Yoshitada “Yosh” Nakagawa, a longtime Mercer Island resident, passed away peacefully at home on January 29, 2022, surrounded by his family, succumbing to this third battle with cancer.
Yosh was born on December 27, 1932, to father Tetsuzo and mother Suyeko. He began school at Bailey Gatzert Elementary until his education was interrupted by his family’s imprisonment at Minidoka Prison Camp.
After being freed from Minidoka, the family returned to Seattle where he graduated from Garfield High School. Yosh attended Linfield College before graduating from the University of Washington. During college, he entered ROTC and was commissioned to the 2nd Lt. Infantry at the rank of captain.
In high school, Yosh was the stock boy as well as janitor at Osborn and Ulland Sporting Goods store. Over the next 45 years he worked his way to President of the company and led the expansion from a single store into nine stores in three states. One of his lasting innovations was a preseason ski sale that evolved into SNIAGRAB, bargains spelled backward, the largest off-site ski sale in the country.
Yosh was awarded many honors, a few these being: Gar- field High School “Golden Grads Hall of Fame”, Northwest Skier’s Hall of Fame, Boy Scouts’ God and Country Award, Jitsuo Morikawa ABHMS Healing and Transforming Communities Award, Cora and John Sparrowk Award, and the Head Silver Ski.
Yosh loved his local sports teams; he was a season ticket holder for the Sonics, Pilots, Mariners and Seahawks from each team’s inception. He even was chosen to throw out the first pitch as recognition for his lifetime of accomplishments.
Yosh is survived by Sue, his wife of 65 years, his sister Mary (Chuck) Matsumoto, daughter Dr. Lisa (Dr. Alan) Kiyohara, son Mark (Joni), daughter Linda, grandsons
Brett Nakagawa, Tyler Nakagawa and Nicolas Kiyohara, sis- ter-in-law Chiyoko Doi, and numerous nieces and nephews. We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the staff at Kaiser Permanente Home Services and Interim Health- care for their compassionate care and kindness, with a special thank you to Rahel and Eden, his caregivers.
A more complete biography of Yosh’s life can be found at washelli.com
A celebration of life will be held later this year when it can be done so more safely. If you would like more information, please e-mail the family at firstname.lastname@example.org. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made in Yosh’s name to the charity of your choice.