John Masaji Sato
November 9, 1919 – September 28, 2012
Sato, John Masaji John Masaji Sato was born in Ontario, Oregon on November 9, 1919 and passed away on September 28, 2012 in Glendale, AZ. John worked on his family’s farm in Ontario until he enlisted in the U.S. Army in October, 1941. He met Mei Watanabe from Los Angeles during military leave and they were married on April 17, 1945 at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, TX. After the war, they eventually settled in L.A. where John worked as a landscape gardener for over fifty years. He was an active member of the L.A. Southwest Gardener’s Association where he served as the Editor of their newsletter up until he retired in October, 1997 to live with his daughter’s family in Glendale, AZ. John enjoyed meeting so many wonderful people in Arizona and attended many activities and events with the Japanese American Citizens League, Desert Cross Community Church (formerly called Japanese Free Methodist Church), Japanese Senior Center, Asian Chamber of Commerce, Arizona Buddhist Temple and the Arizona Matsuri. He was passionate about volunteering at the Japanese Friendship Garden where he would spend hours pruning the bamboo. John was predeceased by his beloved wife, Mei. He is survived by all four of his sisters, Mary Ishida, Maxine Morioka, Lola “Tattie” Hanada, and Roseanne Sato; two daughters, Denise Brush (Jeff) and Michele Namba (Ted); grandchildren Kristen Steele (Michael), Lauren Namba, and Bryan Namba; great grandchildren Maren Steele and Maia Steele and many nephews, nieces and family friends. A public memorial service will be held at West Resthaven Funeral Home, 6450 W. Northern Ave, Glendale on Saturday, October 6 (visitation from 9:00-10:00 am and service at 10:00 am). In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to The Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix, c/o Norton House, 2700 N. 15th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85007.
- Visitation Saturday, October 6, 2012
- Memorial Service Saturday, October 6, 2012
John Masaji Sato
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October 10, 2012
Mr. Sato was one of the earliest volunteers at the Japanese Friendship Garden. We remember him for his quiet smile and his kindness. We also remember him for the time and expertise he gave.
Michael Buelow, volunteer gardener
October 10, 2012
Mr. Sato was one of the earliest volunteers at the Japanese Friendship Garden. He smiled easily and was kind to all. We remember his generous contributions of time and talent.
Michael Buelow, Garden volunteer
October 8, 2012
We were sorry to hear of John's passing. Our deepest condolences to all the family. We will always remember his friendly smile. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Love, Kiyo and Kazie Higa
October 3, 2012
Wishing the extended family peace as you lay John to rest. May a little of his goodness live on in each of you.
September 29, 2012
Uncle John was such a special man. He always had a kind word and a sparkle in his eyes when he spoke about things he loved. The last time he visited my Mom, his sister Mary, he would be busy doing something helpful like sweeping the driveway or trimming the hedges. I liked to hear his stories from the past, especially ones that included his love of playing music. I will miss my Uncle John and hope that he is at peace, tending his garden and playing music in heaven.