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William Kajikawa

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William Kajikawa Obituary
Kajikawa, William
William (Bill) "Kaji" Kajikawa, a legendary former football, basketball and baseball coach at Arizona State, passed away Monday morning, February 15, 2010. Kajikawa began his coaching career at Arizona State in 1937 and retired from ASU in 1978. He began coaching the Arizona State Teacher's College freshman football team in 1937, when the players were known as the Bulldogs. Before retiring in 1978, Kajikawa had worked as the freshman football coach under nine ASU head football coaches. In addition, he served as head basketball coach from 1948 to 1957, and he was head coach of ASU's club baseball team from 1947 to 1957. He was inducted into the Arizona Basketball Hall of Fame in 1968 and the ASU Hall of Distinction in 1982. During World War II, Kajikawa took his only hiatus from ASU to serve with distinction in the Army's 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The 442nd, manned entirely by Japanese Americans, was the Army's most decorated combat unit. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees in education from ASU in 1937 and 1948, respectively, and he played on the varsity football team while he was an undergraduate. Kajikawa received an honorary doctor of laws degree from ASU during the summer 1989 commencement ceremony. Kajikawa, who was a professor emeritus of physical education at ASU, was recognized on April 6, 1995, in a ceremony that named the Sun Devil football practice field The Bill Kajikawa Practice Facility. He was inducted into the Arizona Historymakers. A Tempe resident, Kajikawa also devoted countless hours to community service. For his work, the American Legion selected him in 1976 for the Americanism Award for service to young people. He and his late wife, Margaret, were honored with numerous community appreciation awards, including the Dorothy Mitchell Humanitarian Award from Tri-City Catholic Social Service and the Don Carlos Award from the Tempe Community Council. Also, they received the Award of Excellence from the ASU Alumni Association. He is preceded in death by his wife Margaret. He is survived by his daughters, Christine Kajikawa Wilkinson and Carol O'Connell; brothers Fred Kajikawa and Jimmy Fukumoto; son-in-law Don Wilkinson and George O' Connell; grandchildren Kendyl Richardson and Ryan O'Connell; great granddaughters Addison and Sienna Richardson. Visitation will be Friday, February 19 from 5 to 7pm at Carr-Tenney Mortuary, 2621 S. Rural Rd. Tempe, Arizona. The Memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, Feb
ruary 20 at 11am at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 2121 S. Rural Rd. Tempe, Arizona. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the ASU Foundation for the Kajikawa Leadership Scholarship.
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Published in The Arizona Republic on Feb. 17, 2010
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