March 4, 1921-Jan. 7, 2019
Warren Eijima, 97, passed away peacefully at his home in San Francisco on Jan. 7, 2019, with his children, Richard and Mary, at his side. He is survived by his sister, Hannah Hara (Roy Takeuchi) of San Jose, son Richard (Tami Suzuki), daughter Mary (Robert Kawano), and grandchildren, Riki and Tomi Eijima and Alex and Mari Kawano. He was predeceased by wife June and sister Mari Eijima.
Warren was the first child of Sanji and Hisayo Eijima, born in Oakland, CA. Sanji immigrated from Naganoken and Hisayo Tani from Okayama-ken to Berkeley. Sisters Mari and Hannah would join the family. Their world was segregated.
Warren found enjoyment in sports throughout his youth. He was a student at the University of California, Berkeley when war with Japan broke out. In the spring of 1942, the Eijimas were incarcerated at Tanforan Assembly Center and then Topaz War Relocation Center, a concentration camp in central Utah. There he met June Nakayama.
Warren left Topaz to attend Temple University, received a draft notice, then was declared “4C,” — “undesirable alien.” Eventually, the Army put Japanese American soldiers in segregated units. He served in the Military Intelligence Service in the Philippines and Japan.
After completing military service oversees, he resumed his studies and graduated from UC Berkeley in 1948 with a business degree. In 1950, he began working as an accountant for Eugene Friend. He continued to work for the Friend family for the remainder of his life.
Warren and June were married at the Berkeley Free Methodist Church on May 21, 1950. They lived in Berkeley before moving to San Francisco where they raised their children. Warren and June were active members of Christ United Presbyterian Church. They enjoyed traveling and social dancing with Nisei friends. On Nov. 2, 2011, he received a Congressional Gold Medal in Washington, DC.
A memorial service will be held at 2 pm on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, at Christ United Presbyterian Church, 1700 Sutter Street, San Francisco. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the church, National Japanese American Historical Society or Kimochi, Inc.