Itsuo Uenaka
1929 - 2021
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Itsuo Uenaka
May 10, 1929 – March 17, 2021
Resident of Los Gatos
Itsuo Uenaka (Its) of Cupertino, Saratoga and Los Gatos, CA passed away peacefully on March 17. He was preceded in death by Marian Uenaka, his wife of 66 years. He leaves behind his loving family Barbara Uenaka (John Jow, son Brian), Gerry Uenaka (Charlene, daughters Emi Di Piero (Tony) and Laurel Larraux(Todd) and Bob Uenaka (Kathlynn, son Brandon and daughters, Miya and Kimi) as well as three great-grandchildren, Logan, Camryn and Mayer. Its also leaves behind his younger brother Paul (Norma) and brother Kenji (Taeko, in Japan).
Itsuo was born in San Jose and raised in Hayward before being interned at Topaz, Utah and Tule Lake, CA from 1942 - 1945. After the war, the family resettled in Cupertino and soon began Cupertino Nursery & Florist. Itsuo served with the US Army during the Korean war, and returned to join the family nursery business in Cupertino. Its earned an AA degree in Horticulture from San Francisco City College and followed this with a BA in Business from San Jose State – all while raising a growing family and running the new nursery. Managing a successful business and serving the Cupertino community were important concerns for Its and he dedicated his boundless energy to both. He was elected as the third President of the Cupertino Rotary Club in 1957, President of the California Association of Nurserymen in 1967, and President of the American Association of Nurserymen in 1977. Later in life, Itsuo found the time to travel the world with Marian, and they enjoyed exploring far and wide. Golf also became a passion for the happy couple at the Almaden Country Club. Between travels and golf, Marian and Its always treasured the time spent with their children, grandkids and friends. Dad, Grandpa, brother or colleague, Itsuo will be deeply missed by us all.
Observing covid guidelines, the service and burial for Itsuo will be limited to family members. In lieu of koden or flowers, donations may be made online at: San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin – Special Services Memorial "In memory of Itsuo Uenaka".

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Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Apr. 11, 2021.
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