HAMPDEN AND BANGOR Sumiko “Sue” (Mizumura) Leighton, 91, passed away May 17, 2021 at Westgate Center for Rehabilitation and Alzheimer’s Care, with her daughter by her side. She was born March 25, 1930 in Yokohama, Japan, the daughter of Kinkichi Mizumura and Shima (Hiraoka) Mizumura.
After high school, Sumiko graduated with high honors, receiving her degree in ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement. When Sue arrived in America, she studied hard, fulfilled the requirements and proudly became a naturalized citizen of the U.S.A.
Sue met Frank E. Leighton while he was stationed in Japan, employed by the Department of Defense. They were married on May 5th, 1956, in Yokohama, Japan. They moved in the late 60’s to Hampden, Maine, after Frank retired. Sumiko was a beloved stay-at-home mom, raising 1 daughter, Amy Sue. They celebrated 36 years of marriage before Frank passed away.
Sue loved being a mother and grandmother. She absolutely adored her grandchildren. Sue was an avid golfer and a contributing member of the Ladies League at the Hampden Country Club, earning several awards and trophies. She enjoyed spending time with her neighbors and friends she made at the golf course. Sue was a phenomenal cook. Her Japanese dishes were outstanding, yet Sue could also whip up any style of cuisine requested and it would be delectable. She was fond of knitting, sewing and was an amazing gardener and had a natural green thumb. Sue also enjoyed fishing as her and Frank lived their retiring years on Hermon Pond. She was very artistic and continued her talents at flower arranging and loved to do arts and crafts. Sue enjoyed attending church and was a member of the Hermon Baptist Church.
Sue was an amazingly kind, sweet woman, and a devoted, loving mother, grandmother, wife, friend, and neighbor. She loved music and singing. Her beautiful smile, comforting presence and contagious laugh will be dearly missed. Sumiko had many relatives in Japan including her brother and his wife, Keisuke and Matsu Mizumura, sister and her husband, Toshiko and Hideo Ichimura, sister, Itsuko Matoba and her husband, brother and wife, Katsuji and Hideiko Mizumura along with many nieces and nephews. Sue touched many hearts and we are so very blessed and thankful for the amazing care she received at Westgate. We are so grateful for the kind, dedicated, endlessly caring nurses, CNA’s, and activities staff (thank you Angel!) that cared for Sue. Special heartfelt thanks to the amazing care of hospice nurse, Belinda, and Pastor Doug of Constellation Hospice.
She was predeceased by her husband, Frank, and grandson, Hayden.
She is survived by her daughter, Amy and her husband, Matthew, along with their two children, Bailey and Elijah of Hampden, Maine; many cousin-in-laws in America and family in Japan.
A Graveside service will be held 1:00 p.m. Monday, May 24, 2021 at Lakeview Cemetery, Western Avenue, Hampden with Pastor Doug Cotta from Constellation Hospice officiating. Those who wish to honor the memory of Sue may make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association through her Tribute Page: http://act.alz.org/goto/Sumiko_Sue_Leighton.