Utah Jazz fan Keiko Mori, one of the famous ‘Pink Grandmas,’ dies at 88

Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune The "Pink Grandmas", Yeiko Hommas and Keiko Mori sit in Keiko’s family room on Sunday, April 30, 2017 as game 7 of the playoff series between the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers broadcasts. Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward (20), a favorite player of theirs whose play always elicits applause from the two.

For more than two decades, Mori and her sister Yeiko Homma sat side-by-side as demonstrative and beloved fans at Utah Jazz games. They became a fixture at their seats in section 7, row 12 for their distinctive pink jerseys — sometimes drawing as many admirers as the players for whom they cheered.

Sending our love to the family of Keiko Mori- affectionately known as one of the @PinkGrandmas.You’re forever part of the Jazz family. 💗👵🏼 pic.twitter.com/9FrRjFtv1b

— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) August 18, 2017

Mori was born in Japan, but grew up in the farm town of Ely, Nev., from when she was a toddler. As a child, she dealt with racism stemming from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that sparked U.S. involvement in World War II, she told The Tribune this past spring, and she and her family lived under house arrest.

She lived much of her adult life in Murray, married to Jiro Mori (d. 2013), a decorated WWII veteran and an auto mechanic after his military service. She raised four children: Stephanie Mori-Nakao, Jerry Mori, Tom Mori and Theresa Sueoka. She also worked in the flight kitchen for United Airlines for 25 years.

While no one knows how many home games the Pink Grandmas attended, the best estimate of the family was more than 600. They attended their final game together in May, as the Jazz fought the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs and shortly after Mori was hospitalized following a seizure.

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