Yoshitada Nakagawa passed away peacefully on January 29, 2022, surrounded by his family, succumbing to his third battle with cancer.
Yosh was born on December 27, 1932, to father Tetsuzo and mother Suyeko. He attended school at Bailey Gatzert Elementary until his family’s imprisonment at Minidoka Incarceration 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 UW. In college, he entered ROTC and was commissioned to the Second Light Infantry at the rank of captain.
In high school, Yosh was the stock boy and janitor at Osborn and Ulland Sporting Goods in downtown Seattle. Over the next 45 years, he worked his way to President of the company and led its expansion from a single store to 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 include: Garfield 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 and Tyler Nakagawa and Nicolas Kiyohara, sister-in-law Chiyoko Doi, and many nieces and nephews. 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 more safely. For 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.
Correction: Tokuda Love Story (Jan. 14). We inadvertently omitted local Tokuda daughter Valerie Chin and regret the error.