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ICHIJI “IKE” OGATA, 93 of Wahiawa, Hawaii, and Aurora, Colorado, passed peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his immediate family on October 24, 2023 in Colorado. Ike was born and raised in Kaumana, Hilo, Hawaii. Ichiji, which means 1-o’clock, was born “right on the dot” he would always joke. He loved making people laugh, and went by the nickname of ‘Ike’ or just ‘I.’
Survived by daughters, Kelly (Mark) Miyamoto, Lori (Bryan) Sakuoka, 2 granddaughters, numerous nieces and nephews.
October 24, 2023 marks a heavenly family reunion, as Ichiji also rejoined his beloved wife and soulmate of 54 golden years, Alice Asako Ogata, parents, Tatsuji and Yatsu Ogata, sisters, Sally Shizuka Miyazaki and Katherine (Kay) Katsumi Guerrero, and brothers-in-law, Teruo Miyazaki and Manuel (Edward) Guerrero.
Praise the Lord, just days before Ike passed, from October 7-15, 2023, a cherished earthly reunion took place – the Ogata ‘Ohana Reunion Celebration Trip to Las Vegas, Grand Canyon Skywalk, and the 51st Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, commemorated by a once-in-a-lifetime annular solar eclipse, on Saturday, October 14, 2023, shared with the whole family, including much loved nieces and nephews.
At age 93, Ike, a true champion with strength of an ox, walked the Grand Canyon Skywalk, to the delight
of us all!
In Vegas, Ike’s love for plants and flowers shone as he perused the Bellagio Gardens, basking in the gentle morning sunshine. In Wahiawa, Ike loved tending plants. Together with Mom, their yard
mirrored their life, blossoming into beautiful full bloom, like Mommy’s pink rose. Sharing the bountiful fruits and flowers tenderly cultivated from their hearts, hands, and lives, they nurtured us all, planting seeds of love and sunshine, in the hearts of everyone they touched.
In gratitude, we showed Daddy the Las Vegas Princess Diana Tribute Exhibition. Opening just a year earlier, it honored the People’s Princess’ life and legacy. Like Diana, Daddy and Mommy left an unending Legacy of Love.
Together with the whole family, Ike witnessed a beautiful sunset over the Las Vegas Strip from the top of the LINQ High Roller Observation Wheel. Then, just as we approached the 1-o’clock position on the Wheel, Daddy watched and smiled as the brand-new Sphere lit up with his favorite yellow happy face emoji. Daddy loved happy faces – and making people smile.
On the Strip, he got to see the famous Rat Pack singers, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, in the wax museum at the Venetian, the site of the former Sands Hotel, where he recalled seeing them perform live with sweetheart, Alice, and dear friends, Uncle Masa and Aunty Ruth Tanigawa. Ike used his God-given natural Nat King Cole baritone voice to croon songs like Tony Bennett’s “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” from the Hit Parades he listened to on the radio growing up for family and friends. One time, while singing on a Japan Tour bus with Mom – the attendees later asked the tour guide what radio station was playing – much to Ike’s surprise and delight! Daddy sang from the heart, bringing tears to all of ours and Mommy’s eyes. “A song is poetry set to music,” he said.
Ike loved to read and shared depths of his wisdom from a lifetime of commitment and hard work, that started in the sugar cane fields of Hilo, Hawaii, then O’ahu at the U.S. Army at Schofield Barracks, then at the U.S. Navy Lualualei. Finally, Ike served 36 faithful years with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as an electronic technician and acting supervisor, where he traveled around the globe for work, including Oklahoma, Japan, Okinawa, Guam, Singapore, and Maldives, giving good advice from a life of sacrifice, hard work, and dedication.
But the role Ike was most proud of, in addition to husband and father, was grandpa, Papa O. Papa O. would always say, “Just Dial O!” quoting Bing Crosby from one of his favorite movies, “Going My Way”.
Upon returning home from this trip, Papa O. called his family, “The Lucky 7,” feeling very blessed.
We are all so very grateful we were able to spend this time with Daddy and make sweet memories together as a family, giving him our hugs and kisses, saying “goodbye” one last time, before he left this earthly life.
He was the BEST DADDY and BEST PAPA – such a sweet grandpa who will be dearly missed. Always encouraging, caring, and smiling – we thank God always for him, and for all of his words of wisdom over the years.
Faithful and true right up to the end, cracking jokes, beaming smiles, flashing shakas, greeting “Aloha!” to all, Ike exited this world exactly as he came in, with a heart of pure gold, pouring out all the love, laughter, joy, and sunshine that God poured in. On Monday morning, October 23, 2023, Ike prayed and rededicated his life to Christ, then said, “Thank You, Lord Jesus,” while holding his daughter’s right hand.
Ike then sang what would be his final earthly heartfelt rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”
Encore, Daddy — Hana hou!
Take a bow, Daddy, for a wonderful life well-lived. For all the love and sunshine you shared, for all the life lessons you gave, and still give -- your words of wisdom forever ring true -- your heartfelt songs live on in our hearts. Ike now sings with beloved Mom and all of our loved ones gone before us in Heaven. Aloha! A hui hou!
Beloved Husband, Father, Grandfather,
Son, Brother, Uncle, Dear Pal, and Friend,
All Our Love, All Our Lives, Until We Meet Again!
Ike’s Celebration of Life will be held on O’ahu at the Mililani Mortuary Makai Chapel on January 3, 2024. Visitation 9:30 a.m., Service 10:30 a.m., Lunch 11:30 a.m. Public Welcome. Aloha Attire. Committal and inurnment with military honors will be held at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific – Punchbowl, Honolulu, in a private ceremony on January 4, 2024. God Bless You All, and God Bless Our Dearly Beloved Daddy!