Obituary: Heyamoto, George Isamu
HEYAMOTO, George Isamu Passed away peacefully on the morning of March 6, 2013 at his home in Spokane. He was 92 years old. George was born on August 21, 1920 in Portland, OR to Yukichi and Asayo Heyamoto. He was the oldest of five children. George grew up on a hops ranch in Newberg, OR. As a little boy, he believed that the red house at the far end of the lake was Japan, and often dreamed about visiting there when he grew up. George and his younger brother Heat were very good baseball players, and as teenagers played for an amateur team called the “Showas”. When George was in high school, he was one of a select group asked to play an exhibition game against the Tokyo Giants who were on an international road trip. His father had died and his family was interned in Minidoka, ID during World War II. As the oldest, George ended up working for the SP&S Railroad during the war to provide for his family. SP&S had petitioned the war department not to draft him because they knew he was a good foreman and wanted him working for the railroad. George brought his mother and siblings to Spokane in 1945 where he met Fumiko Fukai. They were married in 1947 and had two children. In his early years he was the resident manager of the Globe Hotel located at Main and Division. The building is now on the Spokane Historic Register. He also worked at the Suki Yaki Inn, and finished his career at Litho Art Printers as a lithographer. He married Peggy Desautel in 1972 and they began their life together. He became active in the Spokane Buddhist Temple, the Nishinomiya Sister City program, and supported and participated in Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute events. As a young man his hobbies were golfing, bowling, photography, and fishing. He became well known for his carpentry and finishing skills, and remodeled his homes, investment property, and commercial businesses. He and his friends were fixtures at Indian Canyon and Downriver golf courses. Those courses were his favorites because Gary and Steve were great friends and always gave him the best tee times. George could still shoot his age, even into his 90s. George had many, many friends accumulated over a lifetime. They will remember him as an engaging man, easy to talk to, always interested in what they were doing, and always with a smile on his face and a laugh and a joke. Every morning he could be found with his friends eating breakfast at the Hilltop CafÄ‚Ĺ on N. Nevada. He and Peggy were consummate hosts, often filling their home with friends, relatives, and visitors and providing friendship, hospitality, and wonderful Japanese food feasts. He never took himself or other things too seriously, which is why he lived to be 92. George is survived by his wife Peggy; sons David (Jerrie) and Doug (Linda); stepdaughter Sharlene Andrew; stepson Billy Desautel (Carla); sister Aiko Minata (Ike); and a host of wonderful nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who adored him. We will all miss him dearly. He was preceded in death by his brother Hiromu (Heat) Heyamoto, and sisters Sue Ehama and Toshie Heyamoto. No formal funeral services are planned. The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Spokane Buddhist Temple.