MICHAEL TOORU INAKE
June 6, 1946 – December 6, 2010
Mike Inake was a pioneer. He was Hawaii’s first clinical (hospital) engineer after earning his B.S. in electrical engineering, University of Hawaii-Manoa and M.S. in biomedical engineering, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. He was likely the San Francisco Veterans Administration Hospital’s first clinical engineer during its major expansion in the 1970’s. His job, he had to explain, was an interdisciplinary field combining medicine and engineering.
Returning to Hawaii in 1976, Mike was the clinical engineer overseeing the biomedical engineering technicians of Shared Clinical Engineering Services, a joint venture with several hospitals. Meanwhile at Honolulu Community College, Mike taught future biomedical engineering techs now serving hospitals in Hawaii and beyond.
Briefly at Queen’s Medical Center as its clinical engineer, he left to spend most of his career with Hewlett-Packard in medical equipment sales. He attained HP’s highest distinction, the international President’s Club. Mike helped to equip Tripler Army Medical Center in its largest expansion since World War II. With pride he remembered his carpenter dad John helped to build Tripler.
Mike was gifted in multi-tasking and teaching. He could translate engineering jargon to medical personnel and medical needs to engineers. Dedicated, smart, helpful and so nice, he was a joy to be around, sometimes being the one person opposing camps could trust.
Service was at his heart from being a JPO in elementary school, to student body president at Washington Intermediate, to McKinley High School ROTC, Key Club president, and Deputy Commissioner. A Varsity tennis player, he would coach anyone. Mike also taught Morse code, the ukulele and guitar. He loved leading group singing. A ham radio operator, he also practiced karate and dabbled in cooking, specializing in omelets.
A Miles E. Carey scholarship recipient, he served as president of HKN (Eta Kappa Nu), the honorary electrical engineering society, UH-M chapter. As a student engineer he worked for Hawaiian Telephone and after graduating worked for NAVSEEAPAC (Naval Shore Electronics Engineering Activity, Pacific), Pearl Harbor. He also served in the Hawaii Air National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves in Iowa and was a Life Member of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).
Fatherless at age twelve, Mike appreciated his formative years spent at Makiki Christian Church, where he sang tenor in the high school boys’ quartet, and his adult years at Pearl City Community Church. He also had an extraordinary mother.
Mike is survived by wife Rev. Sharon Inake, son Matthew (Pamela) Inake, grandson Shaun Inake, mother Laura Kimiko Inake, brother Claude (Celeste) Inake, three nieces, and four nephews. The oldest of four children, Mike was predeceased by his father John Morishige Inake and beloved sisters, Sandra Ching and Dulcie Oshiro.