Anthony (Tony) Hideki Ishisaka, the co-founder of Asian Counseling and Referral Service, died at home in his sleep on July 9, 2019. He was 75 years old.
David H. Fukui
David H. Fukui died on March 31, 2019 of complications from Parkinson’s disease. He was 79.
Fukui was an award-winning Seattle architect and he created the Mitsu and William O. Fukui Memorial Endowed Diversity Scholarship at the University of Washington.
Sam Masami Mitsui passed away on March 24, 2019. He co-founded Walk for Rice, a major fundraising event for the Asian Counseling and Referral Service Food Bank.
Vikram Jandhyala, 47, died on Feb. 28, 2019. He was the University of Washington’s vice provost of innovation and the first Indian American to hold that position.
Fred Yee died at his home on Aug. 7, 2018 after a sudden heart attack. He was 67 years old. Yee was a founding member of the Chinese Information and Service Center.
Toshikazu (Tosh) Okamoto
Tosh Okamoto passed away peacefully on May 19, 2018 with his family at his side.
A nursing home’s mistreatment of an Issei (first generation) father whose son was killed while serving in the military outraged Tosh and prompted him to help co-found Keiro. Among Tosh’s many recognitions, the Emperor of Japan bestowed on Tosh the Order of the Rising Sun award in April 2006.
Ed Lee died of a heart attack on Dec. 12, 2017. Born in Seattle to immigrants from Toisan, Lee was the mayor of San Francisco at the time of his death. He was 65 years old.
Kimi and George Tanbara
George Tanbara died on July 1, 2017, just four months (March 21, 2017) after his wife of 65 years, Kimi. He was 95, and a co-founder of Pediatrics Northwest.
Kimi and George Tanbara, MD Eastside Family Medical Clinic in Tacoma was named after the couple—honoring their long legacy in health care, community service, and social justice.
Julie Locke died on April 6, 2017 at age 90 after a battle with Parkinson’s. The mother of former Gov. Gary Locke partnered with her husband Jimmy in running Sadie’s Cafe in the Pike Place Market in the 1950s.
Al Sugiyama passed away on Jan. 2, 2017. He established the Center for Career Alternatives in the 1980s and served as the first Asian American on the Seattle School Board in the 1990s.
“Uncle” Bob Santos died on Aug. 27, 2016. He was 82 years old. One of the Gang of Four, also known as the Four Amigos —a group of racially diverse friends who fought injustice —Santos also served as the executive director of InterIm from 1972 to 1989.
Edward Chow died from pancreatic cancer on July 22, 2016. The son of Seattle civic activist Ruby Chow, Edward received a Bronze Star for his service in the U.S. Army in Vietnam. He also served as a governmental appointee in Washington state, the federal government, and the state of Maryland.
Ruth Woo passed away on July 13, 2016 at the age of 89. Woo was a political mentor to people like former Gov. Gary Locke, state Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, and Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu.
Tsuguo “Ike” Ikeda died on
Dec. 2, 2015. He was the first Asian American executive director of a nonprofit in the United States, according to the National Association of Social Workers. Ikeda was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal in 2011 for his service in the U.S. Army during World War II.
Donnie Chin was murdered on July 23, 2015, a victim of crossfire between rival gangs. A “first responder” to many emergency issues in the Chinatown-International District and a neighborhood hero, Chin founded the International District Emergency Center. His murder remains unsolved.
Ticiang Diangson died on Jan. 29, 2015 from mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer.
Ticiang was a founding member of the Asian Pacific Women’s Caucus and the Community Coalition for Environmental Justice, and a leader in the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative.
Henry passed away on Sept. 16, 2014. He was 85 years old.
Miyatake was one of the earliest proponents behind the redress movement from the early 1970s. His efforts met resistance from the community until the first “Day of Remembrance” was held on Nov. 25, 1978. The event was one of several watershed moments that helped galvanize the Japanese American community on the road towards righting a wrong.
Vera Faye Ing died on Jan. 18, 2014. She was 73.
Ing was an urban planner with Ing & Associates, where she developed 10-year master plans for both Everett and South Seattle community colleges, as well as plans for an expanded International District.
Fred Cordova died on Dec. 21, 2013 at the age of 82.
In 1957, he and his wife Dorothy founded the Filipino Youth Activities of Seattle to engage young people in extracurricular activities that instilled cultural awareness. He also created the award-winning Filipino Youth Activities Drill Team.
Tama Murotani-Inaba passed away peacefully on Dec. 21, 2013. She was 93 years old.
Murotani-Inaba was an active chairperson on numerous civic committees and president of the Nisei Veterans Auxiliary.
Kip Tokuda passed away on July 13, 2013. He was 66.
Tokuda was a four-term state representative from the 37th district and community activist who founded the Asian Community Leadership Foundation. He was also a past president of the Japanese American Citizens League.
June Chen died of a heart attack at the age of 78 on May 21, 2013.
According to her obituary, Chen was the first Taiwanese woman to work as an engineer at Boeing. Most people in the Asian community called her “Auntie June.”
Cheryl Chow passed away at her home on March 29, 2013. She was 66 years old. The daughter of the late Chinatown leader Ruby Chow, Cheryl served on the Seattle City Council and Seattle School Board.
James Malcolm Mar died on July 11, 2012, on his 98th birthday. Mar was an early supporter of the vision to convert the East Kong Yick building into the current Wing Luke Museum in the Chinatown-International District.
Gordon Hirabayashi died on Jan. 2, 2012 at age 93.
Hirabayashi is famously known for being imprisoned when he defied the federal government’s internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. His conviction was overturned four decades later.
Ark Chin passed away on Nov. 13, 2011.
He was 87 years old. Chin was the CEO of engineering firm Kramer, Chin & Mayo—the firm known for designing the Seattle Aquarium. He was also a founding member of the Chinese Nursing Home Society and Kin On.
Edward Shui “Ping” Chow passed away on June 29, 2011 at the age of 94.
Chow built a Chinese restaurant, Ruby Chow, named after his wife. It was the first successful Chinese restaurant outside of Seattle’s Chinatown neighborhood. Chow was the president of the Chong Wa Benevolent Association and he was active in the American Legion Cathay Post #186.
James “Jim” Leong died on April 21, 2011 from complications of heart failure. He was 81.
A renowned artist, Leong is perhaps most remembered for painting the first Chinese American historical mural in San Francisco.
Urbano Quijance died on Jan. 22, 2011 at age 95.
He was a defender of Bataan in World War II. He was captured and a POW, and walked the infamous Bataan Death March. Quijance led the unprecedented effort by the Filipino Community of Seattle to document the community’s rich history in the Seattle area through three published books.
Jimmy Locke passed away January 5, 2011.
He served as Staff Sergeant in the Fifth Armored Division during World War II and saw action in the battles of Normandy Beach, Ardennes, and the Rhineland. After the war, he opened Sadie’s Café, a restaurant in the Pike Place Market. He was the father of former Gov. Gary Locke.
Ted Choi Tam
Ted Choi Tam died on Oct. 1, 2010 at the age of 74 after a fight with cancer.
In addition to serving in the U.S. Army, Tam was involved in many organizations, including the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce and he was a co-founder of Kin On.