Taro Kawa

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August 31, 1920 - April 14, 2014 Taro peacefully passed away at the age of 93. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Taro was attending U.C.L.A. when he and his family were evacuated to the Gila River Relocation Center in Arizona. After a year at Gila River, he went to New York and completed his college education receiving a BA in Economics from Bard College which was then affiliated with Columbia University. On May 5, 1944, he and Toshiko (Toshi) Imada were married and spent their first year in Chicago. They returned to Los Angeles where Taro worked Naval Intelligence decoding intercepted Japanese messages. When the war ended, he restarted the family business, Enbun Company, importing Japanese food products. For over 40 years, he was involved in Little Tokyo community affairs and with the Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple. He served as president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce, was on the advisory boards of the California State University- Los Angeles and Sumitomo Bank. He also served as a director of the Arcadia Methodist Hospital Foundation and was a Rotary member for over 50 years and served as governor of Rotary District 5300. In November, 1990, he was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure with Gold Rays by the Emperor of Japan for his many contributions to the betterment of the Japanese-American community in Southern California. He was preceded in death by his wife Toshi and is survived by his daughters Susan (John) Davenport, Margaret (George) Magallon, sons Steven(Nanci) Kawa, Alan Kawa, grandchildren Nick Ammons, Kristen Matsuda, Lauren Funk, Douglas Kawa, great grandchildren Haley Ammons, Matthew Matsuda, Emi Matsuda, Ryan Matsuda, Eloise Funk and several nieces and nephews. Private funeral services were held on Saturday, April 19, 2014 at Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Apr. 21 to Apr. 22, 2014
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