Immediate Need Shelly Funeral Home: 215-343-3040 Plumsteadville Location: 215-766-8800


Alice Shirakawa

Alice M. Shirakawa

Monday, March 4th, 1935 - Friday, November 27th, 2020
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Alice M. Shirakawa of Bala Cynwyd, PA., passed away on November 27, 2020 at home.
Alice was 85 years old.

Born in Portland, Oregon, Alice was the daughter of Hatsuto Shirakawa and Misao (Aoki) Shirakawa.

Alice's family owned a successful logging business in Oregon until 1942 when they were taken, along with more than 9,000 other Japanese Americans to Minidoka prison camp in Idaho. One of the ten internment camps Japanese Americans were imprisoned in. They lost their home, business and all their possessions. Alice and her family were released in 1945.

With some assistance from the kind Quakers at the internment camp, Alice and her family relocated to Philadelphia, PA. Alice and her brother attended Friends Select School of Philadelphia, where she flourished as a student and an athlete. Alice received the Emma C. Brawn Award upon graduation in 1952. This award is only given to one female student each year that has earned it for sportsmanship, work ethic, team work, achievement.

Alice received a full scholarship to Temple University, where she received her Bachelor's of Science in Physical Therapy. She further went on to receive a Master's of Science in Microbiology at Jefferson College.

Alice spent her life working as a Physical Therapist, where she received many achievement awards for her extensive hard work and love for her patients. Chances are if you or a family member were in the Montgomery County area and needed PT, you have heard of Alice Shirakawa and her dedication to her patients. Her patients and co-workers would often say, "If you want to walk again, get Alice as your Physical Therapist!" Alice worked 7 days a week and on holidays. She retired only 5 years ago and probably would have kept going except for all the computer work and paper work associated with in home care.

Travel, Hobbies, interests: Alice spent many of her younger years taking incredible journeys in her time off. She was a member of organizations like Earth Watch and went on many trips that were of scientific nature. Alice studied all kinds of animals in all parts of the world. She went on archeological digs, even to find dinosaur bones, which she did find! Alice has walked and hiked through the Rain forests, Amazon, Himalayas. She has studied animals on safaris in Africa and koala's in Australia. Alice also went on several oceanic studies involving whales and dolphins.

Recently, she did slow down and enjoy a more quiet life. Alice loved to read, visit with friends/family, enjoy her dogs/cats, and do jigsaw puzzles; Alice discovered the wooden cut jigsaw puzzle a few years ago, which are extremely challenging and she probably completed over 500 of them in the last few years.

Those who were fortunate enough to know Alice, they knew of her love for animals. Alice has taken in rescue Beagles for years and taken in kittens that would have not survived. She always had pet toys and treats for anyone that was a pet owner. Alice has been extremely generous her whole life. At a young age, she worked very hard to save enough money to buy her parents a house, which they lived in until they passed. She also is known among family and friends to buy food in surplus and share with everyone. Many will remember the cases of Fuji Apples that Alice got every year to share with her patients, physicians, vet, friends and family. They were some of the best and largest apples known to mankind and we will remember Alice well when we see those apples.

Alice was the sister of Harris and the late Sam Shirakawa. Loving Aunt of Michael (Jennifer), Steve (Mary), Jeff, and the late Alan Shirakawa. Great Aunt of Evan, Trevor and Elise.

Services will be private.

In lieu of flowers the family would ask to consider a donation to charity of your choice or one of Alice's favorite charities: Friends Select School 17th &1651, Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19103, the Seeing Eye Dog Foundation 625 West Town Street Columbus, OH 43215
or the Montgomery County SPCA 19 E. Ridge Pike PO Box 222 Conshohocken, PA 19428-0222
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    Private at the convenience of the family


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Private Condolence

Dorothy A Renneisen

Posted at 07:35pm
Alice had been in my home weekly over the past 7 1/2 years providing physical therapy for my husband and me and became a member of my family. She shared many memories of her childhood and trips each time she came, I made her a loaf of banana bread every week because I knew how much she enjoyed and appreciated it. She will be greatly missed! What a kind lady she was.
Dorothy (Hitchcock) Renneisen and Family

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