Chris Shinya Tomine
1944 - 2021
Sunset Lawn Chapel of the Chimes & Memorial Park
4701 Marysville Boulevard
Sacramento, CA
Chris Shinya Tomine

Chris Shinya Tomine passed away on June 10, 2021. Chris was born March 15th, 1944 at the Tule Lake Relocation Center in Northern California. He grew up in Alameda, California, attending elementary and high school there, with fond memories of playing at McKinley Park, across the street from the Tomine house, with his brother, Eugene and sisters, Naomi and Amy. Chris was an exceptional student, skipping several grades and starting at the University of California, Berkeley, when he was just 16-years old.

He went on to earn a Masters Degree in Physics, and later, a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Oregon State University.

Professionally, he spent his entire career at California State University, Sacramento, starting in 1970 as a Professor of Engineering, then becoming Civil Engineering Department Chair, Interim Chair of Asian American Studies, and Associate Vice President of the university. He retired in 2008.

More than just the math nerd he often claimed to be, Chris also excelled in the arts. He was a skilled musician who played guitar and sang for family, friends and with a band at gigs around Northern California. He also designed posters, cards, banners and t-shirts for many different organizations and events, including the Buddhist Temple of Alameda's bazaar and Obon festival, the San Francisco Japantown Mall and the Bainbridge Island Blueberry Company.

Chris was also known far and wide for his chef skills in the kitchen, and an ability to fix almost anything mechanical. He brought his engineering side and artisitic side together with a collection of handmade furniture using intricate Japanese joinery techniques. Through it all, a personal imperative to "do it right or don't do it at all" ensured that everything he worked on—from elaborate dinners to furniture to home improvements and repairs—turned out spectacularly. His grandchildren remember him for his "brownberry" chocolate-chip pancakes, banana splits and the songs he played and sang for them.

When he wasn't creating or fixing something, Chris enjoyed golf with his buddies, holiday celebrations with family, cooking and traveling with his wife Jane, a sip of Pappy Van Winkle, the Three Stooges and anything else that sparked his offbeat sense of humor.

He is survived by his wife, Jane Naito; sons Dylan Tomine and Adrian (Sarah Brennen) Tomine; grandchildren Skyla, Weston, Nora and May; step-children Paul Sonona and Angela (Jack Knutson) Sonoda; brother Eugene (Sharron Sue) Tomine and sisters Naomi (Walt) Ellis and Amy Tomine. A private family service will be held at the Buddhist Temple of Alameda later this summer.

Chris was a family man, art man, music man, math man but most of all, he was a good man. We will miss him dearly.

Published by San Francisco Chronicle from Jul. 17 to Jul. 25, 2021.
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8 Entries
Steve Higashi
August 4, 2021
Kevan Shafizadeh, Interim Dean
August 2, 2021
Our Deepest Sympathy to The Tomine Family. We were so sadden to read the news in the newspaper. We didn't know Chris personally but would see him at Fundraising Events. Most recently, he was generous to donate to our Fundraising Event at Parkview Presbyterian Church, that was most appreciative. Please know that he was a thoughtful, generous and a GOOD Man. Yvonne and Eddie Fong
Yvonne and Eddie Fong
July 22, 2021
Ramzi Mahmood
July 19, 2021
To the family of Chris. I am new to ACC music makers but let me tell you I was fortunate to see and hear Chris play at the 2019 holiday show. I was transcended to Elvis and to the Hawaiian islands that day through Chris´ wonderful artistry. He will be missed greatly. My greatest condolences. I didn´t know chris but he sure made a huge impression. Linda from the Folk Guitar Group, ACC.
Linda Louie
July 19, 2021
I am sorry to hear of Chris´ passing. I was a grad student in Civil Engineering in the early 70s and thought in addition to being a very competent and knowledgeable professor that he was very kind, friendly and personable. I didn´t know he had an artistic side as well. My sympathy goes out to his family and close friends.
Jim Pappas
July 19, 2021
Saddened and somewhat depressed by this news. Chris was my friend at Oregon State and greatly helped me get through physics as a pharmacy student. We stayed in touch via e-mail through the years.
Walter Specht [email protected]
July 18, 2021
I had Dr. Tomine for a class in Air Pollution at Cal State University Sacramento (CSUS) in the 1980s. He was a nice and friendly man that students could talk to and an honor to the Civil Engineering faculty at CSUS. May he rest in peace. Michael Norris Fair Oaks, CA
Michael Norris
July 18, 2021
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