July 14, 1922 – July 29, 2018
YASUO YAMASHITA, beloved husband of Ruriko of Lethbridge, passed away at St. Michael’s Palliative Care Centre on Sunday, July 29, 2018 at the age of 96 years.
He is the loving father of: Robert (Sharon) of Calgary, Kathryn of Lethbridge, Geary (Cam) of Port Charlotte, Florida, Maureen (John Martini) of Osoyoos, BC, and Linda (Bob Skelly) of Calgary. He is also survived by numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren; his sister Hideko (Tom) in Waterdown, ON, and his brother Nobby (Rose) of Lethbridge, and their children.
Yasuo is predeceased by his father, Tatsuzo Yamashita and his mother, Sei Nishikawa, his granddaughter Amber, his sister Naomi Adachi and his brother Shigei.
Yasuo was born at Eburne, BC and grew up at Celtic Cannery in Vancouver, a thriving community of Japanese families supported by fishing. With the abrupt onset of World War II, all of these families were relocated away from the West Coast. The Yamashita family was moved to Coaldale to work on sugar beet fields. This is where he met and married Ruriko Okahashi who calls him ‘her darling man’. They were one of several Japanese families who purchased farms northeast of Vauxhall to contribute to the growing Potato Industry in Southern Alberta. The proximity of the Japanese families formed a social network of language, culture and shared history. Their social activities included ballroom dancing, karaoke singing and rare holidays in Las Vegas and Hawaii.
Mom and Dad raised five children on the farm who always realized how lucky they were to have such loving and gentle parents. We belonged to Parkview United Church in Vauxhall where Dad was encouraged to sing in the choir and eventually became a soloist at funerals and weddings. He retired from farming in 1994 and took up golfing full-time in Taber. In 2010 he experienced a stroke and eventually moved to Lethbridge to be with his supportive family.
Friends may with the family on Thursday, August 2, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.at Christensen Salmon GENERATIONS Funeral Home, 703 – 13 Street North, Lethbridge.
The Funeral Service will be held on Friday, August 3, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at SOUTHMINSTER UNITED CHURCH, 1011-4 Ave. South, Lethbridge, with Rev. Eva Stanley and Rev. Aldeen McKay officiating. Inurnment to follow on Saturday, August 4 at the Mountain View Cemetery, Lethbridge.
Koden is gratefully declined. Memorial donations may be made to the Southern Alberta Japanese United Church, 821-9 Ave. North, Lethbridge, AB T1H 1E8, or to the charity of one’s choice.