A WW II Veteran, Toastmaster friend and ham radio operator pased away. Tom was at our Regular Susquehanna Toastmaster meeting the previous week. He was the timer. He was telling us how some of his relatives were put in the Japanese detention camps for the duration of the war, while he was in battle. I will miss him.

Thomas Ichikawa of Owego

Thomas Ichikawa, 89, of Owego, passed away at home unexpectedly Thursday evening, May 6, 2004. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Kiyo Ichikawa; his son, Gordon Ichikawa, Owego; two sisters, Mary Niimi, Portland, Oregon, and Ada Honda, Spokane, Washington; also, several nieces and nephews. Tommy, as he was affectionately known, was a graduate of Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, receiving his Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics. Tommy served in WWII in the U.S. Army, serving as Battalion Combat Radio Sergeant in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team consisting of Japanese Americans called Nisei. He was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star Medal. He was an honorary member of the 10th Mountain Division and the 36th Texas Division. In 1963, he founded T & K Communications and since 1980 operated it with his son, Gordon. Active all his life, Tommy shared his energy not only through his business activities but also in community involvement. He was a member of many organizations, including the VFW, American Legion, Kiwanis Club, Elks and Toastmasters. He also was a member of the Society of Broadcast Engineers, a life member of the American Radio Relay League. Tommy was an amateur radio operator whose call sign was W7GUN.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the Estey & Munroe Funeral Home, Owego, with the Rev. George Truesdail officiating. The family will receive friends Tuesday evening from 5 to 8 p.m. and Wednesday from 10 a.m. until the hour of the funeral. Friends wishing may make a contribution to a charity of their choice in loving memory of Tom Ichikawa, in lieu of flowers.


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