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Wataru Oki

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Wataru Oki Obituary
Aug. 20, 1923 ~ March 15, 2012
Wataru Oki known as"Oki", beloved brother and uncle passed away peacefully on March 15, 2012 in Salt Lake City, UT at the age of 88. He was born in Glenns Ferry, ID on August 20, 1923 to Tsuzuki and Yayo (Saito) Oki. He was educated in Japan with his sister, Yeiko (Homma), and returned to Ely, Nevada in 1940. Married Midori Konishi in Tokyo, Japan and later divorced. He served in the U.S. Army in the MIS as a linguist in World War II and later continued his military service stationed in Germany and Korea. He retired after 27 years. This past February, Oki was honored, along with all of the other Japanese American World War II veterans of the 442nd and MIS divisions, with a Congressional Medal of Honor.
After settling in Utah in 1972, he worked for the U.S. Postal Service for another 34 years until the age of 84 and health concerns caused his forced retirement. Oki was a life long learner and always stressed the importance of education. All of his siblings, nieces and nephews were the privileged beneficiaries of his generosity and constant encouragement to do our best. He earned a BA in Sociology from the University of Utah in 1978 and later spent countless hours attending classes at every college at the U under House Bill 60. He loved spending Sundays riding the tram at Snowbird especially during Octoberfest time. Being a voracious reader, Oki loved spending hours in the Sugarhouse Barnes and Noble and the U library where he could meet his good friend, Richard, to discuss past historical and current events. He will long be fondly remembered by many for his bright smile, filled pockets and beret littered with political buttons. Uncle Wataru, "You are the best!"
Thank you to all of the loving staff at the Highland Care Center for your kindness and dedication to Oki and his family during his long term stay there. He is survived by his sisters, Yeiko Homma, Taylorsville, UT; Keiko Mori (Jiro), Murray, UT; Miyoshi Marumoto, Torrance, CA, and sister in laws, Akiko Oki (Tamio), Reno, NV; Sharon Oki (Shoichi), Lauderdale by the Sea, FL; several nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents and his brothers, Iwawo, Tamio and Shoichi Oki and his sister, Kazuko Oki.
A Celebration of Life and Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, June 30, 2012, 10:30 a.m. at the Mountain View Memorial Estates Cemetery (3115 East Bengal Blvd.).


Published in Deseret News on June 28, 2012
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