Bill Ku, portrait from Minoru Yamasaki and Associates
William Ku
  • 93 years old
  • Date of birth: Apr 11, 1922
  • Place of birth:
    Shanghai, China
  • Date of passing: Jun 8, 2015
  • Place of passing:
    Berkeley, California, United States
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched, but are felt in the heart.” Helen Keller

"This memorial website was created in memory of our beloved father,  Bill Ku, 93, born on April 11, 1922 and passed away on June 8, 2015.  We invite you to write a note, share  a memory or your thoughts about Bill.  We would love to hear from you.  With gratitude,  the Ku and Nagase family"

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by barbara ruth on 8th June 2017

"My husband and I enjoy Bill's design every day and speak of him often. A great man"

This tribute was added by barbara ruth on 8th June 2016

"Hard to believe this great man has been gone one year, he will be remembered forever."

This tribute was added by barbara ruth on 8th June 2016

"Hard to believe this great man has been gone one year, he will be remembered forever."

This tribute was added by barbara ruth on 19th September 2015

"Bill designed our home in Chelsea in 1997, he was a gifted and brilliant artist and a pleasure to work with. Because of him our home is unique and special. Glad his end was so peaceful."

This tribute was added by wong henry on 22nd July 2015

"We just learned about Bill's passing and want to express our sincerest condolences. I met Bill when he came to Hawaii as the President of Yamasaki Associates, which was commissioned to design the City Financial Tower.  Our friendship continued even after its completion and whenever he and Angela came to Honolulu, my wife Laurie and I would have dinner together.  He was devoted to Angela and catered to her every need, especially after her illness. Bill and I continued to meet for coffee up to last year. I appreciated and enjoyed listening to him talk about the designs of his international buildings and he took joy in sharing his vast experiences. He will be missed.  
Sincerely, Hank Wong"

This tribute was added by margo williams downes on 8th July 2015

"Bill was the architect for my parents home and a great friend to them.  He will be missed and fondly remembered by our whole family."

This tribute was added by Ralph Insinger on 29th June 2015

"It was my privilege to meet and work with Bill at the Yamasaki office for 15 years. He was truly gracious and kind. After my graduation from Washington Univ in St. Louis, I met him for the first time in the summer of 1963, when I stopped at the Yamasaki office for a tour, to see the work being done on the design of the World Trade Center. Bill was Director of Design and generously invited me in and showed me around, giving generously of his time.  As I thanked him and was about to leave, Bill sat me down and asked if I would like to work there.  I told him I had no portfolio of my work to show, but he noted that he had confidence from our conversation that I could perform.  I told him I would think about it, and then proceeded to return to my home near St. Louis.  When I arrived home my father told me that "Mr. Ku had called and wanted to know if I would come to work with him."  So I decided to go to work there.  I never regretted that because Bill was a good mentor and did a lot to place me on the good projects.  He always supported me for promotions, to the point that I ended up as a Senior Associate, working a lot with Yamasaki himself.  During hectic times, or contentious periods, Bill was like a rock, ever calm and stable, like he knew "this storm will pass!"  He was generous with advice and looking after my interests all the years I was working with him.  My wife Hiroko (who also worked at Yama's office) and I are retired now and live a comfortable life, and I give Bill some credit for that.  A few years ago I wrote to Bill in Ann Arbor to tell him how much we appreciated the consideration he gave us during our younger years.  He called me on the phone to thank me and we talked a bit, still the warm and friendly person we had always known.  I'm glad I got in touch with him to thank him and let him know how important he was in our lives.  He has meant a lot to us, and we want his family to know how kind and thoughtful he was.  Such a special person, and we loved him for it.  Our condolence to all the extended members of his family for their loss."

This tribute was added by Charles Witke on 25th June 2015

"Bill and Angela Ku were our neighbors in Ann Arbor. Both were generous with their support and advice for a major interior renovation of our condominium building. Later Bill and I often had lunch out together, which were times for hearing much about his work and many friendships here and abroad. He was invariably a cheerful companion and generous friend who will be missed.--Aileen Gatten and Charles Witke"

This tribute was added by Patricia Breitmeyer on 23rd June 2015

"Mr Ku was kind and generous and welcomed us into his home when we were kids, oblivious as we may have been at the time to his life and experiences, I hope I will know him still better through his wonderful family.  He will be greatly missed."

This tribute was added by Paula Brown-Gray on 21st June 2015

"Bill will be missed by Joyce Brown, Paula and David Gray.  
We enjoyed our times together remembering the past and present."

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This memorial is administered by:

Michele Ku


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