Shiga, Kiichi, passed away on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 after a brief bout with pneumonia and complications with emphysema.

Kiichi was born in Los Angeles on May 27, 1915. He is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Irene Yoshiko. He is also survived by sisters Tayeko Sakai of Los Altos, Calif., and Keiko Kuramoto of Parlier, Calif., brother-in-law Victor Honda of Walnut Creek, Calif., many nieces, nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews.

Kiichi was a veteran of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which fought during WW2. He was a PFC, and served in Italy and France and was honorably discharged from Fort Loga, Denver, Colo. in December, 1945.

Kiichi had met Irene, his wife-to-be, prior to entering the service in 1941 and they were married on May 3, 1942, in Desha County, Rohwer, Ark. before being deployed to Italy.

After the war, Kiichi and Irene resided in Stockton and farmed for many years before saving enough money to build their dream home in Lincoln Village, Stockton. He had quit farming and went into his own gardening business.

As a pastime, Kiichi and Irene enjoyed the art of classical poetry reciting, and Kiichi quickly became the master instructor of their organization, the Kinyu-Kai, Delta Shigin branch. He was highly revered by many of his colleagues. They traveled extensively from Northern and Central California to Southern California doing recitals.

In their latter years they both moved to Rossmoor in Walnut Creek, to be closer to relatives.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, May 23, at 1:30 p.m. at the Stockton Buddhist Temple, where he was a member, 2820 Shimizu Dr., Stockton, CA 95203.

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