3/31/28 - 4/3/16

Yoshio Aoki died peacefully on Sunday, April 3rd, surrounded by his family, at his home in Seattle, following a traumatic fall last June and a stroke on the morning of his 88th birthday.
 
Yosh is survived by his beloved wife, Mary Masako Suzuki Aoki; his children, Julie Mia Aoki (Steven) Nardi, Peter Kai (Lanell) Aoki, and Ann Naomi Aoki (William) Becker; his granchildren, Kai Niko Aoki, Mari Tiara Aoki, and Liam Yoshio Becker; and his brother, Nobuo Aoki of Salt Lake City, UT.
 
Yosh was born a US citizen on March 31st, 1928, in Seattle, WA, to Sasuke Aoki and Hideko Kubota, first generation immigrants from Japan.
 
He was only 11 when he lost his father to cancer.
 
Yosh grew up in the Central Area of Seattle at East Fir St and 14th Ave, and attended Pacific School and Washington Junior High.
 
At age 14, after entering Garfield High School as a freshman, Yosh and his five siblings and widowed mother were forcibly evacuated from their home during WWII solely due to their Japanese ancestry.
 
They were first sent to live in horse stalls on the Puyallup Fairgrounds and then to the Minidoka War Relocation Camp in Hunt, Idaho, for the next 3.5 years.
 
Yosh's high school education occurred in Minidoka and he graduated from the camp's high school in 1945 prior to his family's release from camp at the end of the war.
 
From camp, Yosh was awarded a university scholarship in art per his prodigious talent. However, due to his mother's concern that art was not a serious pursuit, Yosh pursued his second passion of airplanes.
 
Yosh initially attended Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, where he began his studies in aeronautical engineering under T. Wilson, the future head of the Boeing Company.
 
At Iowa State, Yosh was not allowed to live in their university dorms. Instead, he was allowed in their "international house", where students from foreign countries were housed.
 
Yosh transferred to the University of Washington once persons of Japanese descent were allowed to return to the Pacific coast and obtained his Master's Degree in Aeronautical Engineering there.
 
Yosh began his 41 year career with the Boeing Company in 1950.
 
Yosh was a pacifist and boldly required of his employer that his assignments remain solely in the commercial division of the company and not be for defense projects.
 
At Yosh's retirement party, T. Wilson honored him by stating that if it were not for Yosh's Japanese ancestry, Yosh would have ascended to the position that he once held.
 
Yosh met Mary Masako Suzuki, who was the center of his being, in 1947 and they married in 1952. They raised their children in North Capitol Hill in Seattle facing the Olympic Mountains.
 
Yosh committed himself to his family and was an active community servant.
 
In 1970, Yosh was elected president of the Central Area School Council, a division of the Seattle Public School Board. As head of the CASC, he commit himself to racial equality and education. Weekday mornings prior to his work at Boeing, Yosh would walk the halls and the perimeter of Garfield High School, to assure a safe environment for the community there. Nights were regularly spent with the PTA and African American community leaders, attempting to find ways to improve students' lives.
 
In his spare time, Yosh was known for helping children with their homework, Mary with housework, and was responsible for the extensive remodel of their home which appeared several times in Sunset Magazine.
 
Yosh and Mary loved being together and eating and traveling and the arts. They regularly traveled to San Francisco (where they were married), and Hawaii, and annual trips to numerous countries abroad.  His first trip to Japan was at the age of 56 with Mary.
 
Yosh was an advocate for human rights, a feminist, and a steadfast liberal. He commit himself wholly to his family and grandchildren. And, primarily, to the care of his granddaughter, Mari. He was selfless in his devotion.
 
Words used to describe him are quiet, gentle, kind, decent, noble, fair.

In his declining health, nurses stated, 'where can a girl find a man like Yosh?'
 
He was an exceptional human being.
 
A memorial gathering will be held on Sunday, May 1st, 2016, at the Mirabella:

116 Fairview Ave N
Seattle, WA
98109

The doors will open on the 10th floor at 3:30 PM and a small service will begin at 4:00 PM.
 
The family is eternally grateful to all caregivers who graced him with their kindness and devotion.
 
Donations in Yosh’s name can be made on behalf of the ACT study (Adult Changes in Thought) of the University of Washington and Group Health Cooperative:

Group Health Research Institute Geriatric Research Fund Group Health Foundation
320 Westlake Ave N Suite 100
Seattle, WA  98109


Comments

Mr Yosh is kind, brave, noble, and I respect him very much.

Zitong Peng


An amazing man who will be missed - the Lindberg-Mikami clan

Kish Lindberg


Dear Uncle Yosh,

Thank you, for all the memories and good times, I had when I was growing up. I shall always remember them.
Two, in particular, I will treasure. You and Auntie, every year, put on your annual Easter Egg Hunt, in your backyard, and invited all us relatives to participate....what fun!
And, your extended family get togethers, to come watch your homemade movies that you made of the family. Director......extraordinaire!!

A renaissance, man, you were Uncle Yosh!

I'll miss you. R.I.P.

In Gassho,
Leslie


Dear Annie and family,
my thoughts are with you at this time of loss and sadness.

paula terhaar


Our deepest sympathies for your loss of Yosh, a person of great compassion and intelligence. His heart was so full of love and it came back to him through dear
Mary, his family and all who knew him, so he was never alone in his journey. A good and grace-filled life. Our thoughts are with you all.

Donna and Frank Leonetti


I extend my heartfelt condolences, and my love, to the entire Aoki family. You have always meant so much to me and, through all of the years of our friendship, I have seen an honor, a dignity, a character in you that is not only rare but is also desperately needed in our world. Each time I saw Yosh I felt that I was in the presence of a good and decent man -- one who was kind and who deeply loved his family. My heart breaks for all of you as you grieve...and, each day, I am thinking of you and hoping that the piercing pain of your loss becomes a little more bearable. Know that you are loved.

Nancy Rhodes


hello Aoki family, my thoughts are with Mary and family, love to u all

Dorie Nussbaum


Annie, my heart weeps for you and your family with the loss of your beloved father. I am keeping you all in my thoughts. With love,

Star Dirette


Love and light...

Mary Kay Gropper


My condolences to you Peter and the rest of the family. Your father left his mark on our world. He will surely be missed.
Love, The French Family

Steve French


I enjoyed many years working with Yosh at the Boeing Aerodynamics Lab. (wind tunnel) We had adjoining offices and would have a great time joking with each other. Yosh was extremely intelligent and solve problems easily that would most of us would labor over. Rest in peace my friend.

Carmine Pecoraro


Dear Mary, Annie, and family, Please accept my sincere sorrow for your loss.

Dr. Francis M. Muggli


To Mary and family:
Our thoughts are with you and Yosh today and send our condolences on the passing of a kind, generous, and worldly humanitarian. We all share with you the loss of this wonderful human being. May his soul rest in peace he so nobly deserves.

Raymond, Yoshiko Uno and family

Raymond Uno


There are no words to express my sadness but I feel privileged being able to travel with Yosh to experience an extraordinary man in many ways.
My heartfelt condolences to Mary, Anne, Julie and Peter.
Graham Umit Dogan

Graham Umit Dogan


Annie- my thoughts are with you

Carrie Getz


Aoki cousins we are so saddened to hear about Uncle. He was always such a quiet and kind man always full of smiles. I enjoyed his visits with Auntie and to see after so many years how they were still so in love - he had a way of looking at her that melted your heart. Thoughts and prayers are with you all xoxo.

Brouwer & Oliver Ohana


Aoki cousins we are so saddened to hear about Uncle. He was always such a quiet and kind man always full of smiles. I enjoyed his visits with Auntie and to see after so many years how they were still so in love - he had a way of looking at her that melted your heart. Thoughts and prayers are with you all xoxo.

Brouwer & Oliver Ohana


Annie and Peter grew up with my daughter Kish. Yoshio was a wonderful influence on them all.

Kris Mikami


Oh Uncle Yosh, you will be missed but never forgotten. Your laugh, your smile, your kindness, your warm and gentle ways about EVERYTHING you did.
To auntie Mary, Annie, Peter, Julie, Kai, Mari & Liam, I am so very sorry for your loss. A huge loss. Rest in peace dear sweet Uncle Yosh, I love you.

Michi


Dear Mary,
My deepest condolences to you and your family. You may not remember Jim and me -- you both helped us move into our new home in January 1953. We cherished our friendship with both of you then. (Jim passed away in Jan. 2014 but would agree with me we both enjoyed knowing you.)
Sincerely,

Marilynne J. Ross


Our family was heartbroken to hear about Yoshio-San's passing. We have many fond memories stemming as far back as the Seward Elementary School days. He was such a sweet and gentle friend. We will miss him very much.

Mary, we feel terrible for your loss and hope that you will not hesitate to ask if there is anything that we can do to help you during this difficult time.

Much Love,

Eiichi and Dorcas Yamashita


Dear Annie, Bill and Liam,

We are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts are with you.

Love,
Colin, Lyn & Malia


Make a donation to The Co-op Funeral Home of People's Memorial