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24 August 2017

Obituary Announcement

Kazuo “Nick” Nakai Kazuo “Nick” Nakai, born June 6, 1938, died peacefully June 11, 2017 at the age of 79 in his home in San Mateo, Ca, where he resided for the past 41 years. Born in San Francisco to Seiichi and Chiyoko Nakai. he was the eldest of five siblings. Graduated from Lowell High School in 1957. Married his first wife, Nancy Akashi, and had two lovely daughters: Debbie Iwamasa (Alan) and Kelly Heisterkamp (Jay). Survived by sisters: Kuni Naito (Paul, deceased), Chiz Naganuma (Kazumu “Tony”), Yoko Lum (Frank) and Sets Otaguro (Robbie); brothers-in-law :Howard (Connie) and Edwin Hom (Mary); sister-in-law Betty Shinoda (Rick); Grandchildren; Nicole Azuras (Virgilio), Leah Iwamasa, Evan and Emi Heisterkamp; Great grandson Trevor Iwamasa; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, great nephew and great nieces. During his 30 years with the U.S. Postal Service he met his second wife Susy and retired in 1992. His favorite hobbies were golf, archery, fishing, playing music, photography and computing. “His generous loving spirit will be missed by all who knew him.” Private services were held. Inurnment at the Japanese Cemetery in Colma, CA. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations be made to San Mateo Kimochi,

Yuki Shibata Ashizawa, born May 23, 1924, passed away peacefully on June 12, 2017.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Mas Ashizawa, parents Kiyoshi and Ai Nakamura, brothers Ichiro, Jiro and Sam and sister Kiyo.   Yuki is survived by Carol Yuki (Tom), Karen Shinoda, Sue Shibata (Tim), Mark Ashizawa, Phil (Eunice) Ashizawa, Brenda (Al) Katekaru, 4 grandchildren and 4 great-grandsons. A memorial service will be held on 8/13/ 2017 @ 3:00 pm at the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin, 540 N. 5th St, San Jose.
The family wishes to extend its deepest gratitude to the staff and caregivers at the Terraces of Los Gatos for all their care and suppor


March 3, 1926 – July 8, 2017

George Goto passed away peacefully at home on July 8, 2017. Susan, his loving wife of 62 years, was by his side. He is survived by his sister Sumi Uesugi, daughter Lesli Pineschi and son-in -law Aldo Pineschi; his son Eric Goto and daughter-in-law Deborah Goto; grandchildren Evangeline Pineschi, Anthony George Pineschi and George Allen Goto. He was a loving influence in the life of his family and his name lives on with his grandsons.

George was born in Penryn, California. He was the youngest of four children whose entire family was interned at Tule Lake, California, during World War II. After the war, he enlisted in the U.S. Army as an interpreter in the Military Intelligence Service and was stationed in post-war Japan. Upon his honorable discharge, he attended Placer Junior College (now known as Sierra College) and was named the MVP of the State Junior College Basketball championship team. He also attended Sacramento State University where he earned a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in education. During his years at Sacramento State, played both basketball and baseball and was named the school’s most outstanding athlete of the year in 1953. He was one of the first Japanese-Americans from Sacramento State to earn a secondary teaching credential after World War II.

George taught and coached basketball at Roseville High School and then at Sierra College. He was a straight-forward, no nonsense, disciplined teacher, who also liked to have fun. He was known as a great friend and respected colleague who loved the athletic department so much that he established a scholarship fund for student athletes at Sierra College. George retired as the Dean/Director of Athletics at Sierra College in 1986. The basketball court at Sierra College bears his name in recognition of his dedication to students.

George was an avid fisherman and never stopped trying to improve his golf game. He served as the City of Roseville Parks and Recreation Commissioner for seven years and as the Placer County Fish & Game Commissioner for two terms. The George Goto Park was dedicated in 2009 in honor of his contributions to the community of Roseville.

A service followed by his Celebration of Life ceremony will be held on Thursday, Aug. 10, 1 p.m., at the Placer Church, 3192 Boyington Road Penryn, CA 95663. Donations can be made in George’s honor to the George Goto Athletic Scholarship via The Sierra College Foundation.

Lloyd S. Kitazono
September 1, 1924 – May 27, 2017
Lloyd Shigeru Kitazono, 92, passed away peacefully in his sleep in San Jose on May 27. Lloyd is preceded in death by his wife, Taye, of 65 years. He is survived by his daughter, Kathy Sakai, husband, Gordon, and son, Lloyd Jr., wife, Jody, six grandchildren, and thirteen great-grandchildren. Lloyd is survived by his sister, Midori, and preceded in death by his brothers, Loren and Minoru, and sisters, Miki and Tedu. Lloyd was born on Sept. 1, 1924 in Gardena, California, where he and his family lived and worked on a farm. When World War II began, the family was evacuated to an internment camp in Heart Mountain, Wyoming. While in the camp, Lloyd graduated from high school and he met his future wife, Tayeko Yoshihara. In camp, Lloyd worked as a surgical orderly in the camp hospital. Upon joining the U.S. Army, he was transferred to Jefferson Barracks near St. Louis, Missouri, where he continued working in the Army hospital’s surgical unit. After the war, Lloyd was honorably discharged as a Technical Sargent. He and Taye moved to New York City and were married. Lloyd attended trade school and became a journeyman auto painter, and Taye attended dressmaking school and became a professional seamstress. Both of their children, Kathy, and Lloyd Jr. were born in New York. In 1954, Lloyd and Taye moved the family to San Jose where Taye’s family was living before and after World War II. Lloyd worked as an auto painter for Hardcastle Brothers, San Jose Ford, and several independent body shops in San Jose for over 36 years. After retiring from auto painting, Lloyd helped out doing custodial work at Taye’s retail fabric store, Stretch and Sew Fabrics. Lloyd loved cars, hot rods, and attending auto shows. His hobbies included building model planes, ocean fishing, gardening, and raising dogs. Lloyd was a loving and devoted husband and father, and he especially enjoyed his role as a grandfather, and great-grandfather. He spent countless hours playing with his 6 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. In 2002, Lloyd and Taye moved to Pacifica, California where they could fish, catch crabs, and take their grandchildren fishing from the Pacifica pier. Lloyd and Taye attended all of their family’s special events, including birthdays; high school, college, and post-college graduations; sporting events; and weddings. In 2014 after Taye passed away, Lloyd moved back to San Jose to continue living independently near Japantown. He enjoyed weekly lunches and events at Japanese Senior Center, Yu-Ai Kai, working on projects at home, and visits from his family. Lloyd’s memorial service will be held on Sunday, June 11, at 4 p.m. at Wesley Methodist Church, 566 North Fifth Street, San Jose. A reception will be held in the church’s Fellowship Hall after the service.

Ralph Sugimoto, Jr., 75, was born Nov. 12, 1941, in Sacramento, California. He was the son of Ralph Takao Sr. and Elizabeth Yoshiko Sugimoto. After battling with pancreatic cancer for nearly two years, Ralph passed away peacefully on May 25. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Pearl, daughter Stefanie Abdelnour and her three children Kyle, Kevin and Kyra, and son Douglas and daughter-in-law Isabelle and their three children Madeline, Mason, and Marie. Shortly after birth, Ralph was relocated along with his family to the Amache internment camp in southeastern Colorado. After the war, his family returned to Walnut Grove, California, where Ralph attended Courtland High School and was an active member of the Walnut Grove Buddhist Church. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento in 1963 with a degree in Accounting, then began working for the Office of the Auditor General. From 1964-1966, he served with the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of Sergeant (E-5). He joined the accounting firm of Pfanner & Tate in 1974 and became a partner shortly thereafter; in 1989, he joined the original partners of Pfanner & Tate as a founding member of the accounting firm of Tate, Propp, Beggs & Sugimoto (tpbs, LLP). Ralph served tirelessly as an officer and director of many civic and charitable organizations serving the Asian American community, including the Japanese American Citizens League, the Asian Community Center, the Sacramento Aichi Kenjin Kai and the Matsuyama-Sacramento Sister City Corporation. He served as President, Treasurer and Auditor of the Sacramento Betsuin Church and President and Treasurer of the Buddhist Churches of America.  Ralph loved to golf, dine out, watch sports, travel, meet people, and take his wife, Pearl, to Tahoe, Reno and Las Vegas. He was a lifelong fan of the San Francisco Giants, San Francisco 49ers, and the Sacramento Kings.

Ralph is preceded in death by his father Ralph Sr., mother Elizabeth and younger sister Jane. He also leaves behind his step-mother Hiroko Sugimoto, sisters Judy (William) Young and Ruby Sugimoto, and step-brother Dennis Matsuno. Loving Uncle to Will (Mary) Young, Kim (Fabrice) Bellini, Beth Young, Tim (Linda) Young, and Kenji Matsuno.

Services for Ralph will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, June 2, at the Buddhist Church of Sacramento, 2401 Riverside Boulevard, Sacramento.


Amey Aizawa, a longtime resident of the Carlisle in San Francisco, passed away peacefully with many family members and friends by her side on the afternoon of April 23, 2017.

Amey was born on July 24, 1922, in Delano (now Visalia) California and was the oldest of four children. She resided in the central valley until she and her family were incarcerated at the Fresno Detention Center and Jerome, Arkansas Concentration Camp during World War II.

She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Tulsa and moved back to California with her husband Hatsuro in the late 1940’s. Although Amey had a license to teach in the California school system, she chose to help her husband start and maintain his successful graphic design business (Aizawa and Furuta) in San Francisco for many decades.

At her request, no memorial service is planned but an informal gathering of family and friends will take place on Sunday, June 4, 2017 from 1-3pm at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC), located at 1840 Sutter Street, SF CA 94115. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the JCCCNC or to a charity of your choice.

Amey is predeceased by her parents, Chuzo and Hanako Yamane and her husband Hatsuro. She is survived by siblings Lily Kuwamoto, Elaine Higashi and Katsumi (Bonnie) Yamane and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

Tadao “Tabo” Hisaoka passed away on April 1. He was born May 29, 1940 in Vacaville, Calif., the eleventh child of the late Toranosuke and Kae Hisaoka. He and the family was uprooted and sent to the Gila River internment camp in Arizona.

Tabo’s friendly nature was developed and nurtured when the family relocated to California and settled in the small farming town of Alvarado. Friendships made during those years carried on through his graduation from Washington Union High School in Fremont. Upon receiving his degree from San Jose City College, Tabo was employed at Sandia Corporation until his retirement in 2007, after 46 years as a drafter/designer at this national research facility.

He married Patricia Fujimoto in 1979, starting his own family with son Jeffrey born in 1982 and daughter Tricia born in 1986. With happiness there also came sadness, with the loss of baby daughter Lynnsey in 1985 at the age of 7-1/2 weeks old.

Tabo’s enthusiasm for sports was always present from his days of playing “D” basketball in high school, bowling with his brothers in the Nisei league, through to his golfing days as part of the SIRS golfing group. After his retirement and until just this past year, he enjoyed being an usher at Oakland A’s home games.

Tabo is survived by his wife, Patti, son Jeffrey, daughter Tricia, brothers Pete, Yosh (Jane), Mas (Aileen), sister Kay, many nephews, nieces, grand and great-grand nephews and nieces.