Cy Hisao Saimoto

April 21, 1928October 14, 2010

SAIMOTO, Cy Hisao April 21, 1928 - October 14, 2010

Cy peacefully passed away at the age of 82 years in the comfort of his home of 55 years. He is lovingly remembered by his wife, Ritsu, and children, Mark, Laura, and Debbie. Cy was born in Steveston, BC to Kunimatsu and Kiku, the sixth of ten children. He is survived by brother, Shig; sisters, Sue Yamaguchi, Joanne (Aki) Kawai, and Sayoko Saimoto; sisters-in-law, Chris and Terry; and many nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by brothers, Jitsuo, Yukio, Miki, Jim and sister, Nobby. At the outbreak of the Second World War, the family evacuated to Minto, BC; then moved to Revelstoke in 1945; finally returning to Vancouver in 1949. Cy led an extraordinary life of service, dedicated to his family, his employees, and to his community. In 1955, he joined, restructured and built up Great West Paper Box Co Ltd, a custom paperboard box manufacturer, now located in South Burnaby. He was active as Chairman until his passing. In 1968, he married Ritsu Enjo, and together they served as community leaders. Cy was a founding member of the Vancouver Judo Club in the 1950s; was an active member of the Kiwanis Service Club (Kerrisdale) for 30 years; and an active member of the Burnaby Chamber of Commerce in the 1970s. He was a firm believer in celebrating Japanese cultural heritage and in the improvement of the Downtown Eastside (historic Japantown). This was exemplified by his many years of service to the Vancouver Buddhist Temple and the Vancouver Japanese Language School & Hall. During his 14 year presidency at the Temple, he oversaw the construction of the new temple complex at Jackson and Powell, and strove to spread the Buddhist teachings through fellowship and community building. Under his leadership at the Japanese School, he was instrumental in nurturing the growth of community spirit which culminated in the construction of the School’s new wing adjoining its heritage building on Alexander Street. He kept active as Honourary Chairman until he became ill this June. In November 2009, Cy travelled to Japan to receive the Order of the Rising Sun from the Emperor. This decoration was awarded in recognition of his lifelong volunteerism in the Japanese-Canadian community. Cy’s life will be celebrated on Saturday, October 23, 2010, 11:00 am at the Vancouver Buddhist Temple, 220 Jackson Avenue, Vancouver, BC.


  • Funeral Service Saturday, October 23, 2010

Cy Hisao Saimoto

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Anna Terrana

October 25, 2010

Dear Mrs. Saimoto, Laura, Debbie and Mark:

It is with great sadness that I heard of Cy's passing. I remember him as a very special person: kind, generous, peaceful, patient and with a gentle sense of humour. I treasure the hours I spent with him and some of you and I am sorry we did not see each other more often. I hope that the good memories he left will be of comfort to you and will give you peace.

Please accept my most heartfelt condolences.

Anna Terrana, Former Member of Parliament, Vancouver East

October 23, 2010

Dearest Mrs. Saimoto, Laura, Debbie, Mark, and Extended Family:

We are terribly sorry to hear of your loss! May Mr. Saimoto's soul rest comfortably in peace and may his beautiful memories stay in your hearts for ever.

With sincere condolences and deepest sympathy,

Berdjis & Shirin Abadi

Masato Kobayashi

October 22, 2010

Dear Debbie, Mark and Laura,

my most sincere condolences on the passing of uncle Hisao. He was a most extraordinary person, with a heart of gold.

Our sympathies and prayers are with your family in this sad hour.

sally masuhara

October 21, 2010

Dear Mark, Laura & Debbie,

Please accept our deepest sympathy on the passing of your father.

Bruce Hynds

October 20, 2010

Dear Laura, Debbie and Mark

My deepest condolences on the passing of your father Cy. He truly exemplified service to the Japanese community in Vancouver and it was my pleasure knowing him. My sympathies to your family on your loss