OBITUARY: John Motori Takeuchi Sr.

TAKEUCHI, JOHN MOTOI SR., 92, passed away on October 13th, 2015, two days before what would have been his 93rd birthday. The eldest of 5 children, John was born in 1922 to Japanese immigrants Gihei and Sato Takeuchi in Alameda, California. In the wake of Japan bombing Pearl Harbor, Japanese Americans were forcibly removed from the West Coast. The family was first held at the Tanforan Assembly Center and then at the Topaz Internment Camp in Utah. In 1943, John was released from camp to study at NYU and the Pratt Institute School of Architecture in New York. Returning to the San Francisco Bay Area after graduating, John met and married Miyuki “Mickie” Iwahashi. Together they raised 3 children—John Jr., Mark, and April. In 1970, after working for UC Berkeley as a campus architect, John had the opportunity to work on a brand new campus for the Sangamon State University (now University of Illinois at Springfield). John subsequently held architecture jobs at universities in Louisville, Kentucky, and Richmond, Virginia. As an architect, he was a great admirer of Frank Lloyd Wright. He enjoyed collecting various forms of artwork, including pastel, acrylic, and oil paintings and metal and wooden sculptures; each piece was priceless to him. After Mickie passed away in 1997, John, now retired, returned to the Bay Area to be closer to his siblings. He settled in the retirement community of Rossmoor in Walnut Creek, California, where he pursued his many interests and volunteer activities. He was very proud of his grandchildren, Aaron and Chase, who were born to April and husband Jeff Walbert in 1997. John followed their development, visited them yearly, and even sponsored their student exchange trip to Asahikawa, Japan. In the meantime, John met Gloria Morita from El Cerrito. John and Gloria traveled the country together, visited their respective children and grandchildren, and enjoyed each other’s company. Earlier this year, John accepted that his failing health required him to move into assisted living. His children and their spouses, John Jr., Mark and Anita, and April and Jeff, are grateful for all the support John received during his final months from his brother Roy and wife Hannah, Gloria and her daughter Barbara.

The memorial service will be held at 3 pm on Sunday, November 22nd, at Sycamore Congregational Church UCC, 1111 Navellier St, El Cerrito, CA 94530. A reception will follow.

Donations may be made to the Japanese American Citizens League, Sycamore Congregational Church in El Cerrito, or a charity of your choice.

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