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Sock Yoshida

 
November 28, 2022

Sock in 2018 sporting his letterman sweater from Topaz High
School.  He lettered in basketball and baseball.
Sock Yoshida, 96, recently of Moyie Springs, died peacefully Thursday evening, November 24, 2022, at the Boundary County Restorium. The family is following Sock’s wishes to be buried with his wife and will be holding his cremated remains to take back to California in the spring for a service there.

He was born Sakaye Yoshida in Tacoma, Washington, to Japanese parents who immigrated in 1921. They came from from Fukshima, Japan, and had seven children. Sock was the middle child.

Sock’s father was a well respected judo instructor before the war and he was offered a position in Guadalupe, California. A year before the attack on Pearl Harbor, his father was offered a job teaching judo in Northern California, so the family moved to Redwood City.

As a result of the address change, the FBI was at first unable to locate and arrest his father when they began rounding up martial arts instructors after the attack. Under Executive Order 9066, his entire family was forced to relocate, first to the Tanforan Assembly Center in San Bruno, California, and then to an internment camp at Topaz, Utah.

That order resulted in the internment of over 110,000 Japanese Americans in the continental US, two-thirds of whom were American born citizens.

It was in February of 1943 when the registration of Nisei internees was completed at Topaz. Even though their rights would not be restored, and they would be forced into a Nisei only unit, most men reported for induction in hopes they could prove their loyalty and earn their freedom.

There were only seven men who resisted. Sock and two of his brothers were among them. In fact, Sock watched both of his brothers carted off to jail for resisting. He followed them four months later. They held resentment for being incarcerated in the first place, for not having their rights restored before they signed up, and for being forced into a Nisei only unit in the Army.

One brother eventually succumbed to the pressure and joined the military to avoid prison, but Sock and his brother Ken continued to resist and were sentenced to nine months in prison at the Catalina Honor Camp at the Tuscon Federal Prison. Sock’s brother, Ken, often boasted that the prison camp had better conditions than the internment camp.

All the draft resistors were pardoned by President Truman in 1947. Sock never liked to talk about this time of his life.

After the war and his prison term, Sock moved back with his family to San Francisco. He did finally join the Army and served during the Korean War. He also studied and taught judo, achieving a sixth level black belt. After that, he went to UCLA on the GI bill and became a data analyst.

He was married briefly to his first wife and had a son, Scott. He worked for North American Aviation, which was involved with many military and NASA projects, such as the Apollo command module. This is where he met his second wife, Lois who was a key punch operator, and her son, Mark.

After leaving North American, he worked for several different companies over his career, eventually retiring from the University of California, Irvine. He and Lois also ran a Hallmark Shop in Orange, California, for several years.

He loved fishing and woodworking and he always loved sports of any kind. He was very involved in high school sports, and all the kids from El Modena High School knew him. He loved to watch college sports as well, especially UCLA. Every year he and Lois would spend the summers camped at June Lake, California, just enjoying their friends, playing cards, fishing and carrying on They were inseparable.

He is survived by sons Mark Quinn, Moyie Springs, and Scott Yoshida, La Canada, California, granddaughter Heather Martin, Nampa, Idaho, sister Aiko Morimoto, San Mateo, California, three great grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.. His wife, Lois, preceded him in death in 2016.

The family would like to sincerely thank the wonderful staff, administrators, and nurses at the Restorium, as well as the Hospice care team from Bonner General for taking such wonderful care of Sock during his last days.

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9B.News
Mike Weland, Publisher
mike@9b.news  

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