August 30, 1925 - April 7, 2014 Masaru Usui, 88, passed away of pancreatic cancer at home with his son Ray and daughter Sandy by his side. He is also survived by son David and many relatives and friends. He was predeceased by his beloved wife of 58 years, Mitsuko Bessie, daughter Carol Ann, and siblings, sister Shim and brothers Tatsuo and Mitsuo. Mas was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. He and his siblings helped with the family's nursery business. Their lives were interrupted when all Americans of Japanese descent were forced to relocate to one of the desert internment camps during WWII due to racial prejudice. They were first sent to the Santa Anita Race Track stalls for assignment and then to Amache, CO where Mas spent his high school years behind barbed wire. He went on to serve honorably in the US Army with lifelong friends Kaz Tanizawa and Hank Mayeda. He married the love of his life, Mitsuko Bessie, in 1949 and had four children. His life had many challenges, but he managed to have a very successful marriage, his own chrome plating business, and all four children graduated universities and had successful careers. In retirement, he and Bessie enjoyed reading mystery novels and visiting casinos in Laughlin, NV and CA. They also found pleasure in family gatherings, poker nights with Sho, Mary, Toll, and George, and occasional visits to Del Mar Race Track. After Bessie's passing in 2008, ironically on the same day and month, he continued to live simply and be self reliant. He enjoyed trips to Monterey, CA, Las Vegas, and casinos in CA. We would like to extend our appreciation to Sue Kaisaki for her kindness and friendship to Dad these last five years. There will be no memorial service as per his request. Dad was humble; a good and decent man who worked hard his whole life and didn't believe in a lot of fanfare. He is remembered for his family devotion, amazing memory, good sense of humor (which came through even in the last days), integrity, strength, and for being the best husband in the world. We will miss him greatly. Be at peace, Dad www.fukuimortuary.com (213) 626-0441
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Published in the Los Angeles Times on Apr. 20, 2014