Tami Tamaki Ogata
Tami Tamaki Ogata

OGATA, TAMAKI TAMI, 97, of New York City, died peacefully at The Terraces, Los Gatos, CA. on Feb. 5, 2016. She was the third of four daughters born to Ine Ikeda, who arrived in the US as a “picture bride” and Rikichi Ogata, who settled and farmed in Santa Clara Valley in the early 1900’s. Born Aug. 21, 1918 in Santa Clara, CA, Tami attended Milliken Elementary School, Jefferson Union Elementary School, Santa Clara Union High School. She edited the Santa Clara High Times in her senior year. She continued her education at San Jose State College where she received her B.A. degree in Home Economics, and began her graduate studies in Nutrition and Institutional Management on a Scholarship at Mills College, Oakland. In 1943, after being allowed to leave the Concentration Camp in Rohwer, Arkansas, she completed an internship in Dietetics at Ancker Hospital, St. Paul, MN. As a certified Therapeutic Dietitian, she was employed at Cook Country Hospital in Chicago, IL, and Kuakini Hospital, Honolulu, HI, and the Presbyterian Hospital, NYC.

She completed her Master’s Degree in Public Health Nutrition from Teacher’s College, Columbia, in 1951 and was employed by the Bureau of Nutrition, New York City Department of Health from 1963 to 1975. Among many accomplishments, she developed and broadcast nutritional information over WNYC Radio Station. In 1975 she worked with the federally funded Department for the Aging, Department of Human Services. By 2008, 300 hot lunch programs were operational, in churches, synagogues, senior and community centers accessible to the elderly, serving thousands of lunches. Tami was awarded the Career Civil Service Award by the Hundred Year Association of New York, Inc.

As an Asian American activist, she worked tirelessly to support Asian Americans for Action, Japanese American Help for the Aged (later subsumed as an integral part of the Japanese American Association of NY), Asian Americans for Fair Media, Asian & Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS. Tami was an avid supporter of numerous organization and causes. Her sisters, Shizuye, Yoshiye, and Craney are deceased. Among her last words, “Had I known many years ago that I was going to live as long as I have, 97 years, I could have made much better use of the time by pursuing a second career in the visual arts.” Any memorial contributions may be made in her memory to the donor’s favorite charity.

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