Ronald Katsuyama

Ronald Katsuyama

KATSUYAMA, RONALD, 76, passed away peacefully March 2nd with his wife Jane and family by his side after bravely battling cancer.

Ron grew up in San Francisco, participating in the Boy Scouts, Troop 12, and graduating from Washington High School. He received his undergraduate degree from U.C. Berkeley and a Ph.D from Vanderbilt University. Ron was honored as a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Dayton in 2017 when he retired after 44 years of research in child psychology and social justice issues.

As a child, Ron was among the 120,000 Americans and immigrants of Japanese ancestry forced into U.S. government WWII incarceration camps. He spent his life defending civil rights and formerly served as Japanese American Citizens League National Board VP, Dayton JACL chapter president, and Japanese American National Museum Governor.

Ron believed in bringing people together and building bridges. In Ohio, he co-founded the Dayton Asian American Council and Ohio Asian American Coalition, and served on the Ohio Governor’s Asian Pacific Islander Advisory Committee for Governors Strickland, Kasich, and DeWine. As a Human Race Theater board member, he helped bring George Takei to Dayton to perform the musical “Pacific Overtures”.

Ron ran in the Columbus, New York and San Francisco marathons, always training to run the next one a little faster.

He is survived by his wife Jane, children Sean (Hyunju) and Jana (Tito), grandchild Tatsuo, and many loving relatives. A celebration of Ron’s life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that remembrances be made to the National JACL designated for the “Ron Katsuyama Memorial Fund” https://jacl.org/donate.

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