Shoken Sasaki

Date of Birth

October 26, 1931

Date of Death

October 11, 2023

City of Death

Goleta, CA

Shoken “Ken” Sasaki passed away peacefully at his home in Goleta, CA on October 11, 2023. He was 91 years old.

Shoken was born on October 26, 1931 in Lodi, CA. as the youngest child to Japanese immigrant parents Jiroku and Konami from Hiroshima, Japan. He had a carefree childhood in the rural community of Victor, CA before the family was sent to Rohwer Internment Camp in Arkansas after the outbreak of World War 2. After the war ended the family relocated to Chicago, IL where Shoken played football and formed lifelong friendships while attending Hyde Park High School. He then attended Michigan State University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology. After serving in the United States Air Force, Shoken moved back to California and was employed by the California State Department of Fish and Game as a Fisheries Biologist where he worked for 35 years until his retirement. In 1966 Shoken married his wife Tomiko and they had two daughters, Linda and Mary. After living in Stockton and Chino, CA they settled in Goleta, CA where they raised their family. They joined the Santa Barbara Buddhist temple and became active members. Shoken especially enjoyed the outdoors and frequently took his family on camping and road trips to the Sierra Nevada and national parks such as Yosemite and Sequoia. He looked after his family and supported his daughters in all aspects of their lives. Shoken was also quite the handyman doing home repairs and building “utilitarian” household furniture. After losing his wife in 1989 he found a way forward with the help of old friends and new friendships found through support groups and from his favorite restaurants. Shoken enjoyed opportunities to travel to the Bay Area and New York City to visit his daughter or to Japan to visit relatives. Later in life, Shoken adopted a dog who became his most precious and loyal companion.

Shoken is survived by his two daughters Linda and Mary, son-in-law Michael and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife Tomiko, sister Clara Yugawa and brothers, George, Minoru and Peter.


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