Kiyoshi Glenn Onizuka

Aug. 8, 1930 – Feb. 27, 2020

ONIZUKA, KIYOSHI GLENN was born in Stockton, CA and attended elementary school there until World War II when he and his family were removed and relocated to a Japanese American internment camp in Rohwer Arkansas. Alongside approximately 120,000 people of Japanese Ancestry who were placed in 10 camps around the United States. Returning to California after the war, Glenn earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Counseling at San Francisco State University.
Glenn was a veteran of the Korean War, having served in Military Intelligence in both the United States and Japan. He later worked at Contra Costa Community College in 1964 where he initiated and taught in the Asian American Studies program. In 1981, he became the first Asian American Dean in the California Community College system when he joined Laney College as its Dean of Student Services.

1986, Glenn joined the faculty at Diablo Valley College (DVC) and served as Counselor and Instructor for 10 years, helping to introduce Asian American studies while teaching Asian American History until his retirement in 1996. However, even in retirement, Glenn had a passion for Asian American History, lecturing on the forcible internment of Japanese Americans during World War II to many high schools and community colleges in the East Bay. Glenn would continue to teach on a part time basis for an additional 17 years, highlighted by being selected Lecturer of the Year at DVC in 2008.

Glenn was an avid fisherman, golfer and sports fan. He enjoyed his fishing trips, his golfing outings and loved his 49ers, Giants and all Bay Area teams. In addition, he was a strong supporter of his local community, as evidenced by his longtime volunteer service at the Diablo Japanese American Club in Concord. He will be remembered for his great sense of humor and love of storytelling.

Lastly, Glenn was a devoted husband, father, and grand, and great grandfather. He is survived by his wife Joyce Ayako, sons Ron and Jon, daughter Mitzi, 4 grand daughters and a great grandson. He is preceded in death by his parents, Katsujiro and Masae, and siblings, Keiji and Etsuko. Glenn passed away on February 27, 2020 at the age of 89. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

See the 2024 CAAMFest