Brick #938 Wall Location Column: 53 Row: 26
Michiko Matsumoto Kondo was born on May 6, 1928 to Ryoichi and Yoshi (Yabuki) Matsumoto in San Diego, California. Ryoichi came over and worked for a few years before returning to Japan where he married Yoshi. They returned to the United States and settled in San Diego where Ryoichi owned a fruit and vegetable market. Michi's older brother Yo, older sister Tami and younger brother Kaz spent their early years playing in a backyard filled with orange, peach, grapefruit, avacado, fig, guava and lemon trees. In early 1942, when she was 13, Michi and her family were forced to evacuate their home when Executive Order 9066 was given. First relocated to the Santa Anita racetracks, and always keeping a positive spin, she and her friends would joke that they were in Sea Biscuits stall. While at Santa Anita, she and other internees were kept busy making camouflage nets. After 2 months, they were relocated to the Poston II, Arizona camp. While in Poston, she attended school where she was taught by an instructor from Brooklyn and among entertainment would watch and play baseball, or go to dances. Michi spent 14 mos there, from June to August of the following year, when a pastor the family had known in San Diego, Reverend Kikuchi, who had moved to Chicago, found positions as housekeepers for his daughter and Michi with families in Evanston, Illinois. Michi moved there and began attending high school. During her 2 years in Evanston, she met two other Japanese American girls who became lifelong friends, Matsue Nishimura Watanabe and Aiko Hirada Uyeki. Michi's brother Yo was fortunate to be accepted to George Washington University during this time. After the war, Michi went back to San Diego where she attended San Diego State College for pre-nursing studies and then went to the University of Michigan where she met and married Fred Fumio Kondo, who graduated from the U of M Law School. Once married, they moved to Priest River, Idaho where Fred opened a solo law practice. Michi worked as a hospital nurse in the Newport Community Hospital until she began raising a family of four girls - Kimi, Nancy, Patty and Tina. Once Tina was in grade school, Michi resumed her career finding a position as the Bonner County public health nurse. She went on to obtain a Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner certification, and many North Idaho girls have Michi to thank for attending to and supporting their birth control and women's health care concerns at 'Family Planning Clinics' held in the various small towns on regular schedules. She truly was a traveling rural county nurse! She was named the Idaho State Employee of the Year at one time, and went on to serve many more years before retiring at 65 and moving to Seattle to be closer to her family.