Misao (Yamano) Shiotsuka ( 1919-2016)

     Misao Yamano (Poston 215-2-A) was born on July 14, 1919, in San Jose, California. She was the eldest of four children of Shige and Teiichi Yamano. She attended schools in Gilroy, California and graduated from high school in 1937. She went to Japan and studied sewing, music, and traditional Japanese cultural arts. Following the signing of Executive Order 9066, she was evacuated with her parents and siblings to the Salinas Assembly Center. On July 5, 1942, they were transferred to the Poston, Arizona concentration camp and lived at camp 2 block 215.
Misao Shiotsuka
     In March of 1943 at Poston, Arizona, Misao married Pvt. Sam Shiotsuka, who was training with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in Hattisburg, Mississippi. He had sent an engagement ring which was sized with a piece of string that he had sent earlier to camp. Tec/ 4 Sam Shiotsuka served with the famed 442 Regimental Combat Team 2nd Battalion E Company in the European Theatre. The following year, baby Barbara was born at the Poston General Hospital. On February 22, 1945, she departed with her daughter and headed for Fruita, Colorado. After the war, they settled in the Gilroy-Hollister area. Misao became a seamstress and homemaker, and raised three children.
     Misao Yamano Shiotsuka passed away June 17, 2016 at the age of 96.She is predeceased by her husband Sam Shiotsuka in 2000; and survived by daughters Barbara Sakakihara (Phil), Wanda Shiotsuka (Bob Center) and son, Edwin Shiotsuka (Arline); grandsons, and  four great grandchildren.


Top of FoGeorge Teitaro Aihara (1918 - 2016)

George T. Aihara
    George Teitaro Aihara (Poston 213-6-C) was born on November 1, 1918, in Sunnyvale, California, as the first son of Teikichi and Torano Aihara, immigrants of Gunma-ken, Japan. George was a 1938 graduate of Fremont High School in Sunnyvale, and 1948 from San Jose State College. As a teenager, he was fascinated with flying and in the 1930s he assisted with the tethering of the giant airship, the USS. Macom at Moffett Field. While attending San Jose State College, he joined the newly formed college Flying Club and became one of the first Japanese Americans to hold a commercial flying license.  In 1940, he was the first American of Japanese ancestry to qualify and hold a flight instructor rating to become an active flight instructor.
    Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, George enlisted in the Army Air Corps in January 1942. After the signing of Executive Order 9066, he was grounded from flying and honorably discharged. He was forcibly evacuated to the Salinas Assembly Center with his widowed father and sisters, Helen, and Chitose. On July 5, 1942, they were  transferred to the Poston, Arizona concentration camp 2.
George Aihara Vice-Principal
     At the camp, George T. Aihara was appointed vice-principal of the Poston 2 high school for the first semester in 1943 and in 1944, he was the school registrar. On March 7, 1944, he left the camp with an invitation in Buffalo, New York. On February 15, 1945, he enlisted at Fort , New Jersey  and assigned to the Counter Intelligence Corp (CIC) as a special agent.
     From 1945 to 1947 M/Sgt. George T. Aihara served in Occupied Japan under General MacArthur in the Counter Intelligence Corp. He was discharged in November  1947 at Fort Lawton, Washington.
     After the war, George returned to the Bay Area and completed college at San Jose State. From the late 1940s through the late 1960s he worked in aviation as an engineer, first with Hiller Helicopters in Palo Alto; then with Filper Helicopters in San Ramon, California. In the late 1960’s, he worked for Lockheed on the development of the AH-56 Cheyenne helicopter (predecessor to the AH-64 Apache). In 1969, George took a job at Sylvania Electronics in Santa Cruz and moved the family to Santa Cruz Gardens in Soquel, California where he lived for the next 47 years. In 1974, George began working at the Physical Plant at the University of California at Santa Cruz, (UCSC), and eventually became the Grounds Maintenance Supervisor, Physical Plant at the University-- a position he held until his retirement in 1987.
George T. Aihara
     George was active with the Capitola Lion's Club and youth exchange program, as well as the U.C.S.C. Retirees Associ-
ation (Silver Slugs). He had a great passion for woodworking, and made cupboards, dressers, desks, and cabinets to furnish his home.
     George T. Aihara, died on May 31, 2016 at his home in Santa Cruz, California at the age of 97 years. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Yoko; sons, Dean and Byron; and many nieces and nephews.


Sumi (Kitahata) Ujimori (1924 - 2016)

Sumi Ujimori
     Sumi Kitahata (Poston 318-11-C) was born in September 1924 in Reedley, California to Japanese immigrants, Kintaro and Kachiko (Obara) Kitahata. She was raised in Reedley, California. After the signing of Executive Order 9066, she was forcibly evacuated with her parents and siblings to the Poston, Arizona concentration camp 3.  They arrived on August 6, 1942. On November 16, 1943, she found a job and departed for Shaker Heights Ohio, leaving her family behind at Poston. In June and September 1945, her parents and siblings left Poston and departed for Cleveland, Ohio.
      She married Tamio Ujimori in 1952 in Los Angeles, California and was employed as an electrical designer for 30 years in Los Angeles County.
     Sumi Ujimori, 91, died following complications after surgery on June 18, 2016 at the San Antonio Regional Hospital in Upland, California. She was predeceased by her brothers Henry and Ben Kitahata; and sisters Sunny Otani and Taye Umade.
  She is survived by her friend and former spouse, Michael Hadley; her sisters, Tomi Tanaka and Aiko (Hide) Matsuno; children, Miyoko Pruitt, Helyne (Kent) Noyes, and George Ujimori; granddaughter, Sheri Yamasaki (Steven Kim); great-grandson, Tyler Yamasaki Kim; and many nieces and nephews.

SUGI, TEI (1917-2016)

 Tei Sugi (1917-2016)

     Tei Sugi (Trokey) (Poston 328-10-B) was born on October 4, 1917 in Santa Clara, California and the youngest of seven children to Sadajiro and Haru Sugi. Her father had been a school principal in Japan and operated a grocery store in Los Angeles. Tei attended both elementary and high school in the Lincoln Heights in East Los Angeles. She received an A.A. degree from the Los Angeles Junior College in 1937. Due to California miscege-nation laws, she was married in the state of Washington. The married couple had one son, Jim Trokey, and soon became divorced.
     During WWII, Tei Trokey a single parent with her 2-year old son Jim, and her mother Haru Sugi, were forced to leave their grocery store business and evacuate to the Heart Mountain,
Tei Sugi
Wyoming concentration camp. Her father was separately evacuated to the Santa Anita Assembly Center. On October 26, 1942, he arrived at the Poston, Arizona concentration camp.
On November 16, 1942, Tei, James and Haru Sugi transferred to the Poston, Arizona camp to join him. Tei Trokey was 25 year old and held several important positions working with the youth at Poston camp 3. She worked for the school as a liaison to resolve conflict between students and/or staff, and taught high school girls’ physical education classes. She was a substitute teacher for Junior High English and Math classes, and a Probation Officer for group of rebellious boys. She organized and sponsored clubs for young girls and elected block 328 council representative. She was  selected to represent Poston 3 at both the National Y-Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, and the Methodist Youth Fellowship Camp in the San Bernardino mountains. She was a “Singspiration” song leader held at the Christian Church, and played 2nd base on the All-Camp Girls’ Softball Championship team which traveled to Phoenix, Arizona.
    On July 7, 1945, Tei with her son James, and her parents, left Poston, Arizona and returned to Los Angeles. Their home which had been registered to a Caucasian relative  prevent from losing it during the war was not immediately vacated when they returned. 
      Tei was active with her son’s Sunday School education, Boy Scouts, and started the sober grad night at his high school. She worked for the Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department and 27 years with the Los Angeles Unified School District, before retiring in 1983. She playing golf and past president of the Southern California Nisei Women’s Golf Association. She took yearly trips to the L.A. Dodgers spring training games in Arizona, and traveled to various VFW and 442nd RCT veteran activities with her long-time friend, Sadao Kodama.
     Tei Sugi, 98, and former resident of Alhambra, and Keiro and Laguna Niguel, California died on April 9, 2016. She is survived by son, Jim (Violet) Sugi; grandchildren, Denise (Chris) Beaufort and Wendy Herbert; great-grandchildren, Evan and Taryn Beaufort, Kayla and Casey Herbert; and many nieces, nephews and other relatives.

SHIOKARI, TOM (1927-2016)

Tom Shiokari (1927-2016) 
     Tom Shiokari (Poston 19-11-B) was born in Lancaster, California.  He was forcibly evacuated with his brother to the Poston, Arizona concentration camp 1 and arrived on May 25, 1942 during World War II.  On May 24, 1944, he departed from camp to join his older brother John, who left earlier to attend school in Lincoln, Nebraska.  

     Tom Shiokari, 89-year-old,resident of Rancho Palos Verdes, California, died on March 25, 2016, He was predeceased by his brother John (Violet) Shiokari. He is survived by his wife Nobuko; sons Stan Shiokari, David (Vicky) Shiokari, Ken (Kathy) Shiokari; 10 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and other relatives here and in Japan