March 23, 1942 – July 20, 2020
Osamie (Sam) Oishi passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family, on July 20, 2020, at the age of 78. He is survived by his wife Junko, two sons, Brian and Kevin (Jennifer), daughter, Shelley (Ben) and six grandchildren, Jordan, Ronan, Zander, Kailea, Akira and Mariko. He is predeceased by his parents Saneyoshi and Chika Oishi, his brother Yoichi Oishi, cousin Yosh Oishi, sister-in-law Reiko Oishi and nephew Kerry Nagata.
Raised in Raymond, Alberta, Sam graduated in 1960 from Raymond High School. He went on to attend the University of Calgary, earning his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1964. He then served his mandatory three years with the Canadian Forces, Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. In 1967, his crowning achievement was marrying Junko Oishi (Nishida) on July 8, 1967. With a deep love, commitment and partnership, they would spend the next 53 years on a journey that would see them raise 3 children, 6 grandchildren and take them on an adventure that spanned the western hemisphere.
Sam began his professional career with Catalytic Construction in Fort McMurray, Alberta, where he was part of a team that was developing a process of separating oil from the tar sands. In 1970, he moved on to Kennecott Copper in Kitsault, BC, where he worked until 1972. That year he moved to Leaf Rapids, Manitoba, to take a position as General Foreman of Operations for Sherritt Gordon Mines Limited. He finally settled with his family in Sparwood, BC, in 1974, working for Westar Mining, Balmer Operations. By 1982 he was the General Superintendent and three years later was promoted to Manager of Operations. His next move would see him take over the Greenhills Mine as the Vice President and General Manager from 1988 to 1992. In 1993 he established his own business, Pivotal Management Consulting before being enticed to accept an offer in 1996 by Greenstone Resources Limited to manage a gold mine in Canazas, Republic of Panama. Subsequently, Sam joined the team of Rydberg Levy International Incorporated in 1998 as a project manager where he worked until retirement in 2006. Not quite ready to settle down, he resumed his career as an independent consultant in 2012. This lasted until 2015 when he retired permanently with June in Courtenay, BC.
Sam successfully juggled his work aspirations and his devotion to family. He thoroughly enjoyed facilitating positive and unique experiences for others and seeing the happiness he instilled in those around him. During family gatherings his quick and humorous wit would create an atmosphere of laughter and joy. He had a knack for creating conflict between family members over opposing ideologies or politics and then would sit back and revel in the resulting fireworks.
Although he and June always seemed to be moving around the continent, he maintained a strong bond with his family. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 1999—the beginning of his long, courageous battle with cancer. With unwavering support, June stepped up beside him, and together, they continued to live life to the fullest for next 21 years. Those years brought 6 grandchildren into the family; Sam’s greatest joy and focus in life.
Highly respected and deeply loyal to his family and friends, Sam was objective, insightful and diplomatic. He consistently put everyone else’s needs before his, especially when it came to his beloved grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers or koden, donations can be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation (heartandstroke.ca) or BC Cancer Foundation (bccancerfoundation.com).
- June, Wife
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
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August 2, 2020
Oh June, I am so sorry to hear the news. In a recent chat with Jan, I had said that I needed to get a hold of Sam to let him know I had quit my job and had a new cell #. I was very fortunate to have met Sam through Jan here in Whitecourt. We all had such rollicking conversations around the dinner table. It all was such good fun and a highlight of my time here. You were both so generous in having me (&Spinner) come visit you in Courtenay. I was so looking forward to the next visit in my truck & RV unit so Sam and I could be off on an adventure like we talked about last summer. That was such a good day we had when we went up to Campbell River. I am not a praying man, but I do send you my warmest thoughts. I will swing by the next time I make the Island, all my best June. John
Heather & Murray Kennedy-MacNeill
July 29, 2020
Oh June...what a loss. And within days of Seiko too...Except for that one visit to your home, we mostly saw you at the Marton’s events and both Murray and I were so struck by the humour, kindness, generosity and wisdom of you both. And you were both so special to Seiko who mentioned you both often with affection. I don’t know what happens after people die, but somehow it was comforting to know that Sam and Seiko might be close by each other. May you find comfort and peace. Murray & Heather
Joyce & John Kuhn
July 26, 2020
We only knew Sam for a short period , June and he became our next door neighbors and we thoroughly enjoyed his wit and generosity. We will both miss his smiling face.
July 25, 2020
My deepest condolences. Sam was my best friend in Raymond and then in Edmonton some 60 years ago. I always hoped to see him again but never did but I will always remember him and still thought of him from time to time.
Lucy (Shigematsu) Yamazaki
July 24, 2020
Harry and I were very sad to hear of Sam's passing. Your family is in our thoughts!