- Gene Kawamoto
- Graduation Year:
Memories of Gene Kawamoto
Gene was born in California of Japanese ancestry on 21 January 1933. Immediately following the declaration of war against Japan, Gene and his family were placed in the California "Merced Assembly Center". Shortly thereafter they were moved to the "Granada Relocation Center", known as "Camp Amache", near Granada. Colorado. Upon the termination of WWII in August of 1945, persons of Japanese heritage were released back into the general population and the Kawamoto family moved to Colorado Springs where Gene's father was employed as a Chef at the Broadmoor Hotel. There Gene and his two sisters, Agnes and Arlyne, enrolled in Cheyenne H.S. in the fall of 1945. Gene, a bright student, became interested in ice skating and hockey and by the fall semester of 1948 Gene had become an accomplished ice skater and hockey player. He was selected as the hockey team "Captain" and played at the "Center" position on the team's first line. By the end of the 1948-49 hockey season Cheyenne won the Colorado Springs Hockey League and Gene was named "most valuable player" for Cheyenne, and was voted "All League Center" by the other League players. Following his graduation in 1950, Gene, short in stature at 5'5", enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served in combat status during the Korean War. Following his release from active duty Gene returned to Colorado Springs at a strapping height of six feet and 220 pounds. The Marines had fed and conditioned him well. Gene later moved to California and was employed as a Field Service Technician by Bank of America. As time passed he married and fathered three children. He also progressed to the position of Manager, Field Services, Southern California Division, for Bank of America. Gene passed away at age 77, on 9 February 2010. He was still a Marine!
He is survived by his loving wife of 49 years, Kiko, a son Gregg, daughters Janet Hertogh and Joan Adams, and sisters Agnes Hirotsu(1950) and Arlyne Kawamoto (1952).
A lifelong friend and brother Marine. May he rest in peace.(see also "Memories - Sporting Events - Hockey")
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