Mae Kuroki loved to sew, crochet and knit.
Throughout her 81 years, she crafted hundreds of caps for homeless people, wool caps for soldiers serving in Afghanistan and blankets for elderly patients.
But it would be her infectious smile and positive outlook, even in the darkest of times, that would become the common thread friends and family remember most.
She was born June 1, 1931, in Rock Springs, Wyo., to Teizo and Tatsuyo Inouye.
Her father worked for the railroad, but by the time World War II started, her family would eventually be forced off government land because of their Japanese heritage.
The family settled in Brighton, Colo.
“Today is to be a celebration of our mother’s life,” said Kuroki’s oldest son, Gary. “And we want to honor her by trying to live our lives with the kind, gentle and generous spirit she shared with us.”
Others went on to describe a woman who had an infectious smile, greeted others with a wave of her signature black cane and had “questionable” poker skills.
Kuroki loved living in Colorado and was an avid Broncos fan.
In accordance with her wishes, her ashes will be scattered in the mountains.
According to a statement from the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, Kuroki’s younger son, David, has been named as a suspect in her death.
Sheriff’s deputies were called to her residence in the 8600 block of Dry Creek Road around 11 a.m. April 2 for a welfare check, according to Arapahoe County Undersheriff David Walcher.
When authorities arrived, they found Kuroki’s body.
The younger Kuroki was taken into custody hours after his mother’s body was found.
“He was transported to a local hospital and is being treated for self-inflicted injuries,” Walcher said. “We’re anxious to get on with the case, but given the circumstances, we’re in a holding pattern.”
David Kuroki has not been booked or charged yet, he added.
In lieu of flowers or koden, (monetary contributions), the family has asked that donations be directed to the Victim Assistance Program, Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, 1310 East Broncos Parkway, Centennial, CO 80112, Attention: Kathleen Beebe.
This program provides resources and support to victims of crimes.