On May 23, Colonel Sunao (Phil) Ishio passed away in his sleep.
Ishio is remembered for starting and developing the Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA). Current President Bob Nakamoto credits him for bringing JAVA, a small organization when it was formed, into a nationally respected and recognized entity.
Ishio was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1941 and received intensive Japanese language training in order to serve in the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Service. After the war, he attended Georgetown University and became part of the Central Intelligence Agency. He served in several locations, notably Japan and South Vietnam.
After retiring from the CIA, Ishio became the Secretary of the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation. As an officer, he helped create the Nisei Memorial to Patriotism.
Ishio is survived by his wife Constance Ishio, daughters Julie Tsuchiya Sloneker and Hollis Molden, and grandson Dr. Jaime Molden. ♦
Ishio’s memorial contributions can be made to First Baptist Church of Wheaton or the Japanese American Veterans Association, 7201 White House Drive, Springfield, VA 22153. The family asks that contributions be made out for Ishio’s Scholarship Fund.