Patrick (Pat) Takasugi, 62, beloved husband, father, son, brother and friend, passed away, surrounded by his loved ones, after courageous battle with a rare appendiceal cancer, pseudomyxoma peritonei, on November 6, 2011. When Pat passed away, he was surrounded by the most important priority in his life, his family.
Pat was born in Brigham City, Utah on June 9th, 1949. His roots in farming began early when he grew up on his father's farm in Wilder. Pat graduated from Vallivue High School and the College of Idaho where he received his B.A. in Political Science. After college he took a path surprising to some, but not to Pat. He volunteered in the U.S. Army. While in the army he continued his pattern of never doing things in a small way. During his military career, he served as an officer in Army intelligence and earned Airborne wings, the Ranger tab and the Special Forces Green Beret. Pat also became certified in several forms of martial arts. He completed his military service as a U.S. Army Captain.
After his military service, Pat pursued his love, farming. He began farming in 1977 on 32 acres in Wilder and ended up farming over 1,500 acres. Early on, Pat became a very active member in public service to the farming community. He deeply respected the farming occupation and understood the challenges facing the farming industry, both locally and internationally. He served in innumerable roles in the Farm Bureau, nationally and locally. He was an officer in many other farm organizations including: Food Producers of Idaho; University of Idaho Agricultural Consulting Council; National Council of Agricultural Employers.
In 1996, Pat was appointed Director of the State of Idaho Department of Agriculture by Governor Phil Batt. Pat continued this role under three governors, serving the state for 10 years. Pat's farming and agricultural advocacy continued while both farming and acting as Director of the Department of Agriculture. He was an active member of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, including roles as the President and serving on the Board of Directors. He was also President and on the Board of Directors of the Western U.S.A. Trade Association. He travelled internationally representing the agriculture industry and the State of Idaho. He was an active member and officer of the U.S. Department of Agriculture & State Committee. Subsequent to his role as Director of the Department of Agriculture, Pat was elected as a State Representative in 2008 representing the 10th district. Pat received innumerable honors and awards during his career as a reflection of his distinguished service.
Throughout Pat's life and busy career in the military, farming and public service, his most important priority was on his family and friends. He was a loving, caring and devoted husband, father, son, brother and friend. Pat married later in life and he always said it took a long time to find the "right person", Suzanne. Suzanne was Pat's best friend in the world, confidante and an incredible mother to their children. Their relationship was built on a deep foundation of love and respect for each other. Suzanne found Pat's dedication and endless involvement in public service activities a wonder and she was always there to provide him the loving support he needed to manage his incredibly busy life. Pat provided a loving and strong and deep foundation for his three children: Taylor, Cole and Paige. He found great joy in his family and referred to his children when they were small as the "little munchkins". He was always available to them, providing deeply felt love, guidance, humor and support. He instilled a strong sense of excellence and integrity in his children and they continue to carry on his legacy. Pat was a wonderful son. He was full of gratitude and appreciation for the loving sacrifices his parents made to ensure all the opportunities of an excellent education were available to him and his sister. He incorporated in his own family and life the integrity, love, humor, standard of excellence and warm family environment his parents provided. As his parents aged, he took wonderful care of them; their best interests and well-being were always in the forefront of his mind. Pat was very close to his younger sister, Colleen. He was the consummate "big brother". He was protective and a mentor to his sister in so many ways. His early record of achievement in school and beyond set a high standard for his sister to follow. He enjoyed making his sister the recipient of his endless sense of humor. They were in constant support of each other and enjoyed a warm and loving relationship. Pat was always there for his loved ones.
Pat had the gift of making friends and was well known for his exuberant personality, wonderful laughter and joy for life. If Pat was in the room, you knew it, whether by his strength of presence or his laughter. He was a person of strong opinions you knew what he believed and trusted him to act with integrity. Pat had a deep and abiding respect for those charged with caring for the public: those in the military; police; firefighters and individuals truly dedicated to public service.
Pat was blessed in so many aspects of his life: a loving family and distinguished career in farming and public service. He was loved by so many whose lives he touched. He will always be remembered with love and great affection. Pat always told his children, "no matter what you do in life, whatever job you have "always, always, make sure you can leave it a better place than you found it". Pat has unquestionably, left this world "a better place".
Pat is survived by his loving wife Suzanne; his precious children Taylor 17, Cole 16, and Paige 13; loving and proud parents, Michio and Ayako Takasugi; and his loving younger sister, Colleen Iwano; Andy Iwano brother-in-law, David Iwano, nephew; Laurie Backes, sister-in-law; Kathy Backes, sister-in-law and Alan Backes, brother-in-law.
The family extends our deepest appreciation for the wonderful care provided by Dr. Dan Zuckerman and staff of MSTI Boise and to his farm managers and friends of 30 years, Raul Luna and Leo Sandoval.
A vigil service will be held at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, November 10th at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church, 1122 West Linden Street, (Farmway & Linden), with visitation beginning at 5:00 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Friday, November 11th at Our Lady of the Valley Church. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Dakan Funeral Chapel, Caldwell. Memories and condolences may be shared with Pat's family in his online tribute at www.dakanfuneralchapel.com.
Published by Idaho Press Tribune on Nov. 9, 2011.