Ida Nakashima Schneck, MD, died April 12 in Denver. Born in Cressey, CA, to John Kohei Nakashima and Ayako Amano, Ida grew up in the close-knit Japanese-American farming community known as the Yamato Colony, centered in Livingston, CA. In May 1942, Ida’s family and thousands of other U.S. citizens of Japanese descent were forced into internment camps; the Nakashimas were imprisoned at Camp Amache in southeastern Colorado. In 1943, aided by the American Friends Service Committee, Ida seized an opportunity to attend Parsons College in Fairfield, IA, earning a bachelor’s degree in biology and graduating magna cum laude in 1946. She attended the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1953 after a year’s hiatus at National Jewish Hospital in Colorado for treatment for tuberculosis. She married Stuart Schneck, MD, in 1956. Ida specialized in adolescent pediatrics and spent her 39-year career at Colorado General Hospital/University Hospital, rising to associate professor. She co-founded the Young Mothers Clinic in the late 1970s, one of the first clinics dedicated to helping pregnant teenagers, which endures today. She retired in 1992, and then she and her husband traveled widely.
Ida continued to dedicate herself to others as a volunteer for Reading for the Blind, NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado and the Denver Tourism Office. With Stuart she co-authored two books: The Geezers Guide to Colorado Hikes, and Eastern Colorado’s Small Museums.
In addition to her trail-blazing career as a physician who overcame numerous barriers, Ida was a loving mother, a devoted wife, a loyal friend and a lifelong learner.
Predeceased by brothers Tom and Tyler Nakashima. Survived by daughter Lisa (Dennis Bledsoe); son Christopher (Patricia Braun); grandchildren Nicholas and Lena. Celebration of life to be announced at a later date. Memorial gifts may be made to Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation to support the Ida I. Nakashima Young Mother’s Endowment
Fund at www.childrenscoloradofoundation.org/donate . Please note in the gift instructions that the donation is in memory Ida Nakashima.