Saburo Akita, a longtime resident of Dallesport, Washington, passed away quietly on August 7, 2015 at his residence. He was the fourth of eleven children of Chiyo and Nobuhei Akita. He was 91 years old and is survived by his sister, Wasco Fujiwara, The Dalles, his brother, Fred Akita, The Dalles, his five children: James, Dallesport, Wash., Raymond Akita (Vicki), Richland, Wash., Nancy Finch (Daryl) Auburn, Wash., Byron Akita (Merrie) The Dalles, Ore., and Jane Breslow (Steve) Hillsboro, Ore., his grandchildren: Ken, Daniel, Timothy, Kimberly, Cavan, Adrienne and Chance, his great-grandchildren: Kara, Justin and Kylie and numerous nephews and nieces.
He was born in The Dalles, Ore., on August 30, 1923 and attended Lyle High School. During WWII, he and his family were relocated to a Federal Internment Camp for Japanese Americans at Tule Lake, Calif. He was able to travel to Salt Lake City and Chicago on a work release program from the Internment Camps during the war years and worked at various jobs. He was drafted into the US Army in WWII and was honorably discharged due to a medical condition. He married Marie Toda on September 25, 1948. The couple lived in the Portland area for a few years before returning to the Akita family farm in Dallesport. He spent the last 60 years working on their produce farm and cherry orchard. He was the first one in Dallesport to have a commercial cherry orchard and was a commissioner on both the Dallesport Fire District and the Dallesport Irrigation District. He was well known for his great tasting tomatoes!
If he was not driving tractors, he was working on them. He loved to tinker on cars and in his youth, he had a reputation for driving a “ little” over the speed limit. He had a very well equipped garage and it was not unusual for the neighborhood teenagers to be at the farm fixing their cars. He liked traveling and enjoyed driving and riding in the car during his later years. He was generous with his time and resources and his home was often used for large family gatherings. He will be missed by all who knew him.
Saburo was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Marie, and his parents Nobuhei and Chiyo Akita, his sisters, Fumiko Kenmotsu and Sachiko Akita, his brothers Hiroshi Akita, Shigeo Akita, Tsutomu Akita, Henry Akita, Kiyoshi (Joe) Akita and Jimmy Akita.
A Celebration of Life will take place on August 29, 2015 beginning at 12:00 p.m. at The Dalles Civic Auditorium, 323 East 4th Street, The Dalles, Oregon. Friends and family are invited to write down a memory or story about Saburo’s life and bring it with them to the Celebration to add to a Memory Book.
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