Isao ‘Kame’ Kameshige, 93, passed away peacefully at home on June 11, 2018. He was born to Ihei and Ayako Kameshige on April 13, 1925 in Galt, California.
Kame graduated from San Benito High School in Hollister, California in 1942. Shortly thereafter, war was declared and his family was sent to the Salinas Assembly Center while awaiting transport to the Poston Relocation Center in Arizona. During his internment, Kame worked in Nebraska for Noel Coward as a farm hand for two summers. He also worked one summer at Frank Wada’s farm in Pocatello, Idaho.
Kame was inducted into the U.S. Army in 1944 and sent to Camp Blanding, Florida for basic training, and was later sent to Baltimore, Maryland for counter intelligence training. From there he was stationed in Japan on Shikoku Island for approximately six months.
Upon being released from service, Kame returned to the United States and came to live with his family in Vale, Oregon and started farming. He eventually took over, expanded the farm and purchased property near Ontario where he later moved. He met Mary Sachiko Kuwahara at a community hall dance and they were later married on November 16, 1952.
While farming ‘Kame’ took the time to serve as president of the Idaho Oregon Buddhist Temple and the Ontario Investment Club. He served as treasurer of the Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple, JACL, Ontario Nisei Golf Association, Ontario Investment Club, Malheur County Onion Board and the Malheur County Potato Growers Association. From 1970 to 1975 he was appointed Malheur County Representative to the Oregon Potato Commission. In 1987 he was named “Agriculturist of the Year” by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and on February 6, 2018, he was inducted into the Idaho Oregon Onion Growers Hall of Fame.
Besides serving in his community, Kame enjoyed his grandchildren, fishing and golf where he carded five holes-in-one!
He is survived by his wife, Mary, and their three children, son Randy Kameshige (Janie) and their two children Brady (Alyssa) and Michelle Gluch (Cache); daughter Ellen Masterson (Tom) and their son, Kevin; and son Brian Kameshige (Janette) and their three children, son Alexander (Kimberly), daughter Meghan and son Ethan. Kame is also survived by great grandson Keiji and numerous nephews and nieces. Kame was preceded in death by his parents, brother Kiyoshi, sister Hisako and three half-sisters, Toshiko Harada, Sueko Date, Ichiyo Nakai and granddaughter, Kelli Suemi Kameshige.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 30, 2018 at 11 AM at the Idaho- Oregon Buddhist Temple located at 286 SE 4th Avenue in Ontario, Oregon. Service will be officiated by Reverend Joshin Dennis Fujimoto from the Alameda Buddhist Temple in Alameda, California. Kame assisted in the building of the Buddhist Temple and was very proud of the work the volunteers contributed in its construction. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Idaho-Oregon BuddhistTemple, P.O. Box 397, Ontario, Oregon 97914.
Arrangements by Lienkaemper Chapel, Ontario.