OBITUARY: Masami Iwasa

IWASA, MASAMI, 94, was born on January 3, 1922 in Sacramento, California as the third of six children to Hisata and Kinue Iwasa and passed away at his home for the past 86 years on January 23, 2016 from lung cancer. Masami, who attended Edward Kelly School and Kit Carson, was a 1941 graduate of Sacramento High School. In 1942, he and his family were relocated to the Poston internment camp. Understanding the historical impact of that time, he later donated a variety of items from that era to Sac State and other memorial collections.

Masami, who was also known affectionately as “Jichan” by his grandchildren and their friends, was a tireless farmer and industry worker employed by Signal Depot, Aerojet and Keyes Fibre; he later became a self-made businessman. Kiefer Storage and Warehouse, which opened in 1986, was his pride and joy and he ran the business daily until the end.

Masami was a loving and supportive husband who tended to the medical needs of his wife, Hisako for the past 14 years. He was also a generous and fun-loving father who, despite a heavy work schedule, attended virtually every event involving his three children. His greatest joy was eating meals surrounded by his friends and family, which he did regularly.

Masami was an lifelong bowler in the Nisei League, most of which was with the Yorozu bowling team where he enjoyed many years of late-night fun with his friends. In his later years, he sponsored and bowled on the Kiefer Storage team, including this season. He adored his three grandsons and made every effort to see all of their sporting events, which often included traveling up and down the state.

Masami is survived by his wife of 55 years Hisako and their three children Linda, Mark (Kathleen), and Dean (Lily); his three grandsons Matthew, Cameron and Nicklaus; his sisters Bernice Ouye (Minoru d:2005) and Miyo Kobata (Ted), his brother Yoshio Iwasa (Ritsuko), and his sister in-law Judy Iwasa. He is predeceased by his sister Kioka Kawamura in 2010 (Masao d:1976) and his brother Takao Iwasa in 2005 (Judy). He also leaves behind numerous loving nieces, nephews and their families.
A memorial service will be held at the Sacramento Buddhist Church on February 21st at 2pm.

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