Roy Iketani, 91, passed peacefully in his sleep on February 3, 2022, in the presence of his family. Preceded in death by his wife, Nancee, and his parents, he leaves behind a sister, seven children, and ten grandchildren. Born in 1930 at the segregated Japanese Hospital in Los Angeles, he was raised in Boyle Heights and interned as a child during WWII in the Poston War Relocation Camp in Arizona. He served proudly in the U.S. Navy and graduated from UCLA, achieving success as an aerospace engineer for Aerojet Electrosystems, working on numerous national defense projects.
He was a natural leader, serving as president of the Southwest L.A. chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League and the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center, even offering his home as collateral to finance major new construction at ESGVJCC in the 1970s. He was proficient at judo, bowling, skiing, and golf, and enjoyed singing and playing multiple musical instruments, supporting the arts, sampling all types of cuisine, and traveling the world.
A lifetime philanthropist, he volunteered for over 20 years in the National Resource Center at the Japanese American National Museum to ensure that the stories of Japanese Americans would be accessible to generations to come. Always modest, Roy would never let us tell you (until now) what a proud legacy of service, sacrifice, and achievements he left behind. His presence will be felt for many years to come. At his request, no memorial services will be held. In his memory, please consider a donation to the Japanese American National Museum (www.janm.org) or your favorite charity.
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