VASHON ISLAND, Wash. – On Saturday, graduating seniors from Vashon Island will be receiving one final lesson – not from a commencement speaker, but from a fellow graduate.
That graduate happens to be 92-year-old Mary Matsuda.
In 1942, she was a junior at Vashon High School. She was in the Honor Society and a member of the Student Council, with nearly straight A’s. But all of that was taken away.
“On May 16, 1942, my mother and uncle and grandparents were taken from their homes more or less forcibly,” said Matsuda’s son, Ray Gruenewald.
Matsuda’s children, Ray and Martha, know the story well. The dusty internment camp in California a world away from the family’s strawberry farm.
“It’s a small community, to this day, and that’s something very precious,” said Gruenewald.
Matsuda would go on to graduate from a makeshift high school inside the internment camp. She’d then go on to have a very successful …