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August 2020, Volume 70, Issue 7

Charles T. Furumasu

Charles T. "Chuck" Furumasu passed away peacefully at home on June 8, 2020, at the age of 98 after living a long and full life. Chuck was born on June 6, 1922, in Canby, OR. In his youth, the family moved to Gaston, OR where he attended and graduated from Gaston High School. Afterward, he attended Pacific University until the war broke out in 1941. In 1942, by Presidential Executive Order 9066, all Japanese Americans were ordered to evacuate the west coast. The family chose to move to Coeur d' Alene, ID instead of being incarcerated in camps. During this time Chuck found odd jobs and earned his barber license at Moler Barber College in Spokane, WA. In 1942, he chose to join the US Army even while his friends were incarcerated in camps. Chuck rose to the rank of Sargent 1st class and was a recipient the Bronze Star for his service with the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

The 442nd consisted of Japanese American men who fought in the European Theater. This unit became the most highly decorated regiment in the history of the U.S. armed forces and adopted the motto, "Go for Broke." In November 2011 at a national ceremony in Washington DC, Chuck, and surviving members of the 442nd, the 100th Infantry Battalion and Military Intelligence Service were honored with The Congressional Gold Medal - the nation's highest civilian honor. After the war in 1946, he returned to Gaston, Oregon to farm with his family. In 1950, he married Amy Furukawa and they settled in Spokane, WA. He opened his barbershop business on 5th and Thor where he continued this business for 57 years. Chuck and Amy raised three sons and one daughter.

Chuck is survived by his wife Amy; his three sons, Brian (Nancy), Larry (Marylin), Mark (Laurie) and one daughter, Linda (Gene) Yamashita; seven grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and sisters-in-law Fujie, Sadie and numerous nieces and nephews. Chuck was preceded in death by his parents, aunt, three brothers, and three sisters. In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make a contribution in Chuck's memory to: Horizon Hospice at 608 East Holland Ave. Spokane, WA 99218, Providence Adult Day Health 6018 N Astor St, Spokane, WA 99208, or Highland Park United Methodist Church at E. 919 Hartson, Spokane, WA. 99202.


Bill Katsuki Komoto

Bill Komoto, born July 4, 1927 in O'Brien, Washington, passed away on June 9, 2020 in Seattle, Washington due to complications from pneumonia. He was the son of Nobuji and Yoshiko Komoto; youngest brother to George, Frank, and Shizuko; and husband of 55 years to Amie Kaisaki before she passed in 2009. He is survived by brother Frank and many nieces and nephews.

Bill had enlisted in the U.S. Army just after WWII but was encouraged by mentors to finish his college education at the University of Idaho where he received his degree in Business Administration. He was an established business owner in Seattle, active in the community through the Lions Club and the Seattle Buddhist Church. He enjoyed traveling with Amie and their friends in the investment and golf clubs. He loved to golf and was a voracious reader. He really loved going to the horse races and casinos and, after a stroke, was not hampered by his wheelchair in arranging bus rides to his favorite places and being able to move himself very well once he arrived at his destination.

Bill will be remembered for his love of family and joy of life. His determination to live his life and maintain as much independence as he could in his later years, set an example for us all that you do what you can, do what you must. Bill will be interred at Evergreen Washelli Columbarium in North Seattle. No services are planned at this time. Remembrances may be made to the Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple, Seattle Public Library, and the Nisei Veteran's Committee.


Frank Shigeo Tanagi

Frank Tanagi passed away peacefully on June 18, 2020. Frank was born in Seattle, WA on November 28, 1922. His parents were Koi and Fuyo Tanagi. He had an older sister, Rose Okazaki and has a younger sister, Sharon Aburano. He is survived by his wife, Fay (Yoshizuka) Tanagi; daughters Lynda Tanagi and Lee Ann (Thomas) Jinguji; grandchildren Kelly and James Jinguji; sister Sharon Aburano (Paul); nephews Brian (Pat) Aburano, Richard (Cathy) Aburano, and Bill (Joy) Okazaki; and great-nephews Andrew and Rylan Aburano.

Frank grew up in Seattle and graduated from high school in 1942. After graduation, he enrolled at the University of Washington and studied Health Sciences, but his education was interrupted with the US entering World War II. Following Executive Order 9066, he was imprisoned at the Minidoka, Idaho incarceration camp. From camp, he was drafted into the United States Army and was assigned to the Military Intelligence Service, translating Japanese documents. While in the U.S. service, Frank served in Japan, the Philippines, and Korea.

After serving in the U.S. Army, Frank decided to continue his education at Washington State University and obtained a B.S. in Pharmacy. He returned to Seattle and worked at a Pay N' Save for 35 years. On June 20, 1959, he married Fay Yoshizuka. In 2020, they celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary.

Frank lived life to its fullest, and he loved everyone -- his family, friends, and strangers alike. He was kind, friendly, and funny. He was a great husband, father, uncle, and grandfather. He could often be found playing golf, bowling, salmon fishing, singing karaoke, writing Japanese calligraphy, painting, traveling, and matsutake (pine mushroom) hunting.

Donations can be made to: Blaine Memorial Methodist Church, 3001 24th Avenue S., Seattle, WA 98144, or Nisei Veterans Committee, 1212 S. King Street, Seattle, WA 98144. The family will have a private graveside service in August. A celebration of life will be planned for a later date.