Shoko Harms

Shoko Harms, a long time Willapa Valley resident, died peacefully in her sleep January 4, 2014, at her home in Lebam, Wash., after a tough battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 69 years old.

Shoko Katakura was born in Inawashiro City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan on August 31, 1944, to Daijiro and Chieko Katakura. She grew up in Koriyama City, Japan and earned her bachelor’s degree in Education from Ibaraki University. After graduation, she decided to temporarily leave Japan and study music in Milwaukee, Wis., On her flight to the United States, she meet her future husband, Grover Harms Sr., who was on his way home to Washington from a business trip. After six months of a two-year program, she decided to cut her program short and fly to Washington. She and Grover were married on August 27, 1971, at the Episcopal Church in South Bend, Wash. During their 42 year marriage, they lived in South Bend, Bay Center, Seoul, Pusan, Tokyo, and Honolulu before finally settling down on a farm in Lebam.

Shoko was one of seven children to Daijiro and Chieko. She was named after the “Sho-zan-maru” ship that transported her family from Saipan to Japan at the end of World War II. Shoko was known for her generosity, big heart, warm smile and sincere friendliness. Her happiest and proudest moments include her wedding, raising her only child, Sonny, preparing Sonny to go to West Point and join the Army, and her seeing her son marry. Shoko loved visiting Waikiki Beach, watching sumo wrestling on TV and taking long evening walks in the woods on the Lebam property.

Shoko was a tremendous, loving and dedicated wife of Grover Harms, Sr. who continues to reside in Lebam and mother to Grover (Sonny) Harms Jr., currently living in Honolulu, Hawaii. She leaves behind two siblings, Yayoi Ogoe and Hiroyuki Katakura both living in Japan.

Shoko was preceded in death by three siblings; two brothers, Genji Katakura and Yozo Katakura; along with a younger sister, Ikiko Katakura.

Per her wishes, Shoko will be cremated and her ashes, along with flowers will be spread in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Washington State and in Waikiki Beach, Hawaii.

There will be a memorial service and celebration of life gathering held at the Willapa United Methodist Church, 969 Willapa First Street, Raymond, WA 98577. The date and time is to-be-determined sometime this summer in order to allow for friends and family who live long distances with children in school to attend. It will be a potluck as Shoko was a big fan of these type of events. Per Shoko’s wishes, Mr. Jim Taylor will give the eulogy. Ray Price’s “For the Good Times” will be played. If you have any questions about this event, please e-mail Grover Jr. (Sonny) at If you do not have access to e-mail, you can contact him at 808-391-9417. You may visit to leave condolences to the family.


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