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Obituary of Ethyl Fusaye Minnis
Ethyl Minnis went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, February 2, 2023, at the age of 95,
surrounded by her loving family.
Ethyl, a 3rd generation Japanese American, was born on March 30, 1927 in southern California to Masahide and
Minoru Furuya. Her father was a master gardener at the California Museum in Covina, passing his love of
gardening on to Ethyl. This was exhibited by her love and care of her roses and her vegetable garden. As a
child she attended Charter Oaks school. She loved her teachers and played on the 8-boy baseball team.
Ensuring that the family retained connections to their culture, they made 3 trips to Japan, the last one in 1941 at
the time of Pearl Harbor. The family stayed for the next 7 years, assisting with the silk worms and farming and
attending Japanese schools.
At the end of the war, Ethyl and her father were recruited as interpreters which led to assignments for the first
Cavalry Division of the US, where she met General Douglas McArthur and, more importantly, a young GI
named Chuck Minnis.
Chuck was persistent in courting Ethyl and after three years they set a wedding date. Ethyl and Chuck were
married on November 24, 1949, and shared 70 wonderful years together until Chuck’s passing in 2020.
Ethyl was an excellent seamstress and spent much of her time sewing for her children and grandchildren. With
her talent she made many halloween costumes, dance costumes, costumes for school programs and family
blankets. In addition, being a devout BSU fan, Ethyl made all the BSU attire for herself and Chuck. Ethyl made
everything for everybody. Because of her love of sewing, she eventually took a job at JoAnn Fabrics where she
made lots of close friends with whom she continued lunch dates for the rest of her life.
She was faithful in attending all special events of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Over the
years she attended many events including baseball, football, soccer, basketball, dance competitions, school
programs, dance recitals and family vacations. She stayed busy supporting her family in every way she could.
Above all, Ethyl loved the Lord. She sought His will and trusted His ways all her life and never wavered. She
was a dedicated member of Hillview United Methodist Church. She supervised the acolytes, set up schedules
for distributing meals and walked over 6 miles in the CROP Hunger Walk. She enjoyed baking and regularly
supplied her Sunday School class with goodies.
Ethyl is survived by her daughter Mary and son-in-law Rob Sparks, her grandson Tommy Sparks and his wife
Jen, her granddaughter Whitney and her husband Jared Joffer, and three great grandchildren Remilynn and
Bennett Joffer and Charlie Sparks. Also surviving are her brother Fred and sister-in-law Keiko Furuya and her
sister Marjorie Furuya, all of California. She also enjoyed the family dogs, Yumi, Bruce and Rocky. Ethyl’s
family and friends will remember her as the sweetest, kindest and most generous lady they’ve ever known.
Ethyl would wish memorial contributions be directed to Boise Rescue Mission Ministries, PO Box 1494, Boise,