Roy Oyama (1923 - 2015)

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Roy Mitsugu Oyama
January 30, 1923 - January 1, 2015
Roy arrived on this earth January 30, 1923 at Puyallup, Washington and left peacefully surrounded by immediate family on January 1, 2015. He was the son of Johei and Hatsumo Oyama, both originally from Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. The first 10 years of his life were spent in Firwood, Washington. The family then moved to Pacific City, WA for 3 years and finally moved to Auburn, WA in 1936, where he graduated from Auburn High School in 1941.
Upon graduation he worked on the family farm and with the Northern Pacific Railroad until their world was turned upside down on December 7, 1941-the attack on Pearl Harbor. The family was evacuated from Auburn, WA on May 10, 1942 and entered the Pinedale Assembly Center three days later after a long train ride in cattle cars. From the assembly center they were assigned to the Tule Lake War Relocation Center in July of that same year. When Tule Lake was designated as a segregation camp, in October of 1943, the family was forced to move again, this time to the Minidoka War Relocation Center. While incarcerated at these camps he was allowed to leave to go help the local farmers with their harvest.
On April 3, 1945 he was inducted into the United States Army and was shipped overseas to Germany. He served there until he was Honorably Discharged in October 1946 with the rank of Corporal. After the war he worked on various farms in the Treasure Valley.
In February of 1949, he married Noriko Hayashida, whom he had met in the Minidoka Camp and they were able to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary last year. Shortly after their marriage they moved to Chicago, IL where he attended the Commercial Trade Institute to learn auto mechanics. While attending school he worked part-time at E.J. Kahn Co, making toys, such as Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.
Roy and Nori returned to Caldwell in 1950 in anticipation of the birth of their first child, Terry. Subsequently they had two other sons, Alan (1952) and Greg (1953). Roy attended night school at Nampa Business College and worked as a bookkeeper for Nampa Ford Tractors. He started working for the U.S. Postal Service in October of 1954 and held several positions there until he retired as a window clerk in 1983.
After retiring, Roy and Nori were very fortunate to spend time traveling and enjoyed trips to Canada, Mexico, Washington D.C., Florida, Hawaii, and many other interesting places. Roy was also an avid bowler and was a member of the Caldwell Bowl Senior League until the time of his death. He also enjoyed pheasant hunting, fishing, golfing, and playing cards.
Roy was a member of the Idaho Oregon Buddhist Temple, active in their Nikkei-jin-kai and helped with their annual Bazaars and Obon Festivals. He was also a member of the Boise Valley Chapter of the Japanese American Citizen's League (1,000 Club member) and a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Roy was very proud of his children, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren and enjoyed attending whatever activities they were involved in.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Nori, father Johei, mother, Hatsumo, and brothers, Takeo, Takao and Noboru James. He is survived by his 3 sons and their wives, Terry and Kathleen of Aloha, Oregon, Alan of Caldwell, Idaho, and Greg and Laraina of Meridian, Idaho. He is also survived by his sister Chizuru Katherine Hirai of Caldwell, four grandchildren and their families, Kyle and Michelle (Shelby and Jacob) of Oregonia, Ohio, Todd and Mandy (Lucy, Carson, and Graham) of Pendleton, Oregon, Jennifer (Sabrina) Sirani of Meridian, Idaho, and Autumn of Salmon, Idaho and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff at St. Luke's Hospital in Meridian who did everything possible to make Roy's final hours as comfortable as possible.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 10th at 11:00 am at Dakan's Funeral Chapel at 504 So. Kimball Avenue in Caldwell, Idaho
Condolences and memories may be shared at


Funeral Home
Dakan Funeral Chapel
504 South Kimball Avenue
Caldwell, ID 83605
(208) 459-3629
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Published in Idaho Press Tribune on Jan. 5, 2015
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