Gerald Hiroshi Niimi
Gerald Hiroshi Niimi was a caring, family-first kind of man who loved watching UCLA basketball and football on TV, walking his red retriever dog “Rusty” and hosting holiday parties for his relatives and friends. He also enjoyed playing poker. He lived by the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Gerry, 83, died at the Pomona Valley Hospital after residing in Diamond Bar for 45 years.
Gerry was born on September 30, 1937 to Frank Shigeru and Frances Kaoru (Sakai) Niimi in Seattle, Washington. During World War II due to Executive Order 9066, he and his family including his parents, siblings Lillian Midori (Mikuriya) and Frank Takashi were relocated to a concentration camp in Minidoka, Idaho. After the war, the family settled in Portland, Oregon. Following his graduation from high school, Gerry and his family moved to Los Angeles.
In 1960, with the sudden passing of his father, Gerry was forced to leave UCLA because he had to go to work full time to support his family. He eventually worked in sales for the Boyd Corporation which was a large industrial business specializing in gaskets and seals. During his 39 years at the company, he was a teacher and mentor to many young salesmen. He taught them to be a gentleman and a professional at their job. At the same time, he was working his way up at Boyd to finally becoming a division manager.
In 1962, on his 25th birthday, he married Chiyoko Togawa of East Los Angeles. Their marriage lasted over 58 years. In 1965 and 1967, Chiyo gave birth to Shelly Reiko and Allen Shigeru, respectively. After Gerry and Chiyo retired in 1999, they looked after and took care of their mothers. They also visited three different nursing homes once a month with their golden retriever dog named “Kobe.”
They were blessed with two grandchildren after Allen married Sara Fung in 2002. In 2005, Ryan Christopher was born; his sister Dylan Grace was born in 2008. Gerry and Chiyo took care of their grandchildren for eight years, while Allen and Sara worked, until Gerry was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014.
Gerry was predeceased by his parents and siblings. Surviving him are his wife, daughter, son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. Also surviving are nephew Derek Mikuriya, his wife, Phyllis (Okawa), their children Brandon and Lauren; many relatives; and his faithful dog, “Rusty.”
A private funeral service for Gerry was held in March.
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