Tsuyako MacDonnell, 92, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family, in her home on January 14, 2023. Visitation with the family will be held at Viss Family Funeral Home in Copperas Cove at 10 am on Friday, January 20, 2023, immediately followed by a Funeral Liturgy Outside of Mass at 11 am.
Burial will take place on March 3, 2023, at Southern Arizona Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Sierra Vista, Arizona where she will rejoin her husband.
Tsuyako, known by close friends as Toni or Toni-San, was born on August 16, 1930, in Maizuru, Japan to the late Yugiro Yamoto and Shigeno Harada Yamoto.
Toni met her future husband, Francis H.J. “Mac” MacDonnell, while he was stationed at Camp Zama, Japan, and the two were married in Nagoya, Japan on July 13, 1957. Toni would go on to support Mac as an Army wife for the remainder of his long and distinguished military career, much of which was spent stationed at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. She was a life member of VFW Auxiliary Post 9972 in Sierra Vista, Arizona where she lived for 60 years. Homemaking and mothering were her vocations in life, and she did both with tremendous pride and attention. She was a genuine friend and advocate for others, particularly Army wives of Japanese descent. In the Summer of 2020, she relocated to Copperas Cove to be close to family.
Toni was a seamstress, knitter, crocheter, and crafter and proudly made beautiful clothes for her family and crafted afghans, baby blankets, and doilies (for every surface of her home!) along with Japanese temari balls and origami figures. She performed Japanese folk dancing, was a skilled and highly-competitive bowler, and was a gifted gardener – proudly growing Japanese vegetables in the Arizona high desert. She had phenomenal culinary talent, the fruits of which were enjoyed by many, from military dignitaries to kids alike. Toni loved playing bingo and even volunteered to work the games at VFW Post 9972 – for many years, you’d find her there nearly weekly. Even through the last months of her life, she immensely enjoyed watching sumo (ganbatte Takayasu-San!) via her favorite channel, NHK TV Japan. She had an enormous heart for animals, most notably her last dog and ever-underfoot companion, Buddy. Tsuyako was a complex woman: generous and headstrong, proud yet thoughtful and ever willing to support and aid others, brilliant yet plainspoken, she was tough, but you knew she loved you.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, Francis H.J. MacDonnell. Tsuyako is survived by her children: son, Frank MacDonnell and his wife Wendy, and daughter, Elizabeth Hayden and her husband Tim; grandchildren: Tausha Schrock (Byrd), Brandon MacDonnell (Cindy), Donovan MacDonnell (Jasmine), Amanda Wiedenfeld (Warren), Tatianna MacDonnell, Keadon MacDonnell (Courtland); and great-grandchildren: Byrd Rhea & Lilliann Schrock, Hayden Wiedenfeld, and Cooper & Aspen MacDonnell.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate to one or more of the following in Tsuyako’s name and memory: the Lewy Body Dementia Association (www.lbda.org/honor-your-loved-one/); VFW Auxiliary Post 9972 (549 Veterans Drive, Sierra Vista, AZ 86535); Cochise Canine Rescue (cochisecaninerescue.org); or the charity of your choice.