Tuesday, April 26, 2016
3:00 PM to 5:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Food and drinks will be served.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
1:00 PM EDT
Mt. Ever- Rest Memorial Park
3941 S. Westnedge Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
Services to be held in the mausoleum.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Kalamazoo Christian Schools
2121 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Meribeth Nakasone Steers was an extremely kind, God-loving, and helpful person to those in need. She was truly a special person in the minds of all who came to know and love her with exceptional talents and gifts to share beyond measure. Meribeth will be greatly missed and forever remain in the hearts of many.
The Progressive Era was a time of widespread social activism and political reform. During the first World War, it was an era determined to eliminate corruption in government, support Prohibition, and to guarantee a woman’s right to vote. An exciting time in our nation’s history, when Buhei and Shige Nakasone welcomed the birth of their precious first child, a newborn daughter they named, Meribeth. Born on September 10, 1917 in Seattle, Meribeth was a sign of promise and happiness to their newly formed family.
Growing up with hard working parents who were not only committed to learning the language, but also took great pride in owning their place in the world through small business ownership of a dry cleaning service, a tailor shop and a candy store, Meribeth learned the way of achievement through dedication and responsibility. Shortly after completing her first year at the University of Washington, WWII split her family into internment camps. Her mother and siblings were taken to Minidoka, Idaho while her father was taken to a separate camp. During the course of that first year apart, her mother developed a progressive battle with lung cancer and sadly passed away. Thankfully, her father was able to attend the funeral. Later in 1944, she and her siblings were released from Minidoka. Determined to accomplish her dream of getting a college education, Meribeth was offered a scholarship in nursing at Borgess Hospital, after a couple of Flint doctors had sponsored her to work in their office. Upon completing her training and receiving her RN, she then attended Nazareth College receiving her BSN degree in nursing. She spent a short time working in Obstetrics at Borgess for a couple of years, before the stir to pursue a career in anesthesia called her to move to Chicago. She attended Northwestern University and Wesley Memorial for her clinicals, before receiving her CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist) degree. Returning to Kalamazoo, she was employed by Kalamazoo Anesthesiology PC. For a short time, she worked as a CRNA in infectious control at the VA in Battle Creek.
Hard to believe she would find the time to find the man of her dreams, or better yet, the time to sew her own beautiful wedding gown, but on August 16, 1979, she married her beloved husband, William R. Steers, a retired Navy Commander. During the war he commanded a land mine sweeper in the Pacific. Bill had a love for traveling so they enjoyed many wonderful trips around the world. Among their tours were visits to Europe, New Zealand, Germany, Japan, and Hong Kong. During the trip to Japan, Meribeth was able to visit the temple where her relatives were traced back to the 1400’s. Being like minded in their need to help others, Bill and Meribeth were very active in many organizations, including the Kalamazoo Foundation, Western Michigan University and Albion College, sponsoring many generous scholarships to support others pursuing their dreams.
Meribeth was never one to remain idol. She had countless special hobbies. She was an expert seamstress and loved to knit. Meribeth enjoyed classical music and hymns. Known for her excellent Asian cuisine dishes, she was also a fabulous baker. Never having children of her own, she was also known for doting on her boys; two Schnauzer dogs named Hugo and Otto. Sadly, Meribeth passed away on April 21, 2016 and her sweet presence among her family and many friends will be deeply missed.
Meribeth Nakasone Steers died April 21, 2016 at the age of 98. She was born September 10, 1917 in Seattle, WA, the daughter of Buhei and Shige (Muroga) Nakasone and was the oldest of 4 children. Meribeth held both an RN and BSN degree in nursing. Later she went on to receive her degree as a CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist). She married William R. Steers, a retired Navy Commander on August 19, 1979. Together they traveled the world. Bill and Meribeth were active in the Kalamazoo Foundation, Western Michigan University and Albion College, sponsoring many scholarships. She was preceded in death by her husband, William Steers; brother, Robert Nakasone; sisters: Violette Maeda and Christine Lewis. Meribeth is survived by her niece, Laura Maeda; and special long time friend, Mary Bowman Betten. Friends and family will visit while sharing food and refreshments on Tuesday from 3-5 PM at the Life Story Funeral Homes, Betzler – Kalamazoo; 6080 Stadium Drive (375-2900). Entombment services will take place on Wednesday at 1 PM at Mt. Ever-Rest Cemetery. Please visit Meribeth’s personal webpage at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo of her and sign her online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Kalamazoo Christian Schools or the charity of your choice.