Obituary of Junko Shimizu Stuveras
March 15, 2019
Junko Shimizu Stuveras, most recently of New York City, passed away on March 15, 2019. She was 81 years old.
The daughter of Mikako Shimizu, née Tomiyama, and Takeshi Shimizu, Junko was born in Tokyo, Japan. She was the eldest of three children and is survived by her sister Yuriko Shimizu and her brother Kei Shimizu, as well as by one niece and two nephews, all residing in Japan. As a child, she loved "publishing" a small newspaper called the "Potchan Shimbun" for her siblings to read and enjoy.
Junko graduated from International Christian University (ICU) in Tokyo with a B.A. in History in March 1960. After that, she moved to Boston, MA to continue her studies at Tufts University. While there, she lived in Lexington, MA with Shirley and Andrew Lane, who became dear friends to her and were like family. Junko earned her Ph.D. in French History from Tufts in 1969 and published her work on Admiral Gaspard de Coligny in 1970.
She additionally received a scholarship from the French government to pursue post-graduate research at the Sorbonne in Paris. It was there, in 1970, that she met her future husband, Roger Stuveras, who was working as a professor of Latin at the Sorbonne. They wed in 1971.
She was a fiercely independent and bold woman. She thought nothing of moving to not one, but two foreign countries, learning the languages and acculturating herself there. Frustrated in her attempts to obtain a professorship in French history as a Japanese woman, whether in France or the United States, she turned to another expertise and obtained a master's degree in library science. She served as a librarian at the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris.
When Roger and Junko decided to move to the United States with their five-year-old daughter in 1978, they remade their lives anew in New York City. While Roger taught himself Russian and obtained a post as a translator with the United Nations, Junko became a reference librarian at Butler Library at Columbia University, where she remained until her retirement in December 2013. Students consistently commented on her great kindness and helpfulness in assisting with their research efforts.
Junko is survived by her husband, Roger Stuveras. While they separated in 1990, they remained on good terms and were affectionate with one another and never divorced. Junko is also survived by her daughter Elisabeth Mikako Stuveras and young grandson Sean Takeshi Stuveras. Junko will be deeply missed.
Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 21st, at the Greenwich Village Funeral Home, 199 Bleecker Street, New York, NY. She will be entombed on March 22nd at the Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum in New York, NY.
While Junko loved flowers, the family suggests donations be made in her name to either the charity of your choice or to the National Stroke Association (https://www.stroke.org). While she was ultimately felled by a pulmonary embolism, she survived two strokes and recuperated well both times, through grace and much hard work. She was a well-loved favorite of the rehab team at Rusk (NYU).
Arrangements are entrusted to the Greenwich Village Funeral Home. To send condolences or to get directions to the funeral home, please go to https://greenwichvillagefuneralhome.com.
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