Celebrating the life of Kiyoko "Marie" Bastedo
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Kiyoko “Marie” Kawasaki Bastedo, of Leesville received her promised reward by fighting the good fight, finishing the race, kept the faith. Now in store for her is the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge will award her on that day and not only her but all those who longed for his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:6-8) on December 16, 2020 for her homegoing. She was a deep inspiration and spiritual mentor to the military spouses, support groups, medical staff, family, and friends.
Kiyoko’s parents, a Diplomat for China from Japan Senichi, and Tomoe Kusano Kawasaki traveled to China where Kiyoko, the 3rd child of 6 children was born in Wu-Hu, Anchi Province, China, February 18, 1926. Kawasaki means river, and Kiyoko means clear flowing. She was educated in China of a Communist Regime, and later travelled back to Japan. She played on the soccer team as a student, and she was the tallest of females on the team. At the age of 15 yrs. old, she and her family were in World War II (1939-45). It was then, she became observant of desolation, quest for people’s needs, and to be a courageous survivor, sharing of being neighborly with courage as well as being helpful to others. She became a warrior with strength and a survivor desolation. She graduated and completed her education and attended the Famous Artist Schools of Westport, Conn. Because her father was a commissioner of police in Tokyo, then consulate, she picked up his teachings of helping others no matter how difficult the situation and circumstances and injuries of others may be and the high degree of respect for lawfulness and justice.
She then met Earl E. Bastedo, an American soldier serving the US Army, who spoke of the great nation of the United States of America, who she married. Gary and Elaine were born in Japan. She then travelled to the United States. Being a military spouse, she faced again the separation of family, when her husband went to the Korean Conflict 3 times where he was wounded. She was the rock and even glue to keep her family together while she learned English in the US. Her second son Richard was born. In 1962, she enrolled into the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the US Dept of Justice American Citizenship Class studying every detail of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution Citizenship Manual. Cards were bestowed to her from instructors who thanked her for her contribution to the class. They gave her the nickname “Marie,” which she kept as her nickname, which is the middle name of her daughter Elaine. In New York, she was a professional seamstress, where she made evening gowns for the late Lana Turner and other celebrities.
Her husband served in Viet Nam twice, and during the last deployment, he was injured in Phu Bai. She received telegrams of notification, and then immediately went to work at Julia’s Mexican Restaurant (later known as Los Margaritas) in Leesville washing dishes, because these veterans received no homecoming, and she did not know the Veterans Administration will provide medical care and support to the entire family. Her Japanese friend and husband, the late John and Aki Driscoll, drove her and her youngest son to Beach Pavillion Brooke Army Hospital. As the soldiers were being flown into BAMC, she went through the burn unit to reach the paraplegic ward where she found pools of tears on the floor while her husband and other vets were on a rotating turn table bed with soldiers weeping. She took it upon herself from her earlier encounters of war to Korean Conflicts and Viet Nam deployments of her husband and made it a point to volunteer to each soldier’s bedside thanking them for their dedication, sacrifice, bravery, and courage, as she wore the “Silent Ranks,” as a military spouse. She helped to write letters, giving patriotic cards & a box a candy, as she stayed in the guest house talking and loving the soldier’s children also. And when she selected a card, she would read each individual one to pick which one is best of the best above all the rest to give to others.
When she learned her husband could not come home from the hospital because the home did not have a ramp built to the home for her husband’s safety, she took it upon herself to contact the 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized) Engineering Unit and soldiers built a ramp to the home. She became a front runner of family support, reading, researching information being a human resource to others, as her children watched. She was trained at the spinal cord unit, VA, Houston in nursing, and helping her husband at home for 28 years in paraplegic and dialysis service at home. She ensured to have her children visually learn home health and family support and caregiving. She loved architecture, and once she learned a home would be built for the disabled, she took a genuine interest to meet with contractors and inspectors to build and designed exactly what was needed for a home going over blueprints and every detail as well as the spacing of every door, hallways, accessibility for the wheelchair to be approved. She had grace, warmth, impeccable taste and a willingness to serve at the Fort Polk Main Chapel for decades, until she was diagnosed with a longterm illness.
Gary studied engineering at LSU and earned another degree in Construction from NLU, while her grandson Ashton is in college studying the same. When her oriental friend, whose husband would have to have a home built for the disabled, she coached and guided every step of the way for a plan of action being a human resource family support.
Although she had a full schedule of nursing and dialysis for her husband, she was instrumental for her children and grandchildren. She read the full newspaper every day and stayed on top of current events for the soldier and spouse. She ensured her children read Ann Landers, Dr. Lamb and Brother Billy Graham columns every day and she saved them every day for them to read. She was a mathematician, financial advisor, loved education and learning, and ensured her husband, although paralyzed completed and graduated from Moody Bible Institute in Christian Education, and NSU in General Studies, Gary in Engineering from LSU and NLU, Richard in Criminal Justice, NLU, Elaine in Business from NSU, and her grandson Matthew in National EMS Academy and Registry Certification. She ensured that all her grandchildren and children learned great work ethics, that when they do a job, do it right and take pride in their work.
She was a great observer of people, and had a discernment of spirit, and did not entertain foolish talking and would call rubbish talking boo turning out the lights as she would not pay for foolishness. She ensured also, that she had words with anyone who would mistreat anyone and would end the conversation, go to church. Moreover, she could read through people and no one was fooling her. She had a genuine humor and enjoyed being a member of Dixie Dancers, Red Hat Ladies, Womens’ Golf on Fort Polk for decades, Sr Citizen Center, and being a supporter of the Special Olympics and of all her pets through the years. She was very talented in sculpturing, charcoal drawing, still life and scenery painting as well as watercolor painting; and enjoyed the fine cuisine of cooking from other cultures of different countries.
She gave her mind, body, soul, spirit to God, so he could work through her heart. Her toes touched the floor early to rise to ensure to pray first before the day started and kneel or sit at the bedside for another day the Lord she spoke to each and every day. She loved gardening and during her physical, occupational therapy, she was captivated in wheelchair to pick a flower, and knowing that one plant was made by God and she held that creation in her hand. If her husband and father of her children and grandfather of the grandchildren were here today, he would thank her again for we all knew she wanted to be a good and faithful servant for God.
She is preceded in death by her husband Earl E. Bastedo, her parents Senichi and Tomoe Kawasaki, Sisters Tomi, Mieko, Sumiko and brothers Hiroshi and Shigeru Kawasaki,and 8 grandchildren.
Those to honor her legacy are sons Gary and wife Angelyn Causey Bastedo; Richard Bastedo, daughter Elaine and husband Ralph Johnston
Grandchildren: Matthew and wife Brandi Johnston, Nicholas and wife Autumn Johnston; Ashton and Grayson Bastedo
Great Grandchildren: Natalie Johnston and Finley Petre
Deepest appreciation for BJACH, Internal Medicine Physician Raul Lopez and RN Beth. Elara Home Health Services: Ashley Bryant, RN;, Eric Crinkshank, Physical & Occupational Therapy; Pansy CNA; Morgan Bush, Physical Therapy. Hospice of Leesville.
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100 E Union St.
Leesville, LA 71446
Bldg. 428 Radio Rd
Ft. Polk, LA 71446