Tommy “Tako” Wataru Shimizu has come to live with us at Caring House. We’re honored.
Tommy was born in Kapoho, on the island of Hawai’i, the sixth of eight children of Ichisuke and Miki Shimizu. Ichisuke and Miki had emigrated to Hawaii from Japan.
His hometown, Kapoho, was a very tranquil farming town on the eastern end of the island of Hawai’i. Tommy remembers many happy times as a youth, spending a lot of time with friends playing sports, rock climbing, cliff diving into the ocean, surrounded by the natural undeveloped beauty of the island. It was a rustic, peaceful, less rushed lifestyle that seems to exist less and less nowadays. Very shortly after Tommy left Hawai’i to come to the mainland (California), his hometown was destroyed by a lava flow from the 1960 eruption of the nearby volcano Mt. Kilauea. The town was never rebuilt, but today there are a few vacation homes there, and some people come to visit the tidal pools resulting from the lava flow.
Tommy graduated from Pahoa High School. After coming to California in his twenties, he attended trade school in electronics. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict.
In California, Tommy lived initially in Los Angeles. Tommy met Joyce Nishiki through mutual friends. Joyce had also come from Hawai’i to California in search of better employment opportunities. She was born on the island of Maui but later moved to O’ahu before coming to the mainland.
Tommy and Joyce were soon married. While in Los Angeles, their sons Duane and Randy were born. Two years later the family moved to Gardena, CA and made it their long-term home. Duane married Julie Rendon, and Randy married Yaeko Osuna. Tommy has three grandchildren, Lauren, Ryan and Erik. Joyce died in 1990.
During the early 1990’s, through local church activities, Tommy met Barbara Sadahiro, who is his very close friend and companion. We see her friendship for Tommy every day at Caring House.
Tommy loves baseball — playing baseball. He played for decades as a first baseman, most often in church leagues, all the way through his fifties and early sixties.
Tommy is outgoing, with a ready smile. He enjoys his Sudoku puzzles, and follows baseball and basketball. He likes popular music and NCIS and Judge Judy on TV.
We’re glad that Tommy is with us at Caring House. We look forward to getting to know him and caring for him.
Tommy died on September 23, 2017. Honor him. Remember him.