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To Dad on his 80th Birthday (3/31/2009) - from Michele Tokiwa

September 19, 2020
I wanted to let you know, I thank God for the day you were born.  You have been a great blessing in my life.  If you were never born, you would have never married mom and had such a wonderful son.
I believe Dave was destined to be my husband.  You raised him to be an amazing person in all aspects of life.  I hit the jackpot when he chose me to become his bride.  He has given me the most glorious life possible.  He has taught me about TRUE love.
ALL BECAUSE YOU WERE BORN...Dave has given me the most precious gift of all in your granddaughter, Terra-Lynn.  She is beautiful in every way possible and the light of my life.
ALL BECAUSE YOU WERE BORN...After losing my Dad at the age of sixteen, I thought I lost that father-daughter relationship forever.  But God is faithful and he brought you into my life to fill that huge gap.  Thank you for always being there!  You have supported and helped me in ways you do not realize.  You are always there when I call for help.  Please know it has never gone unnoticed.  Thank you and I know my Dad would thank you also!
ALL BECAUSE YOU WERE BORN...I have learned a lot from both you and mom about life, family and patience (OK, I am still working on the patience part).  You have a quiet strong spirit that has given me strength many times.  It is true!
ALL BECAUSE YOU WERE BORN...I wanted to let you know that you have made a huge impact in my life and I owe you too much to every repay.
I love you!
Your second daughter, Michele

Shigeru, Shig, Dad, Pops, Papa (from Troy Franey)

September 19, 2020
When I think of Dad, I think of the impact he had on other people’s lives, how he connected with people, friends, acquaintances and yes even strangers. I can’t tell you how many times we would be in a restaurant and he would always make friends with the server. Usually starting out with a joke or a very interesting, personal question. But what was interesting was how they responded to Dad. Not shrugging him off but rather creating this very cool dialogue which only got better throughout our dinners.

I was taught that life is about experiences and connecting with other people. One of my favorite movies is called Its A Wonderful Life. Although the movie is about a man, George, who after having some doubt about his life and who finds his way back with the help of an angel, the end of the movie is what reminds me of Dad. After George’s uncle loses the deposit money for their bank and the Feds are at George’s house waiting for him, he sees his family standing there, happy and healthy. He doesn’t care about going to jail, just that his family is all right.

At that moment, droves of townspeople entered his house and begin dropping all of their hard earned money on the table. For years, George had helped anyone who needed help, sometimes giving them a loan for a business or home which they were not qualified for or just doing them a favor in time of need. The townspeople realized how George had impacted their lives and by doing so, made George realize that same fact.

At the very end, George’s younger brother walks in the house, raises a glass with all of the other townspeople and says, “To my big brother George, the richest man in town.”  Of course, it had nothing to do with money, but rather the friends he had in this life because of who he was and the impact he had on their lives.

To me, Shigeru, Shig, Dad, Pops, Papa was just like George… the richest man in town!

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