(1918 - 2013)
Shuki Hayashi died unexpectedly on November 29, one day after attend- ing a family Thanksgiving dinner. The many friends and family members he left behind will miss his love of meandering conversation on just about any topic, his sense of wonder, and his mischievous sense of humor. Born February 1, 1918 in the Salinas Valley to Issei parents, he had four sisters, a brother, and a half-brother. As a boy, he loved roaming along the Salinas River with his cousin, Chick, later recounting that he knew the river like a book, one that was rewritten with each annual flood.
In 1940, Shuki entered UC Berkeley, changing his major from electrical engineering to physics after an adviser told him that a person of Asian descent would not get work as an engineer. His senior year was interrupted by WWII and the outbreak of anti-Japanese hysteria. He returned once more to the Salinas River to bury family heirlooms out of fear the family would be tied to the Japanese war effort. The Hayashi's were sent to an internment camp in Poston, Arizona where Shuki met his future wife, Marian Lind. One month later, he left camp to join the Cannon Company of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. They courted by mail for the duration of the war while Shuki served in Italy and France. Purple Heart in hand, he returned to Chicago in 1946, where his family had relocated. He and Marian married on March 7, 1946, returning to Berkeley in 1948 to resume his education. By 1956, Shuki had completed a PhD in Biophysics and he and Marian had 4 children. In 1958 he moved the family to Davis where he was a research biophysicist and Acting Assistant Professor of Physics at UCD. From 1964 to 1988 he was a Professor of Physics at CSU Sacramento. Retirement years were occupied by travel with Marian, home improvement (on his children's homes), woodworking, enjoying grandchildren, and lots of reading. In 2012 he was proud to receive the Congressional Gold Medal along with his comrades from the 442nd. He will be remembered for always speaking his mind, his wide-ranging interests and knowledge base, an amazing memory, and his ability to connect with people from all walks of life.
Shuki is survived by his wife Marian, sister Osame (Doi), children Ann, Keith, Carla, Eric, and their spouses, 5 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren, numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. A celebration of his life will be held on February 1 in Davis. In lieu of flowers, please send gifts in Shuki's name to the Parkview Presbyterian Church, 727 T Street, Sacramento, CA 95811.
Published in The Sacramento Bee on Dec. 15, 2013