Dr. Taira Fukushima

Dr. Taira Fukushima
1926 ~ 2013
Dr. Taira Fukushima passed away Saturday May 18, 2013, in Monterey Park, California. He was born February 8, 1926, in Los Angeles, California, the youngest child of Buntaro and Maru Tateyama Fukushima.
He graduated from Manzanar High in 1944 which was in the Manzanar Relocation Center. Shortly after, he was drafted into the US Army. Prior to leaving to serve overseas, he met the love of his life, Nobuko Okumura. He served during World War II in France and Italy as a combat medic in the all Japanese 442nd Regimental Combat Team. This Unit and the all Japanese 100th Infantry and Military Intelligence Service collectively received a Congressional Gold Medal in 2011, the nation's highest civilian honor. Taira was also awarded the Bronze Star.
After the war, he relocated to Salt Lake City to be with his beloved Nobuko. They were married July 1, 1949.
Taira received his BS, MS and M.D. from the University of Utah and an MPH from the University of California, Berkeley.
He spent his professional career working in Public Health, as the Epidemiologist for the Utah State Health Department and was a Public Health Officer for Seattle-King County, WA and Jackson County, OR.
Taira enjoyed working in his garden and traveling with Nobie. He also enjoyed trips to Wendover and cheering for the Utah Jazz and Utah Utes. He spent his leisure time working on the computer, enjoying a good cigar and working Sudoku puzzles.
Taira was preceded in death by his parents, wife, daughter Beverly, and brothers Hikaru James and Tadashi. He is survived by his companion Abby (Kitty), son Steven (Susan). sister Fumiko Makihara, sisters-in-law Shigeko Fukushima, Mary Okumura, Fusako Nakayu, Tetsuko Aramaki, Marilyn Okumura, Connie Okumura, Carolyn Reiko Okumura, Joann Okumura, brothers-in-law Yuji Okumura, Saburo Okumura, Kiyo Nakayu and many nieces and nephews.
He will be missed by everyone who knew him, including the deer at Mount Olivet who enjoyed the flowers he frequently brought for loved ones.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, May 30, Noon at Deseret Mortuary, 36 East 700 South. Viewings will be Wednesday from 6-8 pm and one hour prior to the service also at the mortuary. Interment, Mount Olivet Cemetery.
You can honor Dad, by performing a kind deed for someone or plant and nurture a rose bush in your garden. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.memorialutah.com, Funeral Directors Deseret Mortuary.


Published in Salt Lake Tribune from May 26 to May 29, 2013