Chieko N. Okazaki

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Chieko Nishimura Okazaki (October 21, 1926 – August 1, 2011) was first counselor to Elaine L. Jack in the Relief Society general presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1990 to 1997. She was the first non-Caucasian woman to serve as a general presidency member of an LDS Church auxiliary organization.[1]

Okazaki was born and raised in Hawaii as a Buddhist, the daughter of Hawaii-born parents of Japanese descent. At the age of fifteen she converted to the LDS Church. She later married Edward Y. Okazaki and they had two sons. Professionally she was an educator and taught in Hawaii, Utah, and Colorado, and was also an elementary school principal. Edward Okazaki served in the United States Army during World War II. [2]

In 1961 Okazaki was appointed to the YWMIA board in the LDS Church and was the first non-Caucasian to serve in this position.[1] From 1968 to 1971 she served with her husband as he served as the first president of the church's Japan–Okinawa Mission and then the Japan Central Mission, based in Kobe, after the Japan–Okinawa Mission was split.[3][4]

In 1990, Okazaki was called to be the first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency. In that position, she became one of the first LDS Church leaders to address the topic of sexual abuse in a general church setting.[1]

Okazaki later served as a member of the Southern Virginia University board of trustees.[5] She was a frequent speaker at Brigham Young University's women's conference and other events sponsored by the LDS Church or organizations owned by the LDS Church. She wrote several books, most of which are geared to an audience of Latter-day Saint women.

Okazaki died of congestive heart failure in Salt Lake City, Utah, aged 84.[1][6]

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints titles
Preceded by
Joy F. Evans
First Counselor in the general
presidency of the Relief Society

March 31, 1990 – April 5, 1997
Succeeded by
Virginia U. Jensen