Wallace Masaki Sakata, otherwise known as Wally, was born to Seichi Sakata and Kiyoko Sato-Sakata in his home in Haiku, Maui on June 1, 1937. Wallace was the fourth of five children. Nancy Sakata-Yamanaka was the firstborn. The second was Alice Sakata-Nagata and the third was Patsy Sakata-Mori. The fifth was Stanley “boy” Sakata.
Wally’s childhood was challenged by the death of his mother when he was 10 years old. His oldest sister, Nancy, became the caregiver of the family at the tender age of 16. Nancy and Stanley boy are the surviving siblings. Nancy lives in Lodi, CA and Stanley boy resides in Denver, CO.
Wally grew up in Maui until he moved to Kona, Hawaii to help his father tend the coffee farm. While in Kona, Wally attended and graduated from Konawaenah High School Class of 1955. His pastimes, while attending high school, were track, playing football, spear fishing and wild boar hunting.
In order to further his education, Wally moved to Lodi California in 1960 to live with his sister Patsy and her husband Kenneth Mori. During that time, Wally saw it prudent to obtain a job for the City of Lodi to help his father retire some debt. For increased job stability, Wally moved to San Francisco with his brother, Stanley boy, and obtained a job with Caltrans.
During his time in San Francisco he met his bride, JoAnn Miyamoto. They were married on May 7, 1967. Shortly thereafter, they were blessed by the birth of their first son, Derek, on October 13, 1969. In order to find a more hospitable environment to raise a family, Wallace, JoAnn and Derek moved back to Lodi in 1970 to be near their relatives, the Moris and Yamanakas. Shortly after their move, Wallace and JoAnn were blessed with the birth of their second son, Ross, on March 29, 1972.
In order to find a religion in which to raise their new family, Wally and JoAnn were baptized into the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. The church remained important to them throughout their lives. Through their membership they were blessed with many lifelong friendships that extended to their children who attended the Lodi Seventh-Day Adventist School System.
Wally transferred from Cal Trans to the Employment Development Department in the State of California. There he delved into the then “new world” of computer programming. Wally worked for the State of California for 37 years without using a sick day, which then allowed his earlier retirement at the age of 64 years.
During Wally’s time of employment, he and JoAnn enjoyed seeing the marriage of their two sons. Derek was married to Cindy Sumarauw in 1997 and Ross was married to Krista Carver in 1999. After his retirement, he enjoyed his two grandchildren born to Ross and Krista. Mia was born in 2003 and Lily was born in 2004.
Wally retired well due to his excellent planning, in addition to enjoying his grand daughters; he travelled to the Caribbean on a cruise with JoAnn and then to Japan and Italy with Derek and Cindy. His enjoyment was cut short when his then wife of 40 years passed away at the age of 61 in 2008. Wally bravely continued forward despite the loss of his longtime companion. After her death, he travelled with Derek and Cindy to Indonesia, the Netherlands and France. He subsequently then took his whole family to Maui and China.
After the death of his spouse, Wally was blessed by the birth of his first grandson, Simon in 2011. Wally was very proud of his first grandson who would carry on the “Sakata” name. He was then further blessed by the birth of a second grandson, Abram in 2013. Papa really loved all of his grandchildren. He enjoyed buying them lots of gifts and traveling to Lake Tahoe with them every year.
During the last years of his life, Wally was faced with the challenge associated with his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Wally faced his aggressor with courage and resolve. With the help and dedication of Ross, Krista, Mia and Lily; he lived with dignity and comfort until he passed peacefully in his sleep on Monday, March 9, 2015.
Wally is survived by his sons, Derek and Ross and their wives Cindy and Krista. Derek and Cindy have two sons, Simon and Abram. Ross and Krista have two daughters, Mia and Lily.
No visitation will be held.
Memorial Service will be held 3:00 p.m. Saturday, March 14, 2015 at English Oaks Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 1260 W. Century Blvd, Lodi , Calif.