Tom Miyahara passed away peacefully in Royal Inland Hospital on February 22, 2016 with his wife and family at his side. He will be fondly remembered by the many people he has touched through his dedication to service – at work, through sports and the community.
Tom was born in Cumberland, B.C. on February 5, 1937 and left us at age 79 in Kamloops. He is survived by his devoted wife of 51 years Mary, brothers Frank, Gordie (Edna) and Larry (Laura), sister Marie (Grant) and extended family in Vancouver, Kamloops, Lethbridge and Toronto. Tom was predeceased by his mother Hatsumi and father Walter.
Tom led a life of challenge and grace. As a young child in 1942, at the start of World War II, his family was interned – first in Vancouver Hastings Park and subsequently in Tashme (Sunshine Valley). Following the war, his family moved to New Denver and after four years, they made the final move to Kamloops in 1950. Soon after the move, Tom met Mary and they married in 1964.
Tom graduated from Kamloops Senior Secondary School in 1955. During his school days, he was active with basketball, hockey, baseball teams and played saxophone in high school band. After graduation, he furthered his studies in Alberta in the field of mechanics specializing in diesel technology. With new credentials, he returned to Kamloops and started working at Kamloops Lumber where he was employed there for 12 years. Then he worked at Kamloops Pulp and Paper (Domtar) from 1967 to 1995. He retired in 1995 after 40 years of collective service.
Tom’s greatest passions were sports and community. Through the years, Tom enjoyed curling, golfing, baseball, slo-pitch, hockey, bowling and salt-water fishing. His most notable sporting accomplishment was playing for the championship baseball team Kamloops Mohawks, the team was inducted into the Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.
Tom was an active member of the Kamloops Japanese Canadian Association. He volunteered at almost every event we held at the cultural centre and became the centre’s handy man.
A Celebration of Tom’s life was held at the Kamloops Funeral Home Chapel on Saturday, March 12, 2016.