Roy Hatamiya

Feb. 13, 1929 – Nov. 10, 2023

HATAMIYA, ROY RIICHI, a prominent Marysville farmer of peaches, prunes, walnuts and almonds, died peacefully on Nov. 10, 2023, in Yuba City at the age of 94. He was born in the District 10 area north of Marysville on Feb. 13, 1929, to the late Senichi and Satoki Hatamiya, pioneer immigrants from Hiroshima, Japan.


He was preceded in death by three sisters: Kikue (Tad) Tomita of San Jose, Tamaki (Eiitsu) Sugaya of Sunnyvale, and Kimiko, who died in infancy. He is survived by sister Toshiko (Kenji) Minabe of Livingston and younger brothers George (Kashiwa) of Marysville and Robert (Lillian) of Gridley.

Roy married Momoko Miriam Kawahara of San Lorenzo in 1961, and together they raised three children: Michael of Yuba City, Ford (Tracy) of Albany, and Leslie (Randy Schieber) of San Bruno. He had four grandchildren: Evan and Alison Schieber and Elle and Jude Hatamiya. Many nephews and nieces and their offspring fill the family tree. Roy completed elementary school in seven years at the District 10 rural grammar school in June 1942. The following month, he was incarcerated with his family at the Tule Lake concentration camp in northeastern California and later transferred to the Amache concentration camp in Colorado.

He completed high school in three years, finishing at Amache High School. Upon his family’s return to Marysville at the conclusion of the war, Roy attended Yuba College and completed his education at the University of California at Davis, majoring in pomology.

Roy joined his father in the management of H.B. Orchard Co., Inc., a farming enterprise founded by his father in 1919. Roy’s brothers later joined the operation. By the time the three brothers retired in 2005, H.B. Orchard Co. had grown from an 80-acre family farm into 1,100 acres of orchards. Roy had a gift for metalworking, and together with his brothers fabricated many pieces of farm equipment.

Roy served as director and secretary of Reclamation District 10, director of Sunsweet Growers, director of the Federal Land Bank Association in Yuba City, member and president of the Marysville Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, member of UC Davis Alumni and Cal Bear Backers, and member of the Yuba County grand jury, as well as an appointed member to the California Cling Peach Advisory Board.

Roy’s two avocations were music and fly fishing. He learned to play the French horn and trumpet in grammar school, and while incarcerated in the wartime camps, he played trumpet in dance bands. A 2012 documentary, “Searchlight Serenade,” produced by PBS station KEET of Eureka, presents the story of dance bands in the concentration camps. Roy was one of nine surviving musicians discovered and interviewed for the film.

After starting to work on the ranch, Roy was persuaded to take up fly fishing by his cousin Tom Hatamiya. This led to many years of enjoyment, fishing for trophy rainbows and brown trout in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico with three longtime friends, Bob Kells, George Post and Bob Hanke, all of Yuba City. Trips to Canada and Argentina highlighted his experiences.

At his request, no memorial service will be held. Donations may be made in his name to the Marysville Chapter of the JACL (P.O. Box 2253, Marysville, CA 95901, or go to marysvillejacl.org) or to the National Japanese American Historical Society (njahs.org).

One response to “Roy Hatamiya”

  1. Michelle Alicata Hadden Avatar
    Michelle Alicata Hadden

    An amazing man indeed! His legacy remains and touched by those left behind. I know his truths were passed on through his children and sequentially to those touched by those very children.
    Peace to all of you.
    ♥️

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