Ronald “Ron” Masanobu Izumita passed away peacefully on July 13, 2021 in Newport Beach, Calif. The family will be holding a viewing at Fukui Mortuary in Downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, August 5 from 10 – 11 a.m. and a private celebration of life at Angels Stadium in Anaheim on Saturday, August 21 from 1 – 4 p.m.
Ron was born in Pasadena, Calif. on December 6, 1937 to Masato “Duke” Izumita and Grace Keiko (Tajima) Naito. His family was sent to Manzanar internment camp during WWII. Ron was the older of two sons to Duke and Grace and a half-brother to Sharon Izumita, the daughter of Duke and his second wife, Sherri Mukai.
Ron graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a BS in Landscape Architecture in 1962 and a Master’s degree from Harvard School of Design in 1966. He then moved back to California where he started a Landscape Architecture firm, POD, with a few of his fellow Harvard alumni. POD became very successful and was integral in the development and urban planning of the City of Irvine’s corporate office parks in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Later, Ron helped found another successful firm called IMA Design, Inc. Some of his well-known projects there included Downtown Disney, Anaheim Stadium, and LAX. Ron won numerous awards and accolades from his colleagues for his achievements and contributions in the field including Cal Poly’s Alumni of the Year in 1998 and induction as a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1990.
He married his wife, Marilyn Kanegae, on March 8, 1970 and soon after had three daughters, Alison, Kristina, and Tiana. The family settled in Newport Beach where they spent most of their life. When Ron wasn’t busy with his business, he enjoyed watching and playing sports, specifically boxing, baseball, and basketball. His favorite teams were USC, Lakers, Chicago Bears, and Anaheim Angels. He acquired his love of sports from his athletic and talented father, Duke. In his younger years, Ron was on a bowling team and played billiards. Ron was a devoted husband and father who coached his daughters’ basketball teams in the SEYO Japanese American league. His weekends often consisted of shuttling his kids to games and practices. He also enjoyed going on annual skiing trips and summer vacations in Ensenada.
Ron was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease in the mid-1990’s. The disease eventually caused him to need dialysis which he managed for over 15 years. In retirement, he enjoyed golfing, watching sports, doing crossword puzzles, getting together with his friends, listening to blues, jazz and country music, and spending time with his grandchildren. Ron was a stoic, intelligent man who showed his emotion and affection, but not in an overt manner. Ron and his wife, Marilyn, spent over 50 years together until his death. Those years had ups and downs, but they were always full of love and commitment to one another.
Ron is survived by his wife, Marilyn Izumita; daughters, Kristina (Douglas Sousa) Izumita, Alison (Todd) Kawashima and Tiana (Brian) Chastain; and seven grandchildren, Maile, Kika, Kaleo, Keala, Kiarra, Ben, and Piper.