Michael Masayuki Kakesako, 89, passed away on April 8, 2017 at his home in Pinole, California.
Michael was was born on September 21, 1927 in Papaikou, Hawaii, the youngest of six children to Kuichi and Shigeno Kakesako. Michael served in the U.S. Army from 1946 1948, as an Interpreter and Translator during the Occupation of Japan, and was in the 441st Counter Intelligence Corp. His service was distinguished by the WWII Victory Medal and the Army of Occupation Medal and earned him the rank of Staff Sergeant. One highlight Michael recalled was riding one of the emperor’s horses while stationed in Japan. During this time, he trained in Judo and achieved the rank of a black belt. After returning from Japan, Michael married Lorna Chun on May 17, 1952.
Michael had a special place in his heart for public service and obtained Bachelors of Arts in 1952 and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Hawaii. His career in social work began as a houseparent for the Koolau Boys home, and later as a social worker for the Maunaloa and Molokai Forestry Camps. From 1957 -1968 he was a probation officer and social worker supervisor for the Hawaii Family Court and the Hawaii State Prison from 1957 1968 and opened the first Half Way House which transitioned the enrolled inmates back into the community. In succeeding years from 1968 -1984, Michael advanced to become the Administrator for the Corrections Division of the Department of Social Services and Housing until he retired in August 1984. He also was an instructor at the University of Hawaii School of Social Work from 1969 1972. He even found the time to serve as Assistant Scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts of America during the same years.
After Michael retired, he and Lorna moved to California in 1986. Both avid farmers and gardeners, they ran a 6-acre farm with a walnut orchard and grew apple and fig trees, grapes, and a vegetable garden. They moved to Oregon then Washington and back to Mililani. While in Hawaii, Michael was active with the Disabled American Veterans and helped maintain the property at the Keehi Lagoon Memorial Park. Michael and Lorna’s last move was to Pinole, California in 2013 .
Michael is survived by his wife Lorna; sister, Joyce Inao (Howard) of Honolulu, HI, and children Terry Barber (Mark) of Fernley, NV; Randall Kakesako (Kathy) of Portland, OR; Laura Tindall of Pinole, CA; Sandra Shiraki (Eric) of Kailua, HI. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Christopher Jarose (Joanna) of Adelaide, AUS; David Jarose of Reno, NV; Robert Kelly (Danielle) of Pinole, CA; Reid (Keiko) and Robert Kakesako of Portland,OR; Matthew Shiraki (Yi) of Kailua, HI and Nicholas Shiraki (Yoko) of San Francisco, CA.; and his great-grandchildren, Evangeline and Alexandra Jarose, Tristan and Tara Kelly. Michael was predeceased by his parents Kuichi and Shigeno Kakesako, brothers Paul, Mitsuru, Kenneth, and Tommy. Michael was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend to all.
Private services will be held in El Sobrante, CA at the Smith and Witter Funeral Home on April 28, 2017.
Condolences may be mailed to Lorna Kakesako, 2365 Wright Avenue, Pinole, CA 94564.