01/17/1924 - 06/01/2019
Mitsuru “Mits” Fujinami was born January 17, 1924 in Brawley, California. He passed away June 1, 2019 at the age of 95. He was born to Tomakichi and Kichi Fujinami.
At the age of 13 through 16 he was educated in Japan. With the onset of WWII, the family evacuated from California to Clearfield, Utah. Mits was inducted into the service May 17, 1944 at Camp Shelby, MS. and Fort Snelling, MN as one of Nisei trained as Japanese translators and interpreters in the Pacific. He served in the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) as a linguist with the 167th Language Detachment X Corps in Mindanao, Philippines and received a Liberation of Philippines Medal from the Philippine Government. He also was with the I Corp Hiroshima Bomb Survey Team in Japan. Mits was discharged May 4th, 1946.
Mits graduated from the University of Utah with a Degree in Biological Sciences. He married the love of his life Taiko “Terry” Kawaguchi on September 19, 1948. He retired from the Tooele Army Depot after 30 years of service. He then worked for Hinckley Dodge Chrysler Jeep for many years. Mitsuru was one of the Japanese American recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal for service in WWII. He was a member of the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple and honored to serve as President. In recognition of his lifelong service he was presented with both the Sangha and Dharma Awards. Mitsuru enjoyed bowling, golfing, fishing and traveling in his younger years.
Mitsuru is survived by his wife, sons Robert (Chris) and Michael (Jane), granddaughters Christi and Ashley, and a nephew and nieces (Japan).
He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Yae Endo (Japan).
The family expresses thanks to the Brookdale/Capital Hill Senior Living, Encompass Home Health and Hospice, and to Dr. Nathan Ragle and staff.
Funeral is to be held June 22, 2019 at 2:00 PM at the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple, 211 W. 100 S., Salt Lake City. Visitation is prior to service at 1:00 PM.