OBITUARY: Gengo Sakamoto

SAKAMOTO, GENGO, 89, died April 23, 2013. He was born Feb. 6, 1924.

The longtime Monterey, Calif. resident had been in declining health the past few years, but was still able to live a full life until the end. He passed away at this daughter Michelle’s home in San Jose.

Born in Guadalupe, Calif. to Matagoro and Jino Sakamoto, he was the seventh of 11 children, and the last surviving member of his family. During the war while most of his family was interned, he was able to attend the University of Texas El Paso, where he received a degree in mining engineering. In 1945 he enlisted in the army and served in the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) on the staff of General MacArthur in Tokyo. While stationed in Japan, he met and married his wife of 59 years, Grace Kazuko (Wada), who passed away Aug. 24, 2006. He was most proud to have been presented the Congressional Gold Medal for his military service in 2012.

He and Grace settled in Monterey, where Gengo began his career as a landscape architect. He was active in the VFW and the JACL, as well as served on the Architectural Review Board and other organizations. He was also one of the founders of the Monterey Japanese Language School.

Gengo and Grace raised their four children in Monterey and are survived by their daughter, Michelle and sons Dana, Byron and Wayne. Gengo and Grace were also blessed with four grandchildren and seven great grandsons.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, June 8 at 1 p.m. at the El Estero Presbyterian Church located at 490 Camino El Estero, Monterey.

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