Akiko, a.k.a. “Joanie” Vardzik, 86, passed away Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. She was the wife of the late George J. Vardzik, Sr.

Born in Osaka, Japan on Jan. 8, 1934, Akiko was a daughter of the late Iwaichi Ueda and Sue Nishimura. She was a retired seamstress from S&M Dress Factory. Her life started off in Japan, with many changes and loss which shaped her into the person she became. She also met the only man whom she loved and would ever love. They started a life and a family. The next adventure she would take was moving to the United States with her husband and sons and becoming pregnant with twins. Her husband stayed as long as he could but due to war and being in the military he would eventually have to leave. She was now responsible for learning the American way and raising her family, which she fully embraced. Akiko took her passions and studies with her when she joined the working class as a seamstress. She was esteemed by her employers for her talents and expertise. She was committed and hardworking. She was steadfast and provided her family with stability and love. She learned how to not let anyone walk all over her and would protect her family always. She was a loyal wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and sister. She gave the best of who she was and what she had to everyone. She was a wise steward and took raising her family seriously, which afforded her children to grow and flourish from that love and support. On the lighter side of life, she thoroughly loved playing cards, from Krazy Bee to Pinochle and every other card game in between. She loved fashion and sewing. She loved cooking fabulous Japanese dinners. She loved to learn and would challenge herself by watching Jeopardy and building puzzles. She was fun and loved to laugh. She always looked at the best in people and would always be there to pass on wise words for people to become better versions of themselves. She was straight forward and meant what she said. She traveled back to Japan to retrace her steps, build a relationship with her long lost sister, make amends with family members, and remember where she came from.

Her later years brought new challenges, new joys, and the ability to continue filling those unfulfilled dreams. Her faith which she held dearly all her life and mostly only lived out by her actions would come full circle. She embraced family and community. She now had a place to walk out her salvation. Before her passing, she was surrounded by a lot of love. She will be dearly loved and sadly missed.

Akiko is survived by three children: George Jr., Andrew, and his wife, Karen, and Juliana, and her husband, Russell; 13 grandchildren: George III, and his wife, Nichole, Erica, and her husband, Zachery, Shelby, and her husband, Greg, Storm, and his wife, Michelle, Travis, Nathan, Melinda, Jessica V, Sara, and her husband, Tyler, Kara, and her husband, Juan, Brieanna, and her husband, Ethan, Jessica R. and Jamison; 24 great-grandchildren: Austin, Kaylin, Jenna, Eli, Andrew, Sarah, Landon, Alliza, Ellana, Emma-Marie, Karley, Xavier, Keagan, Michael, Chayse, Stella, Oliver, Lincoln, Natalia, Ryan, Summer, Seirra, Breanna, and Storm Jr.; a great-great-grandson Zayden; and her sister, Kazuko. In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by her daughter, Diana, and her daughter-in-law, Kelly.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020 at Grace Life Church, 755 PA 934, Annville, PA. Graveside service will follow at Mt. Lebanon Cemetery. A visitation will be held prior to the service from 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the church. In lieu of flowers donations in memory of Akiko may be given to Hospice & Community Care, 685 Good Dr., P.O. Box 4125, Lancaster, PA 17601. Thompson Funeral Home, Inc, is entrusted with the arrangements. Please share your thoughts and memories with the family at our online guest book at thompsonfuneralhomelebanon.com