Michael Daniel Taketa-Graham August 22, 1954 - June 16, 2013 On Father's Day, Michael Taketa-Graham, age 58, unexpectedly passed away while scuba diving in Monterey, California. Scuba diving was one of his true passions ~ his favorite form of stress-release and relaxation. Mike was the devoted and cherished husband of Teri Taketa-Graham of 33 years. Mike was preceded in death by his beloved son, Stephen Taketa, mother, Marilyn Borstadt Graham, father-in-law, John Taketa and father, Earl Graham. Mike was also the proud exchange student host-father to Joachim Linn of Germany. Mike is survived by his mother-in-law, Teru Taketa of Novato, sisters Patricia Nelson (husband Doshin MJ) and Karlin Young, of Colorado. He has many God-children, nieces and nephews both biological and by choice. Mike's extended family of friends was everything to him as he was to them. Mike did not take friendship lightly. He had the natural ability to befriend people and make them feel comfortable. Along with being a devoted husband, he was also dedicated to his work as a microbiologist at Kaiser Regional Laboratory in Berkeley and owner/operator of Taketa-Graham Properties, LLC. Mike previously worked with the State of California's Department of Health Service as a Public Health Microbiologist (Virology). In his adulthood Mike had an assortment of careers such as ambulance driver, truck driver, carpenter, construction worker, and glazier. Mike served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany. When he was honorably discharged in 1974 he remained in Germany another five years and worked as a civilian for the Department of Defense. This is where he and Teri met and fell in love. Mike, Teri and Stephen made Novato their hometown in 1979. In 1993 when his son died, Mike was determined to pursue a career in medicine. At the age of forty, Mike returned to school with his sights on nursing but made a detour to science and graduated from Sonoma State University with a BS in microbiology. Mike's infectious smile and love of life was immeasurable. He was a kind, loving, loyal, intelligent, inquisitive, caring and giving man. He was a fighter for a cause ~ any cause that needed to be spotlighted not ignored. Enthusiasm, involvement and compassion were engrained in his entire being. He will be missed by so many, including his West Novato neighborhood where he was a familiar figure from daily walks with his dogs, Ozzy, Lola, Phoebe, Hana and his canine princess, Tri-Pod, being pulled in her little red wagon. Some days he would walk as many as eight dogs if he and his wife were puppy-sitting or fostering dogs for the Marin Humane Society. Family and friends are encouraged to perform a good deed in Mike's honor ~ to pay it forward. A celebration of Mike's life will be held during the fourth weekend of August 2013. Specific date and location to be determined and will be announced at a later date.
Published in Marin Independent Journal from June 29 to July 1, 2013