Shigeru “Shig” Tokiwa

March 31, 1929 – Sept. 3, 2020

TOKIWA, “SHIG” SHIGERU passed away at home at the age of 91 years old. He is survived by his wife Mary, son Dave (Michele, deceased), daughter Janice Franey (Troy), grandchildren Terra-Lynn and Maya, along with his siblings Yoshiro, Fuji, Betty, and Bob, and many nieces and nephews. Born in San Jose to Toyoji and Kumi, at an early age the family moved to Salinas, CA where they lived until 1942 when the family was interned in Poston, Arizona. After the war, the family relocated to San Jose, CA where Shig attended San Jose Technical High School and later completed his education at National Trade School in Los Angeles specializing as an Audio and Visual Technician. Shig was very active in the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin, Yu-Ai-Kai Senior Center, San Jose Chidori Band and Japantown community festivals.

Shig was extremely proud of his children and grandchildren. His family held a special place in his heart along with many dear friends. Shig was a strong individual who overcame many adversities in his life, however he never let them extinguish his joyous attitude or his bright carefree smile! He remained a quick-witted jokester his whole life, lighting up a room with his jokes and always making people smile. With a twinkle in his eye, Shig was able to spark joy in anyone he came into contact with and no one will ever forget him. We will miss his smile and quick humor.

Private services have been held. Donations may be made in his memory to the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin, Yu-Ai-Kai Senior Center, or the Japanese American Museum of San Jose. A memorial website can be viewed at

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