George Akira Takaya
March 6, 1920 ? December 4, 2015
George Akira Takaya, 95, passed away peacefully on December 4th 2015 at his home in Oxnard, California under hospice care. George was born on March 6, 1920 in Dillon, Montana, the third of eight children to Junsuke and Shika Takaya.
He spent his early years in Colorado and New Mexico where his family farmed in various locations. Then they moved to Los Angeles due to his father's serious heart condition. The family settled in East L.A. where he graduated from Roosevelt High School. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941 he was relocated to the internment camp at Amache, Colorado as part of the evacuation order. Soon after, he left Amache to attend Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, New York, where he met his future wife Mitsuko Kambara.
After the war he moved back to Los Angeles to work and attend Azusa Pacific College. During that time he married Mitsuko Kambara on August 15, 1946 and eventually had three children, Steve, Tim and Lois Ann. He was sent by the Pacific Coast Japanese Free Methodist Conference to serve the Venice Santa Monica Church and was ordained a minister.
He later served as a pastor at Bethany Congregational Church in Santa Barbara while attending Westmont College where he earned his B.A. degree as well as working as a landscaper. George continued to serve many years as a minister in the Free Methodist conference, a licensed landscape contractor and nursery owner in his bi-vocational career. He received an Honorary Doctorate from Azusa Pacific University in 2010.
He enjoyed serving the Lord, his family and others with humility, kindness and generosity. He was a friend to all who knew him. He enjoyed travelling, horticulture, sports and fishing.
He was predeceased by siblings, June (Takaya) Tsutsui, Mary (Takaya) Tani and Roy Takaya. His is survived by his wife Mitsuko Takaya of 69 years, son Steve (Betty Ann) Takaya, and daughter Lois (Joe) Cummings; seven grandchildren, four great-grandchildren; siblings Smitty (Nancy) Takaya, Mei (Shiro) Nakano, Bessie (Shig) Kawamura and Jay Takaya, and many nieces, nephews and relatives. Soon after George's passing, his son Timothy passed away from non-Hodgkin lymphoma on December 12, 2015.
A memorial celebration of George's life and that of his son Timothy, will be held on Saturday, January 30, 2016 at 11:00 am at the Camarillo United Methodist Church, 291 Anacapa Drive, Camarillo followed by a luncheon reception. Casual attire. Private interment will take place at a later date.
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Published by Ventura County Star on Jan. 24, 2016.