William Toshio Yasutake
William Toshio (Tosh) Yasutake passed away on December 12, 2016. Tosh will be remembered for his genuine kindness, his perseverance, his ever present laugh, and his dedication to making the world a better place.
Tosh and his family in Seattle were incarcerated following the attacks on Pearl Harbor in 1942. He went on to enlist in WWII and served as a medic in the famed 442nd RCT, still the most decorated military unit in the history of American warfare. While serving in the European theater, Tosh was wounded in the leg rushing to the aid of fallen comrades and was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for bravery. In his lifetime, he would also be awarded a Congressional Gold Medal and the French Legion of Honor for his service to the United States of America and its allies.
Upon his return to the US and as a reward to himself for surviving the horrors of the war, he took a trip to New York City, where he met the woman, Fumi, who would become his wife. After a long distance courtship, they got married in July of 1950, and remained married for 66 years. Over 5 decades of this time was spent raising a family in Bothell. In 1953, Tosh began his research career with the US Fish & Wildlife Service. He went on to become a pioneer in his field of fish pathology, earned his PH.D in 1980, from the University of Tokyo, the first American to have been so honored. Tosh also earned the distinguished Sniezko Distinguished Service Award in 1987, the highest honor in his field.
What Tosh will most be remembered for is his devotion to his family. He is the father of four children and six grandchildren and will be missed as a brother, a friend, and a role model in his community. He will be dearly missed, but warmly remembered. Public services will be held at Evergreen Washelli (11111 Aurora Ave North, Seattle) on Saturday, January 7, 2017 at 2 p.m. Donations can be made to Densho and the NVC Foundation.