Our longtime board member and past president Ron Yoshida passed away recently. Below is an obituary published in the Rafu Shimpo. We extend our heartfelt love and gratitude to his family.
October 11, 1927 – November 20, 2017
Ronald Yutaka “Tubby” Yoshida passed away peacefully on November 20th. He was 90 years old. Born to Albert and Tokuko on October 11, 1927 in San Francisco, CA, Tubby was the youngest of four children. Tubby earned his nickname from his rotund shape as toddler. He graduated from high school in the Topaz (Utah) Internment Camp for Japanese Americans during WWII. After a year at UC Berkeley, he was drafted into the US Army and joined the first class of the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) language school in Monterey, CA. He was deployed in Tokyo and Kyoto as a translator for the occupational government.
After discharge, Tubby went to MIT and graduated in 1952 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering; subsequently receiving a Master’s from UCLA. With his first wife, Yoshie, they had Ronnie. Unfortunately, she passed away prematurely.
At Marquardt Corporation he designed control systems for jet engines, including thrusters for the Apollo moon landing program. He then had a 23-year career at Cal Tech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), where he designed and developed control systems for the Viking Mars expedition and other spacecraft, and also worked on one of the first electric car prototypes. Tubby received a NASA Exceptional Service Medal in 1993. In 2011, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his service in the MIS.
Tubby had a passion for woodworking and crafted beautiful furniture for his home. He traveled extensively in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and loved watching the 49ers and the Bruins. He was very active member of the Japanese American Citizen League (JACL) and served as president of the San Fernando Valley chapter in 1972.
Tubby is survived by his wife, Miye, three children Ron (Kelly), Douglas (Jennifer Huang), and Karen Leib (Paul). His five grandchildren brought him the most joy – Kylie, Cory, Shelby, Graham, and Shaun. He was a dedicated and loving father and grandfather.
Service will be held on January 6th, at The Buddhist Church of San Francisco –
1881 Pine St, San Francisco, CA at 2pm. In lieu of flowers or Koden, please consider a donation to the Topaz Museum – http://www.topazmuseum.org
The SFVJACL Scholarship Committee is pleased to award Ms. Jennifer Kajiki the 2016 Dr. Sanbo and Mrs. Kay Sakaguchi College Scholarship. Jennifer is a Dean's List student at Moreno Valley College and will graduate with a degree in nursing in Fall 2017. She is an active member of the San Fernando Valley Hongwanji Buddhist Temple and is a Youth Minister's Assistant to the Reverend Patricia Usuki. Jennifer is a fixture at the SFVHBT Obon and has also participated in several nation-wide youth retreats and seminars with the Buddhist Churches of America such as the Youth Advocacy Committee. Cheers, Jennifer!
The SFVJACL was founded in 1942, and the Dr. Sanbo and Mrs. Kay Sakaguchi Scholarship supports students with interests in civil rights and social justice activism.
Jennifer is pictured below with her family and Nancy Takayama (left) representing the SFVJACL. Photo credit: Paul Jonokuchi
To our San Fernando Valley JACL members:
This is my last President’s message before turning the presidency over to Phil Shigekuni. Thank you Phil, and thanks to the board for your support and hard work in the past 2 years.
The presidency provided me with an interesting learning experience. It provided a soapbox for issues that I felt strongly about. Ideally, every member should feel equally empowered in voicing their thoughts. I recently heard a presidential candidate speak on the importance of standing up for others, especially the weak and vulnerable. We, having enjoyed many privileges in life, should take those words to heart.
I recall back in the 1950s that my parents mentioned the importance of education and the need to keep learning. Today, the need to keep up with technology, news and events in our rapidly changing world is very obvious!
Regarding the need to keep learning, I would like to start compiling a list of e-books that our JACL members have. Some Kindle e-books from Amazon have the feature where you could loan them out. You just need your friend’s email address, and Amazon will send it out to that person. Note that while you have loaned your ebook out, you will not be able to read it on your computer. The great feature of loaning out your ebook via Amazon is that in 2 weeks, presto, your book is automatically retrieved, and is back in your possession! For more information, click here.
Please send me ideas on how we can do other things differently in this changing world!
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