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NVC Taps

September 2015, Volume 65, Issue 8

Arthur K. Abe

Arthur K. Abe, age 94, passed away peacefully on August 13th surrounded by his family. As part of the "Greatest Generation," he valued family, patriotism, community service, a strong work ethic, self-sufficiency, honesty, and generosity to others.

Art was a UW junior when WWII broke out, and he was removed to an incarceration camp in Minidoka, ID. From camp, he voluntarily served in the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged. Art was a lifelong member of the Nisei Veterans Committee because of his desire to honor Japanese American veterans who gave their lives to serve their country. He later attended UW, earning degrees in Business Administration and Electrical Engineering, and then spent a career at Boeing. Art had a heart for people in need and supported Kay (Yoshihara), his wife of 61+ years, in her work serving the homeless through The Lord's Table.

Art was born to Sadako Nishitani Abe Hirabayashi and Takaji Abe and was part of a large extended Nishitani clan. He is preceded in death by sisters Kazuko Nishimura and Lila Tsutsumi. Art is survived by wife Kay; children Carolyn (Robert) Ling, Michael, Janet (Steve) Lee, and Norman; grandchildren Garrett & Allison Lee and Melissa & Bethany Ling. Art and Kay maintained a lifelong relationship with former foster children Ann Saucier, Sally Caldwell and Amy Yamamoto. Appreciation goes to Dr. Song Zhao and the Oncology Department at Minor & James for excellent, compassionate care. At Art's request, no funeral service will be held. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Densho, the Nisei Veterans Committee or Cornerstone Christian Fellowship.

Bob Minoru Akimoto

Bob Minoru Akimoto, 89, of Seattle, passed away on August 7, 2015.  He is survived by his loving wife of 57 years Fusako, son Randolph Akimoto, and daughter Kim Akimoto.  He is also survived by nieces Linda Blackston (Wendell), Vicki Abe, Marianne Okamoto (Douglas), and nephew David Abe.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Motokichi and Nuiko Akimoto, and sister Sumiko "Dorrie" Abe.

Bob graduated from Hunt High School in 1944 in Minidoka, Idaho.  Shortly after graduation at the age of 18, he enlisted in the U.S. Army on August 26, 1944 at Fort Douglas and served in the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Unit, Company E, from 1944 to 1946.  He was honorably discharged on November 2, 1946 at Fort Lewis, Washington.  After returning to Seattle, he attended the University of Washington and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 1954. Bob married Fusako Uyeda on August 31, 1958.  Son Randolph Dwight was born in August of 1959 and daughter Kim Suzanne was born in December of 1960.

Bob worked for Boeing and the U.S. Small Business Administration until his retirement in 1987.  He enjoyed spending time with his family, golfing, photography, shopping, gardening, and watching the Huskies and Mariners.  On January 14, 2012, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and the Bronze medal at the Nisei Veterans Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony at Meany Hall.

A Celebration of Bob’s Life was held at Blaine United Memorial Methodist Church on August 29.  He will be committed to his final resting place at Evergreen Washelli Cemetery in a private service on a future date.  In lieu of flowers, Bob’s family requests donations be made to Blaine United Memorial Methodist Church or to the Nisei Veterans Committee.

Joe Asahara

Joe Asahara, 89, died August 6th, 2015 from cancer. Born in Sumner, his family was relocated to the Minidoka incarceration camp during World War II. He married Reyko Miura in Tacoma in 1950. In 1960, he co-founded Oriental Garden Center in Federal Way. Joe was a golf and fishing enthusiast. Joe is preceded in death by his wife, three sisters, a brother, and parents. He is survived by his brother John Asahara; children David (Barbara) Asahara, Bob (Carol) Asahara, Joan (Robert) Bloedel; grandchildren Kyle, Matthew, Arielle, Bradley. A Memorial Service was held September 12th, at the Puyallup United Methodist Church.

Robert Saburo Takeuchi

Robert Saburo Takeuchi passed away peacefully on July 6, 2015 at age 89. During his life, he resided in Mukilteo, Puyallup, Seattle and Mercer Island. He graduated in 1944 from Hunt High School in Hunt, ID, while incarcerated at the Minidoka WRA camp. During WW II, he served in the US Army, Anti-Tank Company, 442nd Regimental Combat Team. After the war, he was employed for 40 years at Mayer Brothers wholesale jewelers as a manager in the silverware and clocks division and was a Life member of the Nisei Veterans Committee and the Nisei Bowling Association.

Robert was pre-deceased by his father and mother, Yoshitsugu and Mitsui Takeuchi; sister, Hatsuko Takeuchi; brother, Shigeo Takeuchi; brother, Yukio Takeuchi. He is survived by nephews Gary (Jane) Takeuchi of Redmond, Rick (Renee) Takeuchi of Seattle, Terry (Sheri) Takeuchi of Newcastle, Bryan (Shirley) Takeuchi of Renton; eight Great nieces and nephews; and five Great-great nieces and nephews.

A graveside burial service was held on July 25 at Sunset Hills Memorial Park and Funeral Home in Bellevue, WA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Nisei Veteran Committee, Nikkei Concerns, Providence Hospice or a charity of your choice.

Mitsuru "Mits" Tamura

Mitsuru "Mits" Tamura was born on March 8, 1925 in Fife, WA, and died on April 9, 2015 in Chicago, IL. He was raised in Fife as the seventh of eleven children born to Uichi and Tamako Tamura. He graduated from Hunt High School while incarcerated at the Minidoka WRA Camp in Hunt, ID, before joining the Army. Both Mits and his brother Masaru served in the 442nd RCT -- Mits with Company K and Masaru with Company F. (Masaru was KIA on April 20, 1945.) Mits is survived by brother Tadasu of Chicago, Sisters Reiko Mizumoto of Kent, Fujiko Gardner of Lakewood, and many nieces and nephews in WA, OR, CA, TX and NM. A military service was held at the Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent last June.