Mitsuo "Mits" Ishihara

November 23, 1929November 19, 2020

Mitsuo Ishihara, lovingly known as “Mits”, was born on November 23, 1929 in Sacramento, California to parents Kichitaro and Minato Ishihara. He was the youngest of six children including two brothers and three sisters. He jokingly called himself an “alley cat” since he was born near L&M Streets which he called “L&M alley”. He spent his childhood years in Sacramento before being relocated in early 1942 to the Tule Lake and Topaz Internment camps during World War II. Following the war, he returned to Sacramento where he graduated from Sacramento High School in 1947. He continued his education at the University of California Berkeley where he earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1951. He later earned a M.S. in Electrical Engineering at San Diego State University in 1974 and a certificate in Software Engineering from the Control Data Education Company in 1979. After graduating UC Berkeley, he immediately accepted a job offer with General Dynamics and relocated to San Diego where he met the love of his life, Sally Sakamoto, at a Buddhist church function. Sally and Mits were a stunning couple on the dance floor where Mits was known as “twinkle toes”. Mits married Sally on July 9, 1955 and enjoyed 65 glorious years of marriage. He went on to raise four children including daughters Gail, Shari, and Vicki and son Mark. He was a loving and dedicated father and husband who made family a priority. He spent endless hours tutoring and supporting his children in educational and extracurricular activities, teaching kindness and respect, and fostering a strong work ethic. The highlight of his stellar career at General Dynamics occurred in 1967 when he was the recipient of a prestigious Inventor’s Award for his Terrain Following Radar invention. He retired in 1992 after 41 years of service and went on to spend the majority of his time babysitting his seven grandchildren, teaching them math and reading books, playing board games, and playing baseball in the backyard. Mits was always patient with his children and grandchildren though he was impatient with other things like driving. He was an avid sports fan supporting the Padres and Chargers and playing basketball and golf in his younger days. He had a lighthearted sense of humor, often laughing at his own jokes. He was a steady bridge partner for Sally for many years and enjoyed poker, crossword puzzles, and sudoku and trips to Vegas. He will most be remembered for having the best smile and biggest heart. He is survived by his loving family in San Diego, wife Sally, daughters Gail Wakabayashi, Shari Skinner, and Vicki Pineda, son Mark Ishihara, in-laws Jim Cain, David Skinner, Loren Pineda, and Lisa Ishihara, and grandchildren Amy Wakabayashi of Pasadena, Ken Wakabayashi of San Diego, Shelli Skinner of Millbrae, Michael Skinner of San Diego, Ryan Pineda of Denver, Steven Pineda of San Diego, and Kyle Ishihara of Santa Cruz. He was predeceased by his parents Kichitaro and Minato Ishihara, brothers Yoshiharu and Shigeru Ishihara, and sisters Satomi Tanimoto, Kimiye Uyeno, and Sakaye Aoki.



Mitsuo "Mits" Ishihara

have a memory or condolence to add?

Samuel Jordan

December 1, 2020

You will always be remembered as a warm and friendly colleague at general dynamics. I will always cherish your banter during our lunchtime bridge games.
Go with God.

Sylvia Stofleth

November 20, 2020

Much love goes out to Mits who was loved and admired by his family and friends. May he rest in peace with a healthy body and a winning table in heaven. ❤🙏


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