On Thursday, March 10, 2022, Mamoru Kanda passed away at 93 after living a long and
Born in Stockton, Calif., Mamoru miraculously beat malaria against all odds and grew up a curious child, taking things apart to figure out how they worked. Before graduating from Freeport High School in Illinois in 1947, he quickly recovered from getting hit by
a car while riding a bicycle, only sustaining injury to his kneecap and suffering other cuts and bruises. He was able to walk normally after a month and a half, finding his own way of getting around by walking backwards in order to keep his leg straight.
Mamoru went on to attend Western Illinois University and eventually was drafted into the Army during the Korean Conflict. He served as a radar repair specialist in Suwon, Korea. When he came back, he returned to school and graduated in 1954 with a Bachelor’s Degree in physics. He made his way to Los Angeles in 1955 and worked his way up to a position as a computer project manager for North American Aviation, which became North American Rockwell and later Rockwell International, in a career that spanned 33 years. After retiring in 1989, he became a devoted grandfather and most recently was serving as the president of the Seinan Senior Citizens Center, a post that he held for the past three years.
Throughout his life, he amazed many, including the healthcare workers who discovered he was only taking one prescription medication in his 90s. He continued to follow his curiosity, keeping up with the newest technologies and getting the newest phone, iPad, or car. Serving as president of Seinan seemed to fit him and kept him busy, as he was always interested in meeting new people and even translated the newspaper into Japanese for those who could not read English. He loved going out to eat with his closest friends and always enjoyed late-night phone calls with his relatives.
Mamoru was outgoing, extremely knowledgeable on a wide range of subjects, intelligent, tech savvy, and excelled at helping others solve their problems. He freely gave his time and energy to enrich the lives of his friends, family, relatives, and people in the community. His children are forever grateful for all his love, guidance, and support. He will be dearly missed.
Preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Kiyoko Kanda, he leaves behind his sister, Harumi Tanaka; three children, Alan Kanda, Carol Sawa, and Michael Kanda; and three grandchildren, Christopher Kanda, Kiefer Sawa, and Kelly Sawa. A Celebration of Life to
honor him will be held later this year.