Doctor Daniel Watanabe
1929 - 2014
Daniel Hiroshi Watanabe
Daniel Hiroshi Watanabe, age 85, died in Houston on December 28, 2014.
Born August 6th, 1929, in Los Angeles, CA, to Takeo and Tai Iwasaki Watanabe, he moved to Japan at the age of 6. While still in Japan, he joined the US Army and served as a Military Intelligence Translator in Occupied Japan and the Korean War.
He returned to the US and received a BS in Bacteriology at Penn State, a MS in Microbiology at UC Berkley, and a PhD in Virology at SUNY Upstate Medical University. In 1964, he married Akiko Ito. They lived in Berkley, Albany, Syracuse, Des Moines, Mt. Kisco, Hartsdale, and finally settled in Houston. Dr. Watanabe was a research scientist at Westchester Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine. He took great joy in teaching Biology and Microbiology to the students of Houston Community College. He shared his knowledge of Japanese Language and Culture with countless enthusiasts. And, he worked as a translator of Japanese and English.
He dedicated his life to bridging cultures in the Asian American Community; especially between the two countries he held dearest, the United States and Japan. He served as past presidents of Japan-America Society of Houston and Japanese American Citizens League Houston Chapter.
Dr. Watanabe is survived by his wife Akiko, daughter Midori Hargrove, son Fujio and granddaughters Alison, Reina & Naomi Watanabe.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, January 24, 2015, at Asia Society Texas Center, 1370 Southmore Boulevard, Houston, TX 77004 at 10:00 A.M. In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to the Japan-America Society of Houston's Houston-Chiba Sister City Student Exchange Program.
Published by Houston Chronicle on Jan. 15, 2015.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
Celebration of Life
Asia Society Texas Center
1370 Southmore Boulevard, Houston, TX
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18 Entries
Just found this searching for Daniel and Akiko. I recently found a small wooden doll commemorating the birth of Fujio from when we all lived in Rensselaer, NY. It brought back wonderful memories of our short time together. I am so sorry that we lost touch over the decades. Hope this finds the rest of the family well. My deepest sympathy on the loss of someone who's company I so enjoyed for a much too short of time.
Steven Setless
July 15, 2021
Dear Akiko, Fujio, Midori and Families,
Today is the first time reading my sister Tina's 1/27/2015 email regarding your dad's passing. (Shame on me.)
He was certainly a wonderful husband, dad and generous person. He was so very proud of all of you.
In the early fifties Daniel came to visit our family in PA when I was only 7 years old. We weren't able to see him very often. He always was close to my mom and she would keep us up on his many interests (and many moves with your mom the on to your lives in Houston). We did call each other now and again. I have wondered for quite a while why he had not been communicating. There was a special rapport we shared.
Blessings to you all. With a sadden heart I send along my condolences. Uncle Daniel has gone to be with our Lord and he will watch over you.
Emi(Iwasaki Ellwood)
Emi Ellwood (Iwasaki-Tetsuo and Michi)
September 11, 2015
I had the privilege to be Dr.Watanabe student at HCC during fall 2009, he was a great professor and human being. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.
Idania Alfonso
March 3, 2015
Hi Fujio, I regret that I was unable to attend the celebration of life for your father Dr. Watanabe. I would like to offer my sincere condolences to you and your family. My prayers are with you.

Peace be with you,

January 25, 2015
My deepest condolences on the loss of a great man,He was kind,humble,
knowledgeable&compassionate.He is
greatly loved and missed.
Lackana Puthaaroon
January 22, 2015
Hello Mr. Fujio Watanabe,

My name is Mary Ohno, living in Tacoma, Washington. I've just received your email and made me so surprised that your father Mr. Daniel Watanabe had passed away. Please accept my deepest condolence to your family.

I've been knowing him since 1988. I've received his email, exactly one year ago, Dec. 29, 2013 (I attached below) and we're looking forward to meeting again someday in the future. I couldn't believe, one year later, he is in God's hand.
I wish I could come to his Celebration of his Life but I live in west coast Tacoma, WA (40mils south of Seattle), please forgive me not being able to fly. But I'll send flower to you.

How is your mother, Akiko san. Please give her a big hug for me. I really miss your father, Watanabe san.

God bless you,
Mary M Ohno
Mary Ohno
January 21, 2015
I was privileged to know Daniel for the 14 years that I lived in Houston through our joint membership in SIETAR (Society for Intercultural Education Training and Research). He was a valuable member both wise and compassionate and it was a pleasure to know him.
January 21, 2015
I enjoyed talking to Dr. Watanabe and his wife at the Japanese language meetup. I will remember him as a kind and unjudging man. Though, I am surprised to see his impressive past. So, I guess it is safe to say that he was also humble. I offer my condolences to his family and close friends.
Tim Maxwell
January 21, 2015
Dr. Watanabe was a great friend of the WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival for more than 20 years, a member of the Board of Advisors, and a wonderful host of our VIP Japanese filmmakers that attended the film festival each year. He and Akiko were always a warm and gracious presence at the festival and he will be greatly missed. Our warmest wishes and condolences to Akiko and his family. He will be greatly missed by all of us at Team WorldFest. Hunter & Kathy Todd
January 21, 2015
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January 19, 2015
The Watanabe family have been our neighbors for almost 36 years! He was always very nice and a considerate neighbor. My heart goes out to Akiko, Fujio, Midori and the granddaughters. You will be missed! The Rogers Family
January 19, 2015
I have the highest regards for the accomplishments of Dr. Watanabe, and also the fact that he was the most outstanding ambassador Japan could ever hope for.
As a man, always gracious and welcoming, giving opportunities to others.
January 18, 2015
Dr. Watanebe loved to hear ppl singing Japanese Enka (folk songs) at the Karaoke bar. He enjoyed the conversation more than the singing as I recalled. He will always be a lovable uncle in my heart.
Louise Mori
January 18, 2015
When I came to Houston from Japan 23 years ago, I met Dr. Watanabe and his wife Akiko san at Nihongo Benkyo no Kai at Tokyo Garden. He was so kind, full of joy and made me feel welcomed and at home right away. I will always remember him and my heart goes out to Akiko san and surviving family members.
Nobuhiko Shoga
January 16, 2015
As a co-worker at Houston Community College, I admired his passion for teaching students. He was a gentleman and I will always remember his happy face. My prayers for his wife and other family members.
Jyoti Wagle
January 16, 2015
A very good man, I will remember his humor.
Bernard Gor
January 16, 2015
j law
January 15, 2015
lust for life-Danny loved to eat,loved discuss his favorite subject and often enlighten us with a hearty warm laugh,we will miss him dearly
j law
January 15, 2015
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