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December 2021, Volume 71, Issue 11


Wash Murakami, 93, passed away peacefully on September 8, 2021. He was born in Auburn, Washington to Moritsuchi and Yoshi Murakami, second to the last of 13 children. He came from a farming family. At the age of 14, Wash and his family were incarcerated at Minidoka, Idaho to an internment camp during WWII. Wash was the owner of Wash's Auto Repair in Columbia City serving the Greater Seattle community for almost 50 years. He was a great and trusted mechanic, an avid fisherman, and enjoyed golfing, bowling, and dancing. Wash was deeply admired for taking time to help others, and for his love of family and friends. He lived his life to the fullest and was always the life of the party, making everyone feel welcome. He will be missed dearly by all those whose lives he touched.

Wash is survived by his wife of 70 years, Kathleen; children Jerry, Reise (Arbee), John, Mark (Judy), Chris (Marita), Rick (Julie); five grandchildren; six great grandchildren; sister Isoko; sister-in-law Yoshiko; and many beloved nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life is being planned for a future date. Donations may be made to Nisei Veterans Committee or Densho.


Kenji passed away peacefully, with his loving family by his side, on November 20, 2021. He was 97. He was born in Seattle, Washington on April 24, 1924 to Masakichi and Masuko Nakamura. Kenji graduated from Franklin High School. He bravely served with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II. After the war, he graduated from the University of Washington and started a long career as an engineer. His first employment was with Bonneville Power. Later, he went to work for Boeing, retiring after 30 years.

Kenji is survived by his wife Irene; daughter Karly Skillestad (Kevin); two grandsons, Callum and Quinn Skillestad; his brother Mas Nakamura; sister Toshi Fujikado; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his sister Nobi Nakamura and brother Kuni Nakamura.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to: Nisei Veterans Committee, Densho, Japanese Baptist Church or the charity of your choice. A family memorial service will be held later in the spring.