Jack Hajime Nakashima
5/1/1929 – 7/6/2018
Jack Hajime Nakashima was born on May 1, 1929 in Tacoma, Washington and passed away peacefully on July 6, at his home in Walnut Creek. During WWII at the age of 13, Jack and his family were incarcerated at Tule Lake and Topaz. After the war, Jack graduated from Galileo High School in San Francisco. He attended City College of SF and went on to earn a master’s degree in psychology from San Francisco State University. While studying at City College, Jack met his future wife Sumi Kanaya. They were married for 64 years and had two sons, Steve and Dave. Jack served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War in Fort Sheridan, Illinois. When he returned to the Bay Area, he worked for the San Pablo, Oakland, and Mt. Diablo school districts as a school psychologist before retiring in 1990. Jack was active in the redress movement and helped start the JACL chapter in the Diablo Valley area. He also gave educational talks about his camp experience to a wide range of audiences. Jack will be lovingly remembered by his extended family and dear friends for his quick wit and corny jokes, teaching his numerous nieces and nephews to play pinochle, and for being a huge music aficionado. He imparted his love of jazz to his family and friends. His home was always filled with music and his tastes ranged from Sinatra to bossa nova and big band music. Jack is survived by his wife Sumi, sons Steve and Dave, daughter-in-law Debbie Fong, granddaughters Gabriela and Camila, and 13 nieces and nephews. A celebration of Jack’s life will be held on Aug. 19, at 4 p.m., at Heather Farm Community Center, Lakeside Room, 301 North San Carlos Drive, Walnut Creek. Celebratory attire welcome, aloha shirts encouraged. Memorial donations may be made to the Japanese American Citizens League https://jacl.org/ or the Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation https://pkdcure.org/.
Yukio “Sam” Orite passed away peacefully on May 8,2018. He was the youngest child of Rokuyemon and Riyo Orite. Born in Sacramento on May 16, 1928.
When World War II broke out, the family was taken to Tule Lake than Topaz internment camps. In camp, he wanted to enlist in the USArmy like his brothers and brother-in-laws, but he was too young. Determined, at 15, he lied about his age and applied but failed because he was 85 pounds. Alas, he was to be charge of the family women and children. “Uncle Sam” babysat his nephews and nieces, as well as the other children on the block. He was happy-go-lucky, generous and kind, he told many stories and played many games, the children loved the attention and care. Uncle Sam enjoyed their company. After the war, the family moved to Richmond then Settled in Sacramento. Using this opportunity, Uncle Sam enlisted in the US Army and proudly served in the Korean War. Coming back to the Bay Area after his military service, he worked in the produce business and delivered fresh produce all over SF/LA/Sacramento. Leaving his truck driving behind, he worked as groundskeeper for the Sacramento City Unified School District. He loved his job and on his breaks, you could find him surrounded by students wanting to learn origami and listen to his stories. To us, Uncle Sam was the entertainer with all the balloon tricks, card games, origami, Fourth of July fireworks manager in the backyard, the BINGO caller and story teller.
In retirement he continued his origami, making them smaller and smaller! He would always have sweet treats to give away. His favorite day was Fridays so he could see his friends at Tanoshimi Kai.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Rokuyemon and Riyo Orite, his brother George and his sisters Grace( Henry) Nitta and Betty (Charles) Nagano. He is survived by his brother Ray Orite and Mary Orite, his sister-in-law Teruko Orite, all of Sacramento and cousin Mieko Tamamoto of Gardena. He has relatives in Japan and is also survived by numerous nephews and nieces, grand nephews and nieces, and great grand nephews and nieces in the Bay Area, Fresno, Sacramento and Washington state.
Uncle Sam will be in the memories and hearts of all those who met him. He lived his life his way. We honor and celebrate his life!