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Tanaka, Henry "Hank" - Oxnard  
Henry "Hank" Tanaka Oxnard, CA Henry Tanaka passed away peacefully at home with his family by his side on July 20, 2016. He was born on December 12, 1921 in San Fernando, CA to Heijiro and Shima Tanaka. Hank was the oldest of eight children; five boys and three girls. The family farmed in the San Fernando Valley growing vegetables. In 1927, they moved to the Venice area to continue farming. This is where Hank attended high school and graduated from Venice High. In 1942, the family was sent first to the Manzanar relocation camp and then to Tule Lake. Hank, his brother Shigeo, and his father were moved again to Bismarck, North Dakota. After the war ended in 1946, the family returned to Venice where the sons joined Heijiro in the farming business. In 1950, Hank met Michiko Kikumoto and they were married on January 2, 1951. They had three children; Deanna, Stanley, and Larry. The family decided to relocate in 1951 to farm in Oxnard. They set up their home ranch, Tanaka Brothers, on Patterson Road and grew celery, tomatoes, peppers, romaine, and cucumbers. He retired from Tanaka Brothers and worked for Western Farm Service for several years. During his youth, Hank enjoyed judo and baseball. He earned a black belt and later became an instructor in Oxnard. Stan and Larry joined him at the dojo learning judo. Hank also became active with the Oxnard Buddhist Temple by giving his time to many jobs and projects. He also spent hours working on his bonsai plants as well as keeping the temple trees looking nice. At the temple he coordinated many trips to Las Vegas. Hank organized plenty of fun bus trips to the Fremont Casino for the church members. He and Mickey volunteered at the 1986 Olympics working at Lake Casitas. Hank loved to fish and took the family on summer camping and fishing trips throughout the western states. He enjoyed deep sea fishing as well and took many trips with this brothers, nephews, and sons. He and Mickey traveled to Japan, Europe, and many U.S. states. Hank will always be remembered for his friendliness, ready smile, and funny stories. He is survived by his daughter Deanna Sakai, sons Stanley (Joy) Tanaka, Larry (Sue) Tanaka, five grandchildren - Amber, Jamee, and Scott Sakai, and Michelle and Cindy Tanaka, and two great grandchildren - Kingston and Paisley Sakai. His siblings are Teruo Tanaka, Akira Tanaka, Hideko Kanamori, and Misako Burton. Hank was preceded in death by his wife Mickey, parents, parents-in-law Kyujiro and Tsune Kikumoto, brothers Shigeo and Tadao, sister Chizuko, sisters-in-law Barbara Tanaka and Kiyoko Tanaka, and brothers-in-law Masaru Abe, Nick Nakano, Toru Nakahara, and Todd Nishina. Thank you to his wonderful caregivers Amy and Christy, who were so caring, patient, and attentive. Thank you to Tina and Sheila, nurses from Buena Vista, who were kind, professional and compassionate. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Oxnard Buddhist Temple or to the Buena Vista Butterfly Foundation, 143 Triunfo Canyon Road, #103, Westlake Village, CA 91361. A memorial service is planned for Saturday, August 20th at 10:00 AM at the Oxnard Buddhist Temple located at 250 South H Street, Oxnard. (213) 626-0441
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Published in Ventura County Star from Aug. 14 to Aug. 18, 2016
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