Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community

In Memoriam: Victor Takemoto

Victor Mitsori Takemoto

October 27, 1926 – November 27, 2021

Victor M. Takemoto went to be with his Lord and Savior on Saturday, November 27, 2021. One month after his 95th birthday. Born on Bainbridge Island, WA on October 27, 1926, to Saichi and Yone Takemoto, the first of five boys and a girl. On March 30, 1942, Victor was one of 227 Bainbridge residents of Japanese descent forced to leave for Manzanar Interment camp at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range and Mount Whitney in California. In April 1945, Grandpa Takemoto brought the rest of the family home to Bainbridge to get the strawberry crop in the ground. Victor, a senior in high school with plans to attend the University of Washington in the fall, stayed behind in Manzanar to graduate. Two weeks after the Takemoto Family returned to Bainbridge Island, Rev. Emery Andrews of Seattle Japanese Baptist Church brought a (blue) bus load of students from the University of Washington to help clear the land for the strawberry crop. Note: Mom, Lilly Y Todo attended Japanese Baptist Church but did not meet Victor until after he graduated from college. Victor graduated from the University of Washington in 1949 with BA in Bacteriology. He lived at SYNKOA House off the UW Campus. Later he lived at the San Telmo apartments with a roommate. Dad met Mom at Japanese Baptist Church. Mom and a friend were waiting for the friend’s brother to give them a ride home. Dad was sitting in the back seat of the car when the friend’s brother pulled up. Victor and Lilly were married on February 14, 1954 by Rev. Emery Andrews at Japanese Baptist Church.

Victor worked at many places, in a laboratory in the former Marine Hospital, later Amazon Headquarters on North Beacon Hill. He typed blood over Saturday nights at the NW Blood Bank. His main job a medical laboratory, Southside Clinical Laboratory in the building owned by Dr. M. Paul Suzuki, MD., at 17th Ave So and So Jackson St. Where the Casa Latina is now located. The small two-man lab sat above Tokuda Drugs, Victor’s partner in the lab was George Nomaguchi. The Takemoto Family also owned a 3-story apartment building at 15th and East Harrison. So in addition to working at the lab, maintaining the front, back and side yard at our home, Dad had to do odd jobs at the Malden Apartments and mow the large yard there! Dad also bowled two nights a week, was a member of the Franklin Investors, The Fury Fishing Club, and the Broadway Kiwanis. Later, Victor played golf with friends in the Half Century Club, and for many years organized a week-long golf trip in September to Moses Lake, Spokane and nearby golf courses in Idaho. Victor had season tickets for the Mariners and went to a couple of Spring Training games. He was a life-long Husky, went to a couple of Rose Bowls as well.

A member of Japanese Baptist Church, Victor helped with Boy Scout Troop 53 activities, camping trips, hikes. Victor helped on Church Clean-up Days, Mochi Making, Sukiyaki Dinner. He served on the Finance Committee and served many years as the JBC Funeral Coordinator. Victor did garden work at JBC and also at Keiro Nursing Home.

Victor would go to Sakai Intermediate School on Bainbridge Island to answer questions from 6th Graders in March to answer their questions regarding the removal of Japanese from Bainbridge in 1942 in observance of Leaving Our Island.

Victor’s oral history can be found on, The Bainbridge Island Japanese Community website. He is also on the Densho website.

Victor and Lilly raised three kids: Vicki, Stan (wife: Irene, daughter: Abigail, son: Calvin Jayce) and Jon (wife: Lena, stepdaughter: Christine Anderson, husband Kyle, sons: Eric and Owen.) Lilly passed away February 2018.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Takemoto family.

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