Sakaye Aratani Obituary: A Century of Legacy and Love

In the heart of Los Angeles, California, the passing of Sakaye Aratani on March 18, 2024, marked the end of an era. At the venerable age of 104, Sakaye left behind a legacy that is as remarkable as the life he led. Surrounded by generations of loved ones, his departure was a peaceful transition, celebrated through memories and stories of a life well-lived.

Who was Sakaye Aratani?

Sakaye Aratani was a man of profound integrity, resilience, and devotion. Born on December 11, 1919, in Los Angeles, California, he grew up in Gardena, where his parents ran a chicken farm. This humble beginning laid the foundation for the values of hard work and family unity that would define his life.

A beloved husband to the late George Aratani, a revered businessman and philanthropist, Sakaye was not just a partner but a cornerstone in their shared journey of life. Together, they navigated the challenges and triumphs of building a future in America, contributing significantly to their community and beyond.

Sakaye Aratani Obituary: In Loving Memory

Sakaye’s life was a tapestry woven with the threads of love, dedication, and service. He is survived by a family that spans generations, including his sister Vicki Nakabayashi; daughters Donna Kwee and Linda Aratani; son-in-law Kwee Liong Tek; grandchildren Melissa Aratani Kwee, Stephanie Kwee-Ng & Ng Chee Yuen, Evan Kwee & Claudia Kwee, Jeff Yusa & Angie Yusa, Jann Clark & Adam Clark, Alison Kwee & Sam Eatwell, and Joy Melcher & Blake Melcher; and great-grandchildren Ng Yi-Ning, Ng Yi-Shen, Sydney Clark, Ng Yi-Ren, Aubrey Clark, Lucas Kwee, James Melcher, Mia Melcher, Naomi Kwee, and Amelia Sakaye Eatwell.

His life will be honored and celebrated in a private ceremony, where those who knew him best will gather to share stories, laughter, and perhaps a few tears in remembrance of a truly extraordinary individual.

A Legacy of Philanthropy and Community Service

Sakaye’s impact extended far beyond the confines of his immediate family. Alongside his wife, he was actively involved in several community organizations, including the Japanese American National Museum (JANM), Keiro, the Japan America Society, and the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC). His commitment to these causes was driven by a desire to give back to the community that had supported him throughout his life.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made in Sakaye’s memory to JANM, Keiro, the Japan America Society, or JACCC. These contributions will serve as a lasting tribute to his legacy of generosity and community involvement.

Reflecting on a Century of Change

Sakaye’s life spanned over a century, witnessing incredible changes in the world around him. From the early days on a chicken farm in Gardena to becoming a pillar of his community in Los Angeles, his story is a testament to the power of perseverance, love, and the impact one individual can have on the lives of many.

As we say goodbye to Sakaye Aratani, we also celebrate the indelible mark he has left on his family, his community, and all who had the privilege of knowing him. His legacy of love, service, and dedication will continue to inspire future generations, reminding us of the values that truly matter in life.

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