Katsumi “Kats” Sakamoto passed away peacefully into the arms of his Lord and Savior on Jan. 8, 2010. A private service was held on Jan. 12.
Kats was born on March 5, 1922, to Kumataro and Iwaye (Yamamoto) Sakamoto in Wapato, Wash. He and his younger siblings were raised in Wapato and attended school there. He and his family were interned in Heart Mountain, Wyo., at the onset of World War II.
Kats served his country briefly during World War II, and was stationed at Ft. Douglas, Utah. Afterward, he went on to attend Washington State University, where he majored in animal husbandry.
While in college, Kats met Chiye Sato, a Hood River native, at a dance. They immediately hit it off, and commuted to see each other until their marriage in 1950. They made their home in the Yakima Valley until 1962 at which time they moved to Hood River. Chiye preceded him in death in 1989.
After retiring from the Diamond Fruit Cannery, Kats continued to spend much of his time working on his orchard in Odell. In his free time, he enjoyed raising cattle and fishing. As these activities became more difficult, he became an avid viewer of sports on television, especially ESPN.
Kats took great pride in the accomplishments of his children. He was very supportive of the athletic and academic achievements of his grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his wife; parents; brother Tom Sakamoto and sister Helen Kiyokawa.
Kats is survived and will be deeply missed by his family and friends: his brother, Sam Sakamoto, of Pacific City, Ore.; son, Elliot Sakamoto, of Portland, Ore.; daughter, Leslie Yasui and her husband, Tom, of Hood River; grandsons Hunter Sakamoto, of Portland, Ore., and Matthew Yasui, of Hood River; close friends Toshiko and Amanda Carlos, of Hood River; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family asks that any donations be made in memory of Kats to a charitable organization of your choice.
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