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 nearly 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 was an active member of JACL Arizona Chapter and Desert Cross Community Church. He also was an avid volunteer at the Japanese Friendship Garden and Arizona Matsuri. 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 the 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. Condolences may be offered at

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