filled Mom’s time in her nursing home with much love compassion and laughter.
The Family will be holding a Celebration of Her Life service for Eiko on September 11, 2022, in Traverse City, Michigan. More Details will be forth coming.
“Well done, good and faithful Servant”