Itsumi "Gets" Goto
August 24, 1926 – December 29, 2020
Itsumi “Gets” Goto passed away peacefully on December 29, 2020, at the age of 94. Itsumi was known as “Gets” and was a loving and devoted husband, dad, and Jichan (grandpa and great grandpa). Gets was a friend to all and would do anything (especially fix things, since he was “Mr. Fixit” to all!) for anyone and would give you the shirt off his back. As a parent, he was hardworking, conscientious, and tough but fair. He told his kids, “Always do your best, or don’t do it at all”. Because of this attitude, he was well respected and known for his integrity, selflessness and generosity. His kids learned the value of an education from a man who never had a chance to get one himself. Gets was determined to provide an education for his kids and always told them, “Once you have your education, no one can take it away from you.” All of these qualities made him an excellent role model for the entire family. Gets was born in Fowler, CA on August 24, 1926. He was the third child of four of Satoru and Shizuko Goto. His younger brother is Charles. His two older sisters (Yuriko and Emiko), passed away in Japan in 1927. In 1929 his family moved to Guadalupe on the central coast. We believe it was in Guadalupe that he got his nickname “Gets” (or Getse) because he had a lot of “guts'' and was a very rascally boy. A friend of his couldn’t pronounce “guts'' and it came out “Gets”, and the name stuck. During WWII, he and his family were incarcerated at the Gila River Japanese internment camp in Arizona in 1942. In 1945 they were transferred to the Tule Lake camp in California. It was at Tule Lake where he met the Nishikawa family and his future brother-in laws: Hiro, Tucker, George, Jits, and Frank. After the War and being released from the internment camp, between 1945-1950, among other jobs, he worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad putting in spikes. From Oct 1950 - Sept 1952 he served in the Army during the Korean War and earned the rank of Sergeant. He served in the army reserves from Sept 1952-July 1956. In the summer of 1949, Mary’s brother Hiro and his wife Aki, set up a blind date for Gets and Mary and the rest is history. Gets and Mary married on March 14, 1953. From 1954 to 1959, they had three children: Alan, Glen and Elaine. In 1966, Gets and Mary purchased their 20 acre ranch while Gets still worked at Aki Hardware Co. He worked there for over 30 years, at Central Fish for about 24 years, about 2 years part-time at Ewing Irrigation and then retired from outside employment. Their ranch was a lot of work but a big accomplishment and a source of pride and joy; farming was his passion. Gets taught some of the grandkids how to pick grapes and roll trays and also loved giving them tractor rides. He continued farming until around 2011 (age 85). While in the Army, Gets picked up some barbering skills. He was the family and extended family barber for many years and also gave haircuts to Mary, Elaine and Kelsi. It was great seeing the relatives on a regular basis for haircut and visits, and it kept the Goto-Nishikawa clan close! Gets and Mary led an active life. Although the ranch kept them busy, they still did many activities, usually with Frank and Amy. They took ballroom dancing lessons, loved going to casinos, volunteered at the Buddhist Church, and they even took a road trip to Portland, OR. For many years Gets was in a Thursday night bowling league with his bowling partner and brother-in-law Jits. They had great times and even took home some trophies. The Goto and Nishikawa families also took annual summer vacations to Pismo Beach where lifetime memories were made of clamming, fishing and BBQ-ing on the beach. Each vacation would end with the annual spaghetti and clam chowder dinner.Gets was proud of his kids, grandkids and great grandkids and loved seeing and spending time with them. With barely a high school education, he educated himself on investing and the stock market and was a great provider for his family. He would always tell his kids and grandkids, “It’s not what you make, but what you save that counts!” Gets is survived by his son Alan Goto; son Glen Goto and his wife Stacy; daughter Elaine Chan and her husband Phil. Eight grandchildren: Clint Goto and wife Melissa, Scott Goto, Melanie Schneider, Kelsi Goto, Kyle Schneider, PJ Chan and Sam Goto; four great grandchildren: Tyson, Cameron, Barrett, and Claire Goto. Gets is also survived by his brother Charles Goto and his wife Nancy; his brother-in-law Frank Nishikawa, sister-in-laws Yoko Nishikawa and Satoko Nishikawa, and many beloved cousins, nieces and nephews. Gets’ family thanks everyone who visited Gets and Mary and brought them food, goodies, and good company. Thank you to Uncle Frank and Auntie Amy for always being there for them especially in their final years. Thank you to the staff at Oakmont and to “driver” and friend Larry Hisel who kept Gets as his co-pilot whenever possible. Thank you to physical therapists, Shari Callaway and John Stratigos, for their loving care and friendship. Thank you to Mr. John Urabe and Lisle for their guidance through this difficult time. Your compassion and support gave us comfort knowing our dad was in your good hands. Gets loved this time of year! He loved our big family mochitsuki in December in preparation for the New Year, and he really loved visiting family and friends on New Year’s day! So, in memory of Gets, his family wishes you all a safe, healthy, and Happy New Year!
A private family burial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers or koden, all donations may be made in Gets’ memory to the Fresno Buddhist Church, 2690 E. Alluvial, Fresno CA 93720, or Project Dana, c/o Fresno Buddhist Church, or to your favorite charity.
- Alan Goto, son
- Glen Goto (his wife Stacy), son
- Elaine Chan (her husband Phil), Daughter
- Charles Goto (his wife Nancy), Brother
- He leaves behind seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren to cherish his memory.
Itsumi "Gets" Goto
January 14, 2021
Wow, just found out about your father. Got the pleasure working with your dad at Central Fish, he was a great person, quiet man with a gentle sole. Got the pleasure working with his son & daughter, Glen & Elaine, had some great memories. Just lost my best friend Stan Zenimura who also worked with your father. Wow, 2 good men who past away in December, 2020. I will always cherish the memories, Rest In Peace “GETS”
January 3, 2021
Aww Getz you will be missed by all of us at Oakmont!! Such a sweet man!!! Can't say that enough. Those of us who took care of him called him Papa!! Him and Mary were the sweetest as can be always with a smile!! Always making sure we were ok when we were there to take care of him!! Really going to miss you Papa!! R. I. P. Now you are once again with Mary!!
To Elaine, Alan and Glen and your Families you are All in my thoughts and prayers!! Really going to miss you all!!!