Robert Akio “Bob” Sumoge, 85, passed away Dec. 24, 2013, at his home in Hood River, Ore. Bob was born Sept. 15, 1928, in Hood River, the eighth of 11 children born to Shinjiro and Masa (Suzuki) Sumoge, a Japanese immigrant farm family.
The Sumoge family farmed until 1941 when war broke out, and Bob and his family were sent to internment camps in Tule Lake, Calif., and later to Heart Mountain, Wyo. Bob and his family returned to Hood River after the war ended and began the process of rebuilding their shattered lives.
A few years later Bob enlisted in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Fort Ord, Calif., for two years. After his time in the U.S. Army, Bob married Ruth Moteki and together they raised their two children. Sadly, Ruth passed away in 1961 at the age of 33. In 1963, Bob married Yukiko Okimoto, and his family grew to five children.
Bob, with Yukiko by his side, operated Okimoto Orchards for more than 30 years. In the late-1990s, Bob and his family sold their Parkdale farm orchard and moved to Hood River, where they enjoyed several years of retirement. On Aug. 28, 2011, Yukiko passed away. Bob and Yukiko enjoyed 48 years of marriage before Yukiko’s passing.
Bob was active in the Parkdale Volunteer Fire Department as a certified EMT. He was a member of the Upper Valley Lions Club and served on the board of directors of the Hood River Supply Association for many years. Bob frequently donated blood to the American Red Cross, one of his favorite charities.
He loved the outdoors, fishing and mushroom “hunting.”
Bob is survived by his son, Gerald (Jerry), of Beaverton; daughters Jan Sumoge, Debbie Whitecotton, Donna Okimoto Weiner and Cheryl Russell, of Portland; grandchildren Brad and Stacy Sumoge, of Beaverton, and Julie Whitecotton, of San Francisco; brothers Fred Sumoge of Downey, Calif., Tom Sumoge, of Odell, Ore., and Mitsuo Sumoge, of Laughlin, Nev.; and sisters Mary Sumoge and Rose Murahashi.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, at Anderson’s Tribute Center, with Bob Huskey officiating. Remembrances may be made to the Hospice of the Gorge or the American Red Cross.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson’s Tribute Center (Funerals, Receptions, Cremations), 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River, OR 97031; 541-386-1000. Please visit andersonstributecenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.
Condolences are being received online.
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