Dr. John M. Chikuma, 88, of Brighton, passed away peacefully June 16, 2013. He was born Jan. 13, 1925, on a farm north of Brighton.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Emi, parents Gotaro and Yoshi Chikuma, and siblings Harry (Mary) Chikuma, Inez (George) Yamasaki, Sam Chikuma, Bill (Chizuru) Chikuma, and Ruth (Dave) Shimizu. He leaves his children Carolyn (Doug) Matsui and their children Ross and Courtney; Gary and step-daughter Ashley (Steve) Hinerman and their children Kaylin and Nolan; Joan and (Dave) Knoop and their children Kyle (Taylor) and Stacie; Bruce; and Joyce (Cris) Chikuma-Reyns and their children Isao and Elise, and his sisters-in-law Josephine Chikuma and Michi Chikuma.
He graduated from Ft. Lupton High School in 1942, the University of Colorado in 1945, and the University of Kansas City in 1949 with a Doctorate of Dental Surgery. He opened his first dental office in the Nitske building in 1949. John and Emi were married Feb. 4, 1950.
During the Korean War John was inducted into the military service and closed his dental practice. He reported in 1953 to Gunter Air Force Base for training then he was stationed at Brooke Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas for 2 years of active duty with the US Air Force Medical Service as a Captain. He was also stationed at Miami Air Force Base when he visited Cuba. John learned to play golf while in the service and enjoyed the game. In 1955 he was discharged from the service and reopened his dental practice in 1956. He practiced at 75 South 4th Avenue until he retired in 1993. He was always supportive of Emi's activities and hobbies. He loved to shop with Emi and had a knack for finding "the unique gift." He enjoyed matsutake hunting, gold casting, gardening where his lawn was his pride and joy, bowling, golfing, ballroom dancing, bridge, and travelling with his family during school breaks. He was involved with the Brighton Japanese American Association, Brighton Optimist Club, Brighton Rotary Club, Brighton Chamber of Commerce, BJAA Bowling Association, Adams County Men's Golf Association, Mile High Golf Club, Japanese American Citizens League. John had his own special way of doing most things, always willing to pass on his methods and reasons. He put great appreciation in the finer details, a practice that permeated through all aspects of his life. He was a fantastic cook, his turkeys at Thanksgiving and Christmas were so moist and his prime rib was the best. He prided himself on always picking the best and most delicious fruits and vegetables to share with his family and friends, a special skill his family could never truly match. He loved spending time at the farm; regular trips there brought him great joy.
Memorial Services were held June 22, 2013. Tabor-Rice Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Published in Brighton Standard Blade on July 4, 2013