Shuzo Chris Kato
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Shuzo Chris KATO December 8, 1926 ~ February 7, 2012 Shuzo Chris Kato passed away peacefully on February 7, 2012 at the age of 85 after a battle with cancer. During WWII, his family was sent to Minidoka Relocation Center in Hunt, ID. Shuzo graduated high school while in camp from Hunt High. He served in the Army from 1945-1947. Shuzo attended Bethel College and the University of Washington where he majored in Engineering. He married Jean Kawachi in 1958 and they raised their family in Seattle. He earned a Masters degree in Chemistry from Oregon State University and his Administrator credentials from Seattle University. An avid judoist and sensei, Shuzo did judo for 60 years and taught judo for 43 years, winning a National Judo Championship in 1957 and earning a 7th degree black belt. He began his teaching career with the Seattle School District in 1953. He taught at Denny Jr. High, Mercer Jr. High and Queen Anne High. He was a Vice Principal at Sharples Jr. High and at Cleveland High. He retired as Principal of Chief Sealth High after 36 years in education. Shuzo was well known for his artistic talent, Japanese cooking and love of a good bargain. He enjoyed traveling, spending time with friends and family, cheering on his grand-children at events, rooting for Seattle sports teams and trying his luck at the local casinos. Shuzo was preceded in death by his parents and 5 brothers. He is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Jean; son, Kent (Bonita); daughters, Cindi (Rick) Kato-Yokoyama, Diana (Steve) Celle, Rose (Lance) Gyotoku; seven grandchildren, Kayla, Kelsey, Kai, Staci, Kyle, Dillon and Paige; brother, Hideo (Janet); sister-in-law, Lillian; numerous nieces and nephews, and relatives in Japan. Shuzo was deeply loved and will be greatly missed. A memorial service in celebration of Shuzo's life will be held on Saturday, February 25 at 2:00p.m. at Blaine Memorial United Methodist Church (3001 24th Ave. S., Seattle, WA, 98144). In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Blaine Memorial United Methodist Church. You may also share your memories of Shuzo by visiting the online guestbook at

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Published in The Seattle Times on Feb. 19, 2012.
Memories & Condolences
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27 entries
February 27, 2012
So sorry to hear about Chris' passing. As a young teacher, he was a mentor and a role model for so many of us...he taught us the way. Caring, tough, gentle, big heart, responsible, accountable, compassionate, determined, difference maker - these are the words Chris taught us through his actions. He will be missed but not fogotten for the things he taught us will be passed on. Condolences for the empty place he has left in your lives. May the angels comfort you and the Lord bring you peace.
Tom Champoux
February 25, 2012
Jean, Cindi, Kent, Diane, & Rose,
On behalf of Washington State Judo, Inc, our condolences to the Kato Family. He was a mentor and very good Judo Sensei..Past President of Washington Judo, Inc,; Seattle Dojo, Inc.; Puget Sound Yudanshakai. He will be dearly missed by all the judoka's he has taught.

Harold Yamada
Vice President, Washington Judo, Inc
February 24, 2012
Dear Kato Family,
I was saddened to hear of the passing of Chris. I had the opportunity to work with him at Cleveland High School when he was the Vice Principal and I was a teacher and Football Coach. I really had a great respect for him. He was very supportive whenever you needed it and was a man of character and integrity. I will always remember the good times we had together at Cleveland High. God Bless you and your family.
Jim Sampson
February 23, 2012

Dear Kato family , my heart goes out to you in your time of need. As a alumni of Chief Sealth high school class of 1988. Mr. Kato was very influential in my graduation. I am so sorry for your loss. I know I would not be the woman that I am today without his guidance and caring. The whole village feels the loss of a great Chief.
Kimberly Dixon
February 22, 2012
Our condolences to the Kato family for your loss. Thank you Chris for being a part of our family and life, you'll be in our hearts and memories.
Susie Hioki Dunn and Bob Dunn
February 22, 2012
My deepest condolences to Mr. Kato's family at this hard time. Mr. Kato was a very strong male mentor to me. We had a lot of talks about respect and my attitude. I looked up to Mr. Kato and his way of letting you know he was in charge, but still really caring about you. Working in the phones by his office I was a witness to his jokes and sense of humor. I will miss him and I want to thank him for all his help in getting me on the right track to being the good person I am today. HE will be missed.
Lucy Pastorelli/Rowe
February 21, 2012
To the Kato Family,

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. May you be surrounded by many loved ones & peace. Thank you Mr. Kato for making me feel safe at school.
Lori Lau
February 21, 2012
Chris Kato was my chemistry teacher at Queen Anne High School in 1959-60. Although I didn't do well in the class, it remains one of my best remembered classes, as much due to his ability as a teacher and a man with a love of whimsy. To this day, i still remember more of the periodic table and various chemical combinations than I remember other material from "easier" classes. I was very glad to have rekindled an acquaintance with the Katos at our semi-annual alumni dinners and luncheons. Chris fought nobly the cancer which eventually claimed his life. He left behind a legacy in the number of students who remember his classes fondly. Kim R. Turner, Queen Anne High School ,61.
February 20, 2012
Thank you very much for your guidance. You will be happy to know I share to this day with my kids the knowledge you have shared with me about life. Have a wonderful trip home. To Mrs. Kato and family, i offer my condolences. It was an honor to have known him. CSHS 88
Kenny Keni
February 20, 2012
Mr. Kato was my mentor at Queen Anne High School and inspiraton for me to major in chemistry in college. He introduced me to science and led to an eventual career in medicine. My heartfelt condolences to the family. Mr. Kato was a great man who touched the lives of many. J. Robert Clark, MD (Bellevue, WA, QAHS '65)
February 20, 2012
Deepest condolences to the Kato family. I (and all who had the privilege to be under his tutelage) am more for he having lived and are less for his passing. Godspeed you Mr. Kato. Thank you for your service and dedication.
John Eastman -CSHS 86
February 20, 2012
February 20, 2012
Mr. Kato you were a rarity. You will truly be missed. I have always thought about you and Mrs. Kato with great fondness. Mrs. Kato, I am so sorry for your loss.
Mya Boggs (Knight)
February 20, 2012
You will always be remembered.
Sandra Ott
February 19, 2012
My condolences to the family, I am so sorry for your loss. Principal Kato was really a wonderful man & he will be remembered well for years to come. For me it meant a lot in high school to have a principal who appreciated both art and the marching band...two things that I loved in high school. (class of 1986)
Tina Gibson
February 19, 2012
Mr.Kato will be be greatly missed, he had a great influence on many of our lives.
Julie Barnett
February 19, 2012
A genuinely kind spirit and an involved and giving principal. Never did he turn me away, even when he was on his way out or off to a meeting... It was always, "walk with me." I've thought of him often over the years, and am so glad to know he was living a happy and fulfilling life. Prayers for the family cause you're leaving a big void Sir...
Karen Dimmitt
February 19, 2012
Our condolences to the Kato family with rememberance and prayers in Christian love. May God's peace and comfort be felt in the midst of sorrow.
Henry & Asa Shen
February 19, 2012
god bless you mr. kato. you made an impact on all our lives. thank u for sharing your life and educating us in scholastics as well as life. ur wife and and you have been a blessing since i was 6 yrs old, thank you Chris and Jean Kato.
Fe Ibarra-Solano
February 19, 2012
Our deepest sympathy to the family! Principal Kato will be always remembered in our hearts!!!
Chief Sealth High School 1987
Maefe (Laranang) Nunez
February 19, 2012
Dear Kato family,
As the parent of 2 Chief Sealth graduates(Joe Eliasen '87 and Sean Eliasen '89)I just wanted you to know how respected Mr. Kato was and is. He made school a place that kids could come to and have someone to be on their side if they were right and to help them over the hump if they had problems. I will never forget him outside painting over the graffiti that plagued the school back in that day. He was a true and faithful servant! God bless!
Laurie Eliasen
February 19, 2012
To you Mr kato
Jeff Jacroux
February 19, 2012
Dear Mrs. Kato and family,
My condolences for your loss. I, too, was honored to be in Mr. Kato's Chemistry class where I learned a great deal more than chemistry. He gave me the first (and only) C grade that I ever received and my response was to want to quit chemistry. Instead, he met with me (and my mother) and encouraged me to persevere. He taught me that my "failure" was an opportunity to prove him wrong. Being an arrogant teenager, that was all that I needed and I earned an A in the second semester. His class fully prepared me for the chemistry classes I took at the UW, which was the exception rather than the rule. He was, simply, a great teacher and an insightful and caring man. I feel privileged to have been one of his students.
Suzanne Domnick Metcalf
Queen Anne High School
Class of 1961
Suzanne Metcalf
February 19, 2012
Thank you for giving so many years to the Seattle Public Schools. You were a role model for many of us students of color at Chief Sealth who are educators now. Thank you Mr. Kato. I will always remember you with respect and honor.
Maria Osses-Watson
February 19, 2012
He was a Great and Caring Man and will be greatly missed. Thank You Mr. Kato
Ryan Wilt
February 19, 2012
Dear Mrs. Kato and Family:

I was honored to be in Mr. Kato's Chemistry class at Queen Anne High School in 1959-60. He was the best science teacher I ever had and among the most brilliant of all faculty members anywhere. He was young, dynamic, and one of those World War II era veterans who went into teaching and made the Seattle Public Schools among the best and most dynamic in the nation while they were still teaching and serving as administrators.

I was always thrilled to visit with Mr. Kato at the many Queen Anne high reunions he attended and am saddened to learn of this great loss. He was among the best of a great, never to be forgotten generation.

Donald P. Lorentz
Donald Lorentz
February 19, 2012
One of too few teachers that taught "accountability".
Thanks for the lessons!
John Hardman
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