Ronald T. Saito

September 23, 1940--------------------------------------November 21, 1996

Ron and his daughter Allyson
Photo taken August, 1996


written by
Don Ishimaru

Ron, his Aunt Glendine and I were classmates at Nora Sterry Elementary School. My earliest memories of Ron begin when we became friends in the 2nd Grade. This friendship of almost 50 years grew steadily throughout the years. married his Aunt Glendine in June, 1968; Ron was my best man and I became his Uncle. 7 years after my marriage I would stand as Ron's best man the day he wed Doreen Furogawa in July, 1975.

A year after graduating University High School in the summer of 1958, Ron and volunteered and joined the U.S. Army under the "buddy system" to fulfill our military obligations. We were both sent to Ford Ord California for basic training. After basic training Ron was assigned overseas to Asmara, Ethiopia, while I went to Korea. The next 2-1/2 years were to become the only time in both our lives that we did not see nor speak to one another directly on a regular basis since our fateful meeting in the 2nd Grade.

Fishing and the out doors were Ron's favorite pastimes along with bowling. These act ivities were pursued with vigor with the two of us participating with our fathers, other family members, Boy Scouts and other friends on weekends surf fishing, deep sea fishing, camping and fishing various local lakes. Our 10 day back packing trips to the high mountain lakes and streams of the Sierra Nevadas in pursuit of Rainbows, Brooks, and Goldens were to become the high points of our summer vacations during our teens. During our teenage years we had more time than money. In order to support our fishing habits Ron and I, and on occasions Mikio Tochioka, would work weekends cleaning yards and hauling trash to the local dump. Ron and I even opened a bank account so that we would have enough money to support our fishing habits.

Throughout Elementary and Junior High School Ron was bigger and taller than most of his friends.

My Daddy

Life... Just a little too short So- many things undone How can I put these thoughts into words? Is it joy, is it sorrow Is it love, is it hate Wait... let me think It's all in my fate My daddy was the best there was He was my favorite... but then, I only have one Nothing can replace what I've learned from him Only my memories can even compare to them My daddy was special, he taught me so much Try everything once, then you say yuck! Come look at this sunset , my daddy would say But don't try to burp, you might have to pay Wood work and such, and much much more Making volcanoes, too much to ask for His reading was great, but he never read right Singing his songs in the midst of the night His stories were funny His songs helped me sleep Adding some words Then sing about me Mommy can attempt to sing his special songs But these were his talents and will be for ever more Who could replace his special jobs Only memories help ease my pain I'II miss you daddy, I hope you know But I understand why you had to go You'll always be with me, I know in my heart They can't keep us separate, not even apart Allyson Emi Saito 11-24-96
Although he was bigger he was never the class bully - I only remember him as being just the opposite. He was really as gentle as he was big. While at Emerson Junior High School most of us played intra-mural sports. We stayed an extra hour or two after school to play organized touch football, speed-ball, a form of soccer, and softball. We were separated according to age and size into three divisions Majors, Intermediates and Midgets. Ron played with the majors and the rest of us played with the Midgets. This carried over into High School when Ron led the way by being one of the first of his classmates to play Varsity Football while the rest played on the smaller "B" Team.

I fondly remember my parents comparing Ron to "Hoss Cartwright" from the popular TV series Bonanza. They would always say he not only looked like "Hoss" but in many ways reminded them of the character portrayed on TV - he was big yet gentle, caring and trusting, smiling, laughing and cheerful, ready to lend a hand, and had an apetite to match. My mother especially remembers Ron for his visits to our home on New Years Day for traditional Ozoni, her fried chicken and other morsels to begin the new year.

Ron loved to work with wood and was a perfectionist at what he made. He took his time to think and size up a project and source the proper materials. He took measurements not once but several times to insure against errors. The extra time that he always took to think and plan these projects were rewarded more often than not by the end product he had created.

Ron remained a bachelor long after most of his friends married and were raising their families. I believe the reason he remained a bachelor longer than most was that he was only being true to his form. He took his time to think, plan and find that special person with whom he would share his life. Ron found that special person when he married Doreen Nobuko Furogawa on July, 19, 1975.

Allyson Emi Saito was born September 2, 1982 - she was to become Ron's pride and joy over the next 14 years of his life. Ron and Doreen exposed Allyson at an early age to music, arts and language. They encouraged and provided a positive environment and watched proudly as Allyson developed. She's an honors student, an artist, a pianist and most importantly a young lady. I know that one of the highlights of Ron's life was accompanying Allyson with her family in November, 1994 to the John F. Kennedy Center of Performing Arts, Washington, D.C. to see her perform as a pianist in the National Festival of the Arts Performation by Youth.

Ron was unselfish, a man completely devoted to the welfare of his family and an individual with a positive attitude towards life. His quadruple heart by-pass in June of 1982 did not deter him. If anything this event seemed to spur Ron to enjoy life to an even greater extent. Ron traveled extensively with his family on extended vacations to Alaska, Canada, Colorado, the Western United States, Washington D.C. and abroad to Japan for a month's visit to his fathers ancestral home. He and his family traveled, experienced and enjoyed more in twelve years than some do in a lifetime.

Ron, this has been the most difficult paper that I have ever written. To eulogize you and attempt to put into words what your friendship has meant to me in these short paragraphs is not possible. One thing I do know for certain is that I will miss you as will all your friends but you will always be with us in our thoughts and in our hearts.

Your friend - Don

Thanks to Margaret Inouye O'Hare for sending in the information for this tribute to Ron

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