Takako Salvi

December 29, 2020


The Family request that no flowers  be sent.

Takako Grace Salvi departed this world peacefully on Tuesday, December 29, 2020 surrounded
by her loving family. 

Takako, better known as Taka or Dani to her family and close friends, was born on May 16, 1919
in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Grace Woods Sato and Takayuki Sato.  As a third-generation
Cantabrigian, she graduated from Cambridge High and Latin School, and was the first Black
nursing student at the Cambridge City Hospital. Taka continued her educational pursuits by
earning a Bachelor of Science in Elementary-Early Childhood Education, a Master’s Degree in
Counseling Education and Community Psychology, and a PhD in Applied Child Development;
and graduating from the MIT Community Fellows Program.  Taka went on to work with and
consult for numerous children-centric and community-based organizations in the area, including
Lesley Ellis School, Boston’s Floating Hospital for Children (head nurse), and Boston
University’s Consultation and Education Program. She also served as a long-term Board Member
at the Museum of African American History, and was a founding member of the Cambridge
African American Heritage Alliance.

In 1944, Taka wed Diwaker S. Salvi, lovingly known as Sal and Baba (who passed away in
February 1986). They were married for over 40 years, and together raised three children,
Chandra, Shantu (who passed away in July 1997), and Saru. She enjoyed many personal interests
and hobbies, including reading suspense thrillers, crafting pottery, spending long, sun-drenched
days on the beach, and traveling with her sisters.

Taka leaves behind to share her memory two daughters, Chandra and Saru; son-in-law Michael
Joseph and daughter-in-law Mary Salvi; sister Sadako; grandchildren Kafi, Wess, Shantu,
Kamala, and Tanika; step-grandchildren Michelle and Stephanie, and 16 great grandchildren.
She also leaves behind many nieces, nephews, and cousins from her Welford-Woods extended

Taka was an amazing matriarch and role model for her family.  She taught them the importance
of education, cultural heritage, and family. She instilled in them the belief that they could reach
the moon, no matter what the rest of the world told them.  She was pioneering, tenacious,
steadfast, and a life-long learner. While her educational accomplishments are astounding, what is
most extraordinary is how she positively influenced every life she touched. She will be greatly

Services for Taka will be held Thursday, January 7, 2021 at A.J. Spears Funeral Home at 126
Western Avenue in Cambridge, MA. A walk-thru viewing will be held from 10:00-11:00 am,
followed by a live-streamed virtual program. Please refer to the A.J. Spears Funeral Home
website for additional information (

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations in memory of Takako G. Salvi to the
Cambridge African American Heritage Alliance. Please make checks payable to the Cambridge
Historical Society with a note on the memo.

To view the walk through and service online, go to:


January 7, 2021

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
A. J. Spears Funeral Home
124 Western Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139

Private Services

A. J. Spears Funeral Home
124 Western Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139

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