Kazumi Peggy Wall joined her beloved husband; USAF Major (ret) Joseph Clarence Wall Junior aged 77 and son; USN Phillip Clarence Wall aged 29, in the peaceful darkness of the early morning on November 23rd, 2022. We know she was in peace because we cared for her, we loved her, and after years of being a fiercely independent widow, she came to live with us in our home. Our pets were the first to break the ice, Slinky melted her heart and those two were peas in a pod in front of the fire place. She dearly loved the opportunity to watch her grandsons ship off to college and joined us on move-in day. She is survived by her sister; Hiromi Kotani, of Fukuoka Japan, her daughter, her son, her daughter in-law, and two grandsons. The Entire Wall Family graciously extends a generational debt of gratitude to everyone past, present, and future at the Walter Reed Naval Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Life wasn’t easy for young Kazumi who was born in the Arakawa District of Tokyo just after Japan had ended the Edo period and had ushered in an era of war. She was proud to be born of the House of Ginta, a clan that follows their history back to unrecorded times. She never talked about the tragic life she had pieced together from the ashes of war, but research proved she lived in the path of the “Doolittle Bombing Raid” and suffered the subsequent firebombings from age 9 to 13. Little about her life during that period was discussed or will ever be known. As her parents struggled with the tides of war; at the some point after being unfunded by her parents to complete High School and not wanting to disgrace her extended family in the town of Tateyama, she struck out on her own as a nanny, a house cleaner, and one day at the urging of an US Army officer’s wife whom she was working for...she was awarded a career position as an accountant at the Commissary on Ashia Naval Base, Kyushu Japan. It was in that setting my mother crossed paths with my father who was a Veterinary TSGT; although, his love of pets led him into Veterinary services later in his non-commissioned career, his acceptance to language school developed his ability to speak fluent Turkish, where they spent a large portion of his deployments. At the age of 35, she encouraged him to apply to Officers Candidate School, where he achieved “Mustang” status and a gold 2nd Lt’s bar. It’s unclear when he asked for her hand in marriage, but in 1957, her father, Toyoji Kotani and mother Tazuru Noori, signed a Department Of State permission grant which she signed as well…and then they were off on an epic journey that went beyond both of their wildest dreams. Together and apart they traveled every corner of the world that their hearts desired or where the Military Airlift Command could fly them on “Space A.” 31 full years of active duty, all the while she was archiving a personal collection of antiques that adorned their simple home of 40 years in Temple Hills, Maryland. She owned and operated her own Minshuku for 25 years; a Japanese styled bed and breakfast, advertising to Japanese college students while her husband owned and operated his Joe Wall Real Estate business. Even when the news of his condition struck, they always came together and without pause she cared for him throughout his 13 year battle with cancer. Never without hope...she continued on.
Our time with her was exciting. Researching her life and streaming motion picture events of her era… We blew through days of John Wayne, Audrey Hepburn, Elvis, etc. One special callout is the Netflix miniseries “Midnight Dinner: Tokyo Stories” where the character development enveloped my mother’s imagination. She watched it at least 7 times beginning to end. Laughing, arguing with me about the behavior of some characters… she’d always have time for a quick episode. The theme song is Oimedi, “Rememberance” and discusses how our breath returns to the sky and dissipates. Her love of Sumo… the girl was simply a ravenous fanatic about the sport.
Time being what it is… Soon, if you look just over the rise on Eisenhower Boulevard, turn left on Bradley Avenue, drive on past those who are still shedding tears in the East 60...and just up the road, somewhere in there, if you try hard enough...you will find them both resting in peace together once again.