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James "Jim" Urata

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James "Jim" Urata
Passed away quietly at home on February 21 at the age of 93. Born in Los Angeles, he moved to San Diego in 1940 where he met Haruko "Helen" Kawamoto. They married in 1943 in the Poston Internment Camp. He entered the Army, trained as a linguist in the Military Intelligence Service and served in Japan as part of the Occupation Forces.
Jim graduated from Cal State San Diego, was an industrial arts teacher and later moved to California State University, San Bernardino where he was the original Building Coordinator and eventually the Director of Administrative Affairs.
As a member of the community and an ambassador for the college, Jim became active in organizations such as the board of the San Bernardino Water Commission and served on and became president of boards of directors for the Kiwanis Club, Metropolitan YMCA, Scholarship Association, and the Japanese American Citizens League's Riverside Chapter In 1985 the League of Women Voters recognized him as one of the Citizens of Achievement. He was active in the First Congregational United Church of Christ and created many woodworking projects for it. His true passion was for woodworking, which provided his family with many beautiful and useful pieces they continue to treasure.
Jim is survived by his loving wife Helen, daughters Phyllis (Dr. Gregory) Hiura, Emily (David) Kemper, son Douglas (Alice) Urata, five grandchildren, and eleven great-grand- children.
For information on the memorial service and plans for donations, please email djurata@gmail.com or call/text (310) 650-9861.
Published in San Bernardino Sun on Mar. 5, 2014
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