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January 2021, Volume 71, Issue 1


Ken Kinichi Shigaya passed away peacefully shortly after moving into an Adult Family Home on December 5, 2020. He was born to Yasumatsu and Mitsu (Kimura) Shigaya on February 7, 1925 in East Auburn, WA.

Ken was a junior at Auburn High School when WWII began. As a result of Executive Order 9066, the family was removed to the Pinedale “Assembly Center” and later to the Tule Lake Concentration Camp. In November 1943, the family was transferred to the Minidoka Concentration Camp. Ken was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1945 and was sent overseas to Italy with the 442nd RCT.

Ken graduated from the University of Washington School of Pharmacy in 1957. He joined his sister Mary in running Jefferson Pharmacy. In 1969, they renamed the business Black Diamond Pharmacy when they moved to that city. Later they relocated to Maple Valley, WA, but kept the same name.

Ken met and married Mary Hiroko Ikeda in 1959. Two children followed: Steven in 1961 and Gwynn in 1963. Ken worked hard to support his family, and also found time to fill their lives with love. They created memories while camping, fishing, swimming, and mushroom hunting. Ken enjoyed golf, bridge, and sudoku and loved following the Mariners and the Huskies. Ken and Mary traveled extensively after retirement.

Ken was preceded in death by his wife; parents; brothers Tetsuo, Seiro, Seiichiro, Kinsuke, and Harry; and sisters Mary S. and Sylvia (Nomura). He is survived by his son Steven, daughter Gwynn (Martyn) Sugihara, and grandchildren Evan and Cami Shigaya. A family memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, remembrances can be made to the Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple, the Nisei Veterans Committee, or the charity of one's choice.