Reverend Lloyd Keigo Wake

WAKE, REVEREND LLOYD KEIGO, 95, died peacefully in San Francisco on December 27, 2017.

He is survived by his caring wife of 68 years, Marion Natsue Wake; devoted children Cathy Quides, Wesley Wake, Sandra Wake, and Steven Wake; eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, all of whom were touched by his love of fishing, camping, the San Francisco Giants, the Golden State Warriors and his patient and humble guidance. He is also survived by three sisters, Florence Nagano, Lillian Koda, Betty Machida, many in-laws, other relatives and family members.

Rev. Wake was born on January 12, 1922 in a four-room farmhouse in Reedley, California to Japanese immigrants Yempei and Hisayo Wake, the fifth of their eight children. While incarcerated in 1942-43 at Poston Camp II he was drawn to leadership roles among the Christian youth. Eventually he answered the call to the ministry, finishing two years at Asbury Seminary in Kentucky before returning to California to finish his studies at Berkeley Baptist Divinity school, marry Marion Yamabe and serve as student pastor at Berkeley Methodist United Church.

In 1950 he was appointed to be pastor of Pine United Methodist Church of San Francisco, known as the mother church of Japanese Methodism in the United States, where he served for 17 years. He and Marion devoted much time and energy to programs for children and youth.

In 1967 he was appointed Minister of Community Life at Glide Memorial Methodist Church. He immersed himself in the issues of the day: supporting and supervising the alternate service of 30 Conscientious Objectors; performing “Covenant Services” for gay, lesbian and transgender partners; supporting students and faculty during the Third World Strike at SF State.

During his 23 years at Glide he mentored and supported hundreds of community activists – always with kindness, humility and optimism. He helped establish the Asian Law Caucus, serving on its Board for 21 years and as chairperson from 1993-1997; chaired the Wendy Yoshimura Fair Trial Committee; was arrested for a sit-in protest against martial law in the Philippines; participated in human rights support trips to South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines and Okinawa; taught at the Pacific School of Religion; supported Redress and Reparations for Japanese and Japanese Americans incarcerated during WWII.

His theological reflections explain his motivation:

“The only criterion for action is love. I hesitate to use that word because love has become so distorted. The opposite of love is not hate; it is aloofness, apathy, indifference. The love I am talking about is not a romantic love; it is a love that very often takes sides, that takes the side of the oppressed. It is a love that tears down evil systems so that it can build up people who have been dominated by and dehumanized by those systems.

“There are three ways in which men and women deal with their wounds. One is to cry, one is to be silent, another is to turn the pain into joy and healing. Blessed are the wounded who respond with the totality of their lives to bring health and healing and joy to all people.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 4pm March 10, 2018 at Jones Memorial United Methodist Church, 1975 Post St, San Francisco, CA. All those whose lives were touched by Rev. Wake during his 70 years of community service and leadership in the San Francisco Bay Area are invited. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to two of Rev. Wake’s favorite causes: National Federation of Asian American United Methodists (NFAAUM) and the Asian Law Caucus.

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