DR. Ernest "Ernie" Setsuo Torigoe
Dr. Ernest “Ernie” Setsuo Torigoe

DR. TORIGOE, SETSUO ERNEST (ERNIE), 97, of San Jose, California passed away peacefully on February 10, 2016 at the age of 97. He was a prominent dentist and beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

Son of the late Bunkichi and Yuki Torigoe, he was born and raised in Watsonville, California. After graduating from HartnellCollege (formerly Salinas Junior College) in 1939, he entered the School of Dentistry at the University of California, San Francisco. Unable to complete his studies there due to the wartime relocation of Japanese Americans, he transferred to Washington University and was granted his D.D.S. degree in 1944. He initially practiced dentistry in Fort Lupton, Colorado, where he met his wife-to-be, Yuriko Lily Date. They married in 1945 and shortly thereafter settled in San Jose, California. Ernie proudly served in the United States Air Force from 1951 to 1953. He was stationed at March Air Force Base in Riverside, California, with the rank of Captain. He then returned to San Jose, where he resided until his passing. He retired from his dental practice in 2008 at the age of 90.

Ernie was best known for his devotion to his family and his dedication to his dental practice. His involvement in family activities was boundless. At the same time, he relished his work, both seeing patients in his office and working in his dental lab. He related to his patients on a highly personal level and was one of the best with regards to his dental skills.

His activities outside of work and family included jewelry-making, arts and crafts, gardening, reading, watching Samurai and family television programs from Japan, and recording the family’s genealogy. He and his wife enjoyed playing bridge with friends, attending concerts, and traveling throughout the United States and other parts of the world.

He is survived by Yuri, his cherished wife of 70 years; their children, Wayne Torigoe (wife Karen Ho), Kathy Ichinaga Torigoe, Eric Torigoe (wife Gayle), and Marilyn Katz (husband Neil); grandchildren, Sharon Torigoe, Keith Ichinaga, Kendra Chen (husband Enoch), Melanie Torigoe, Jeff Katz, and Bryan Katz; and great-grandchildren, Kayla Chen and Evan Chen. He also is survived by his sister, Yoshino Matano, of Watsonville and many other members of his extended family.

His memorial service was held at Wesley United Methodist Church, 566 North 5th Street, San Jose, California on February 27th. Donations in memory of Dr. S. Ernest Torigoe may be made to Wesley United Methodist Church or the charity of your choice.

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