Shuso “Shoes” Kumata

On September 28, 2019, Dr. Shuso “Shoes” Kumata passed peacefully into the arms of his Savior, Jesus Christ following a brief illness. He was 91.

Shoes was born in Seattle, Washington in 1928. In 1942, he and his family were sent to the relocation center in Minidoka, Idaho. Despite the upheaval, he enjoyed his early high school years in “camp”, participating in sports and doing seasonal farm work. For the rest of his life he freely shared fond memories and humorous and engaging stories of his experiences. He cherished the many deep and enduring friendships he made during that time and enjoyed attending reunions and pilgrimages.

At the end of WWII, Shoes moved with his family to Illinois where he graduated from Rock Island High School. He then enlisted in the U.S. Army and served as an interpreter with the Occupational Forces in Japan. Utilizing his GI bill, he attended the Chicago College of Optometry. Following graduation, he married Edna Ishimoto and the couple moved to California. In 1959, Shoes opened his optometric practice in Corte Madera, California where he enjoyed caring for his patients until his retirement in 1996.

He and Edna moved to Rancho Palos Verdes where they enjoyed the company of family, friends and neighbors. They spent their time making their yard beautiful, contributing to local casinos, taking cruises to locations around the world and spoiling their 3 grandsons.

In 2015, health issues prompted Shoes’ return to Northern California to be closer to family. He chose to live in a senior community where he could enjoy the company of his peers and maintain his independence. He continued to support the local casinos and binge-watched Judge Judy, How It Works and YouTube cooking tutorials.

Shoes’ generous, thoughtful and engaging demeanor will be remembered by those who knew him. He possessed an incredible memory and was able to recall detailed life events, including specific locations, dates, names and more. He loved to share corny jokes and humorous life stories. His grandsons were his pride and joy.

Shoes is survived by his son Dennis (Leslie), his grandsons Drew (Alyssa), Chris (Nicki) and Danny; as well as his sister, Kikue. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of over 50 years, Edna; his brother and sister in-law, Hideya and Lillian; and his parents, Hideya and Masao.

He did not wish to have a service. Following a family celebration of his life, Shoes’ ashes were scattered off the coast of Southern California.