Lt. Col. Henry "Hank" Oyama USAF (Ret.) 86, entered into eternal rest on March 20, 2013 surrounded by family and treasured friends after a brief illness. Hank was born in Tucson where his mother, Mary Matsushima Oyama raised Hank and his sister, Rosalie. His mother operated All Nations Pool Hall until 1942 when the family was sent to an internment camp in Poston, AZ during WWII. His father, Henry H. Oyama passed away before Hank was born Hank served in the Army and later joined the Air Force and retired in 1985 as Lt. Col. In 1959, Hank married Mary Ann Jordan (deceased) after they waged a successful legal battle to repeal Arizona's anti-miscegenation law all the way to Arizona Supreme Court. Hank was recognized by the University of Arizona with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws for his role in this civil rights milestone. Hank, known as the "father of bilingual education" has been recognized in the US and internationally for his work. Hank launched his career as a teacher at Pueblo High School and in 1991 retired from Pima Community College as Vice President Emeritus. In retirement, Hank co-founded the Hispanic Student Endowment Fund, which has grown to 14 scholarships for P.C.C. students annually. In 1991, Hank married Laura Ann Toledo and they made their home in Oro Valley, AZ. Hank is predeceased by his parents, sister, Rosalie Takanachi (Art); wife, Mary Ann Jordan Oyama and daughter, Jeannie Oyama. Remaining to cherish his memory is wife, Laura Ann Toledo Oyama; children, Mary Catherine Tate (Jason), Steven Oyama, Patrick Oyama (Lynn), David Oyama and stepchildren, Susanna Minegishi (George), Chris Toledo, Elizabeth Toledo (Winnie), Andrea Toledo-Leyva (Greg) and Pablo Toledo. Hank was blessed with beloved nieces and nephews, 14 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Public Visitation at CARRILLO'S TUCSON MORTUARY, 204 S. Stone Ave. will be Sunday, March 24, 2013, 5:00 p.m. 10:00 p.m., with a Rosary recited at 7:00 p.m. Funeral Mass celebrated at St. Augustine Cathedral, 192 S. Stone Ave., Monday, March 25, 2013 at 10:00 am. In lieu of flowers, donations gratefully accepted for Hispanic Students Endowment Fund, 4905 E. Broadway, Tucson, AZ 85709.
Carrillo's Tucson Mortuary - Tucson
204 S. Stone Ave. Tucson, AZ 85701
Published in the Arizona Daily Star on Mar. 22, 2013