Kenneth Kazuo Tagami Jr.
1945 - 2019
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Kenneth Kazuo Tagami, Jr. September 25, 1945 - June 7, San Diego On Friday, June 7th, 2019, Kenneth Kazuo Tagami, Jr., aged 73, passed away due to heart failure. He was born to Kenneth and Kazu Tagami in Minneapolis, MN on September 25, 1945. In 1959, the family moved to San Diego, where Ken attended Marston Junior High and graduated from Clairemont High School in 1965. He went on to Mesa College and studied music.Ken had a fierce, indomitable spirit and a robust sense of adventure. He joined up with People in the late 60s, touring all over the U.S. Their message of breaking down cultural barriers and creating global understanding through volunteer service and musical performance was resonant for him. These were ideals he carried with him throughout his life. Ken became a ham radio operator and was thus able to reach out to people all over the world, whenever he wanted, free of things like long distance charges or phone lines. As an avid Ham radio operator, he used these skills to help with Special Olympics, CERT (Civilian Emergency Response Team) which provided backup communication for the Fire Department and ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Services). He also helped many people become ham operators by having classes and administering the Ham operator tests.Ken was a member of the Associated Glider Clubs of Southern California participating in the security at events and as a crewmember on long-distance flights of the sailplanes.He took up cycling, winding his way to Oceanside, Julian, and other outlying areas.Ken was an incredibly gifted musician- he could play any string instrument and displayed these skills as a 4' 11 " Bluegrass musician. He played classical, steel and 12 string guitars, Mandolins, banjo and a stand-up Bass that was taller than him. He also gave music lessons. He was a member of Emma's Gutbucket Band participating in performances and was one of the sponsors of the first Summergrass, an annual Bluegrass Festival in Julian, CA.Ken was a strong-willed, cantankerous, ornery cuss, as well as a soft-hearted, kind, generous man with a huge smile and a certain kind of expansiveness. He loved recounting the stories of his adventures, of which he'd had many. He was small in size but had an enormous presence and touched a lot of people. He will be missed.A Celebration of Life for Ken will be on July 7th, 2019, at the South Clairemont Recreation Center, 3605 Clairemont Dr., San Diego, California, 92117, from 11 AM to 3 PM. Bring your stories to share.Cards can be sent to: Star Residential- Ken Tagami, 4469 Robbins St., San Diego, CA 92122.

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Published in San Diego Union-Tribune on Jun. 30, 2019.
Celebration of Life
11:00 - 03:00 PM
Memories & Condolences
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2 entries
July 5, 2019
I have known Ken since Marston. Loss of a great human being.
Paul Wittmann
July 4, 2019
Ken Tagami and I became close friends when we attended Clairemont High School. We spent many happy hours singing and playing folk music together. Ken and I loved the music of the Kingston Trio and we even performed at several events. Ken had an energy and enthusiasm for life that was contagious. We practiced and performed many songs, including "The New Frontier." This song symbolized the spirit of the time and our optimism for a brighter future. Although Ken and I lost touch after graduation from high school, I have thought of him often. His love of life and music certainly enriched my life.
David Warren
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