Obituary: Nobuku, Tetsuo “Tets”
NOBUKU, Tetsuo “Tets” January 2, 1916 - December 16, 2013 Tetsuo Nobuku was born on January 2, 1916 in Toppenish, Washington to Gompei and Yoshi Nobuku. Tets grew up on a farm eight miles from the city where his parents worked the land. His family moved to Seattle where Tets attended Bailey Gatzert Elementary School and Washington Grade School. Tets took electrical mechanics, auto mechanics, and machine shop at Broadway High School where he graduated in 1935. In high school Tets worked summers in several canneries in Alaska. After graduation Tets worked at various jobs in Seattle, Los Angles, returning to Seattle. At the beginning of WW II Tets was interned with his mother and two sisters in Camp Minadoka, Twin Lakes, Idaho. In May 1943 Tets moved to Spokane, Washington where he worked for Paul Sandifer fixing taxi cabs and worked for Great Northern Railroad. Tets was drafted into the US Army on March 17, 1945 where he was sent to radio training school at Camp Crowder, Missouri. WW II ended and Tets was sent to radar repair school in Fort Mamoth, New Jersey. Tets was honorably discharged in December 1946. Tets received the WW II Victory Medal. Tets married Sachie Yamamoto in April 1946 at Camp Mamoth, New Jersey. Tets joined Sachie back in Spokane in December 1946 where together they enjoyed 33 years of marriage until Sachie’s passing in 1979. Tets initially worked for Roy Nishimura in 1943 and later became a partner with Roy in the Division Street Radio and TV repair business. Tets and Roy retired from this business in 1980. Tets married Yoshiko Omoto in July 1984 and enjoyed eight years of marriage until Yo’s passing in 1992. Tets built his house on Ray Street and enjoyed working in his vegetable garden and going mushroom picking for Ponderosa Pine mushrooms also called “matsutake” by the Japanese. Tets also enjoyed working with metal and making parts with his two lathes. Tets could fix almost anything electrical, appliances, lawn mowers and serviced plumbing needs as well. Tets helped countless people in the community with his fix-it skills. He will be greatly missed for his kindness and priceless abilities especially to the widows, single family women and the elderly that he helped through his many years of life. Tets liked good food and was a good cook. He also enjoyed going out to eat mainly at Spokane restaurants. Tets liked music and would play his records and cassette tapes. He liked the Big Band sound. Tets liked to “shoot the breeze” and enjoyed a lively discussion. Tets was an active member of the Highland Park United Methodist Church. He liked getting to know each Reverend that came to minister at Highland Park. Tets enjoyed helping to maintain the church and parsonage, to cook and clean up after the church dinners and attending worship services each Sunday. Tets’ 88th birthday in 2004 was a special highlight where Tets celebrated with his many friends and family at Highland Park. Tets’ friendships enriched his life. Tets is predeceased by Sachie and Yo, stepdaughter Jayni Martin, sister Matsue Ohmura and brother in law Ben Ikeda. Tets is survived by his step children, Karen Toreson, Richard (Virginia) Omoto, Margene Omoto; and grandchildren Chad Omoto, Brian Toreson, Katrina Omoto, Kathy Toreson, Alexandra Martin and Andrea Martin; sister Sumie Ikeda; nephews Gene Ikeda, Gary (Janet) Ikeda, and Glen (Cindy) Ikeda; niece Glennis (Jeff) Marsten and Joanne (Tom) Ferris, great-nieces Anna Ferris and Elizabeth Ferris and great-nephew Christopher Ferris; sister-in-law Charlotte Tetsuka. Tets enjoyed a special relationship with Ayako Tanaka and enjoyed many years of cherished get togethers, celebrations and fond memories with the entire Tanaka family. Thank you to the residents and staff at Emilie Court, Family Home Care and Hospice of Spokane for richly blessing Tets. A celebration of Tets’ life will be held on Saturday, January 25, 2014, 12 noon, at Highland Park United Methodist Church, 611 South Garfield Street, with Pastor John Mark Wang. All koden donations will be donated to the Highland Park United Methodist Church Youth Fund. The family suggests that in lieu of flowers, donations to the HPUMC Youth Fund at 611 South Garfield Street would be greatly appreciated.