Tomika Sollen

Date of Birth

June 26, 1920

Date of Death

October 17, 2016

Tomika Sollen was born June 26, 1920, in Berkeley, She passed away peacefully October 17,
2016, with her devoted husband of 46 years, Robert Sollen, by her side at Abundant Care.

She was born to Sataro and Toku Harano, Japanese immigrants. Tomika was one of 9 children. In 1942, the family was evacuated to Tanforan and the Tule Lake concentration camps where the Federal Government detained West Coast Japanese-Americans during WWII.

Unable to attend 1942 commencement exercises at Berkeley, Tomika and her then husband Tom Shibutani, received their university degrees behind barbed wire.

In 1943, they moved to Chicago where Tom was drafted into the U.S. army to serve the country that incarcerated him. After the war, Tomika moved back to Berkeley with her husband who joined the faculty at Berkeley.

When they moved to Santa Barbara in 1962, Tomika became active with the Sierra Club, Santa Barbara Audubon Society and later with the Community Environmental Council.

Tomika said, “with the Sierra Club, my main interest was political. It was a chance to work with a group to endorse environmental candidates.”

Tomika was an avid tennis player, taking up tennis in the 1950’s and played until 2006 when she broke her arm in a fall on the tennis courts. She won many local and regional tournaments.

After WWII her brothers and sisters and their families settled throughout the U.S.

To stay in touch, the family scheduled biennial reunions since 1973 which grew to 140+ in attendance. Tomika cherished long friendships which she maintained by travel, phone, mail, and entertaining in her home.

Much appreciation to Hospice who were supportive and faithful to Tomika throughout her long journey of failing health!

She leaves behind her devoted husband of 46 years, Robert Sollen, a Santa Barbara News-Press reporter.

Donations may be made to Hospice or The Foodbank on behalf of Tomika Sollen.


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