YONENAKA, HIDEO “HERO,” DR., passed away on August 26, 2010 at the age of 84. He was born in San Jose on July 7, 1926. He was a loving, compassionate man whose spirit was so “centered” and peaceful, that he truly touched those he knew. Simply put: He was special.
The son of a strawberry farmer, the family lived in Palo Alto until in 1942 when they were put in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. The Yonenakas would not regain their freedom for four years. The experience could have stained Hideo’s outlook on life, yet he chose to listen to the advice of his mother and his Reverend who told him: “It is OK to get angry, but get over it, and learn from it. “
From that point, Hideo made peace with the past. He credits Reverend Fukuda and his deep faith in the Konko religion.
Hideo earned a degree from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in zoology, a M.A. in bacteriology; and a Ph.D. in microbial physiology from the University of Southern California. He also served in the United States Army. Hideo spent 30 years as a professor of microbiology at San Francisco State University. He respected the environment and independence, and also enjoyed cheering on his hometown teams: the 49ers and the SF Giants. He adored his wife, and encouraged his 2 children to follow their dreams, yet everyone who knew him understood that those 2 little granddaughters stole the show and filled his heart.
Hideo is survived by his wife of 45 years Shanna, son Chris, daughter Kimberly Lonergan (Kevin), his 2 grandchildren, Lindsey and Katelyn Lonergan and sister Lily Yonenaka. A memorial service will be held on Sept. 3 at 10 a.m. at Konko Church in San Francisco. In lieu of flowers donations can be made in his name to either the National Kidney Foundation or the American Diabetes Association.