Yamasaki, James Noboru, of Mission Viejo, passed away January 23, 2013, just short of his 90th birthday.|
Jim's eldest son, Craig, said, "My dad was very proud that he was the first Japanese American to graduate from Northwestern University's School of Engineering." Dad was also awarded an honorary degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and the Congressional Gold Medal, for his service in the Military Intelligence, along with others from the 442nd and 100th Infantry Battalions. During the occupation of Japan, my father wrote top secret intelligence reports to General Douglas MacArthur while stationed in Occupied Japan.
"Dad served proudly for the U.S. Army, even while his father died in Gila Bend Relocation Camp in Arizona, and the rest of his family was interned there, during WW II." said Craig, "I feel so very lucky to have had for a Father, someone with his great character and integrity." Mr. Yamasaki served as President of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) during the late 1960s.
Craig added, "Dad's greatest achievements in life include, being a dedicated and great father, and most of all, loving, and being loved by two amazing women; Betty, his wife of over 50 years, and recently Linda Seu, who he was smitten by, when they met at the Gardena Widow and Widower's Association. Dad often remarked to me, how amazed and incredibly lucky he was, that she, "found him". Linda was by his side, and he was surrounded by those who loved him, at his end. I know he died a happy man."
Mr. Yamasaki is survived by his two sons; Craig and Michael; Craig's fiance Glenda Carhart, daughters Christie and Karina, ex-wife, Van Bui, and Michael 's wife Lisette , and daughter Cailley, and by Jim's two sisters, Marika, an actress, who appeared in the original "Hawaii-5-0", living in Hawaii, and Keiko still living in Japan, separated from the family, in early life.
Private family services will be held on March 30th.
Published in Orange County Register on Feb. 23, 2013