Henry “Hank” Chikahisa died peacefully at 91 on September 12, 2023, in Fullerton, Calif. We thank St. Jude’s Hospital’s physicians, nurses, and staff for the care they showed Hank in his final days.
Hank was preceded in death by his brothers, James, Carl, Ray, and Paul, and sister, Margie Park. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Patti Yamagata Chikahisa; and their children, David (Patty), Cindy, and Carrie (Jeff) Iwasaki. He was proud of his grandchildren, Spencer, Connor, Claire, Emily, and Payton, along with Jocelyn (Augie) Johnston and their two boys, A.J. and Enzo. He is also survived by his sister, Helen Sakaki; sisters-in-law, Evelyn Chikahisa, Frances Chikahisa, and Irene Yamagata-Bermudez; and brother-in-law, Ken (Edna) Yamagata.
Hank was born in El Centro, Calif. in 1932, the youngest child of Japanese immigrants Hiroshi and Kayo Chikahisa.
He spent his early years in California’s Imperial Valley, where the family was in the restaurant business, until their internment in Poston, Ariz. Following the war, Hank moved to Los Angeles with his parents and several siblings.
A proud graduate of UCLA in 1954, Hank was a lifelong fan of the Bruins, particularly the football and basketball programs. A man of few regrets, he is likely a touch disappointed that his children and grandchildren, thus far, have chosen other institutions for study!
Hank worked for Northrop-Grumman for 40 years. But even into his 70s and 80s, the younger guys knew Hank would outwork them on construction, landscaping, and other physical projects.
He had many talents, enjoying and excelling at woodworking, gardening, and photography. He loved fishing — ocean, lake, river, or stream; it mattered not. He enjoyed travel, having visited much of North America and destinations around the globe. But he cherished the less-exotic vacations most with his family and his sister Helen’s family to Lakes Mead, Havasu, and Mojave — simple with memories of good food, competitive card games, a little fishing, laughter, and relaxation with those he loved.
We miss him dearly, yet we rest easier knowing the many lives he touched in his 91 years. As a son, brother, husband, father, uncle, grandfather, in-law, friend, or acquaintance, he left a positive impression on all fortunate to have crossed his path. The family respectfully requests no koden.