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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Obituary: Akiyama, Masuo

Age 97

AKIYAMA, Masuo (Age 97) Passed from this earth into the presence of his Lord Jesus Christ on November 29, 2014 at home with family in Spokane.

He was born in Eastport, ID on May 19, 1917 along with twin Makio (Mickey).

The family, including parents Manjiro and Rin, and older sister May, moved to Spokane when the twins were about 4 years old.

Masuo and Mickey attended Lewis and Clark High School their freshman and part of their sophomore years.

Due to the challenges facing them during the Depression and following the loss of May to tuberculosis at age 17, the family immigrated to Japan in 1933 when the boys were 16.

Masuo returned to Spokane when he turned 18 and made it his permanent home.

Masuo exhibited an artistic gift at an early age and shared it with family, friends and the Spokane community for the rest of his life.

He worked as a sign painter for Markham (Donrey) Advertising from 1955 to 1981, painting many billboards around the region.

He designed and painted the N. Division White Elephant Store’s north-facing wall and his personal touches can still be seen there.

In a desire to express his love for his Savior, he painted a large copy of Sallman’s, Head of Christ, and presented it to Highland Park Church in the early 50’s, where it is still displayed.

Masuo devoted many years of volunteer leadership to his church, the Japanese American Citizen’s League (JACL), and Boy Scouts, and was known for his beautiful, bountiful vegetable garden.

He married his soul mate, Miyo Yamaura, on November 22, 1945, passing away one week after reaching their 69th anniversary.

In these last years, family was blessed to witness his love for her every evening as he kissed and hugged her goodnight, saying, “God loves you and I love you.”

Masuo is survived by wife, Miyo; son Paul (Linda) Akiyama of University Place, WA; daughter Laura (Steve) Yoshihara of Spokane; grandsons Ryan and Corey Akiyama, Casey, Mike, Josh, and Tim Yoshihara; 8 great-grandchildren; nieces Carol Akiyama and Mari-Ann Worley.

He was preceded in death by sister May (1932) and brother Mickey (2010.)

A Memorial Service will be held at Highland Park United Methodist Church, 611 S. Garfield, on Friday, December 19, at 2:00PM.

Memorial donations may be made to the church (mailing address: 919 E. Hartson Ave. Spokane, WA, 99202.)

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