It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our brother, uncle, friend and ‘step uncle’, Akira (Duke) Ito on June 29, 2018 after a brief struggle with cancer at the age of 91.
Akira (Duke) was born to Masa and Ichisaburo Ito in Haney, B. C. on January 7, 1927. He received his Elementary and High School education in and around Haney, B.C. His formal education, which was interrupted by the hostilities of World War II, was only the beginning for his pursuit of knowledge. He later completed a four-year apprenticeship program at Beny Chev Olds in Lethbridge and graduated with a Journeyman’s certificate on March 10, 1961 and continued working there until 1966. Duke then went to work at Canada Post until his retirement.
Duke was the oldest of six children born to his parents. He is survived by his sister Miyako (Bruce) Stewart, his nephew Mark (Laura) Stewart and Mark’s sons Jordan and Chase, his niece Cathy (Kevin) Nelson and their children James and Stacie. He is predeceased by his father Ichisaburo, his mother Masa, his brothers Tamotsu, Masaru, Motomu and sister Atsuko. Duke also leaves to mourn his friends Ben & Pat Braun and their children Kristi, Robyn and Becky, along with their husbands Troy, Aaron and Gordon and their families. Duke was a beloved Uncle in every sense of the word to Ben & Pat’s family. Duke also leaves to mourn a special friend Laurie Veres. Duke will be sorely missed by these and the many friends he made in his extensive travels around the world.
Duke lived life to the fullest. His travels took him around the world as he sought to understand himself in light of other people and cultures. It simply wasn’t enough for him to see the sights but to interact with the people he encountered. His mind was quite literally like a steel trap. Once he encountered knowledge, it was there to stay; for him to reflect on and share with any who would listen. His knowledge of sports (especially baseball and horse racing) was encyclopedic. Duke’s capacity for assimilating knowledge was seemingly endless. He was a lifelong learner.
Duke grew up in a family which was firmly rooted in their faith in Jesus Christ. He had many friends at First Baptist Church in Cranbrook, B.C. where he attended when with the Braun family whenever he visited. He was especially clear in his expression of faith as his end drew near.
Finally, Duke cared deeply for family and friends. He took an interest in the smallest of details in these people’s lives. He was generous to a fault.
Duke will be deeply missed.