ATHENS, Vt. – Michiko Northup, 85, of Athens, Vt., passed away on Sept. 8, 2023, at The Thompson House in Brattleboro, Vt. She was born Michiko Furukawa on Jan. 5, 1938, in Japan. Michiko was a kind, generous, creative, hospitable, caring, fearless, talented, and beautiful woman, who deeply loved her family and was loved immensely by them.
Growing up in World War II Japan, Michiko learned to be frugal and creative, she learned to make do. In 1959, she met and married her husband of 64 years while he was stationed with the Air Force in Japan. A year later, with an infant and limited English skills, she flew alone to join her husband at his next duty station in North Dakota. She was naturalized in 1987, which was one of her proudest achievements.
She was a wonderful, caring mother who went out of her way to put her children first and made sure they were well taken care of. She loved babies, and enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren. Michiko sewed clothes and quilts for many in the family. She cooked and baked treats especially well. These are just some of the many ways she showed her love and thoughtfulness.
Throughout her life, Michiko pursued various careers. Some may remember that, in the 1970s, she was the proud owner of Mich’s Pizza in Bellows Falls, Vt. Later, she dedicated 25 years of service to Vermont Medical in Rockingham, Vt.
In her free time, Michiko enjoyed hobbies, including quilting, sewing, knitting and crocheting, cooking, baking, gardening, and passionately following the Red Sox.
Michiko is survived by her loving children Linda Crowson (Rob), James Northup, Robert Northup, Michelle Diggs (Brandon), Emily Abare (Reg), Jason Northup, 12 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Julian T. Northup, as well as her father and mother, Kenjiro and Fude Furukawa.
Michiko Northup will be remembered for her warm heart, creative spirit, and unwavering dedication to her family. Her presence will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her.
The family would like to thank the Thompson House staff for their kindness and caring while taking care of Michiko for the past 16 months. Their tireless commitment to elder care has truly been a great help and relief to the family, and very much appreciated.
As per her wishes, no services are planned. Her family appreciates the love and support they have received during this difficult time.