Serving Whitman County since 1877

Sumio "Sam" Sakamoto

July 11, 1932 - Feb. 11, 2023

Sumio "Sam" Sakamoto passed away peacefully at the Spokane Hospice House on February 11th, 2023. He was born on July 11th, 1932 to Hayata and Fujiko Sakamoto in Gardenia, California.

Sam lived in California for much of his early life. He, along with his parents and sister were sent to an internment camp in Utah during WWII. He described his time there as 'an adventure' and that it was like 'going to camp' he was around 10 years old at the time. In 1965 he traveled to Japan, where he met and married Shigeko Butsuya on August 1st, 1965. They returned to the United States, and made their home in Los Angeles, California. In 1973 they moved to Boise, Idaho and remained there until 2004, when they moved to Colfax, Washington to be near their children and grandchildren. They eventually moved from Colfax to Spokane, Washington in 2019 to live with their son.

Sam loved the outdoors. He loved camping, fishing and hunting and was an active member of the Gem State Sportsman Association while he lived in Boise. He had dreams of one day starting his own touring business, utilizing touring motorcycles and exploring the wilderness of Idaho. He owned and ran his business, Star Photo Service, along with Shigeko until they retired and sold the business. They provided quality photo finishing for public and business use, and specialized in restoring black and white photos. He loved the independence of being his own boss and just wanted to make a good living for his family.

Sam loved working with his hands, was skilled with woodworking, and a perfectionist in everything he made. He also created one of a kind bamboo fly fishing rods, which was another passion of his. He built Shigeko a greenhouse in their Colfax home where she loved being an avid gardener. Shigeko passed away in June 2021, and Sam had been patiently waiting to join her.

Sam is survived by his sister; Harumi (George) Kinoshita and their children, Glen & Kelly. His children, son; James (Connie) Sakamoto, daughter; Lynn Sakamoto (Richard Howell), and grandchildren; Taylre & Skylre. He is preceded in death by his wife, Shigeko, and his mother and father.

The family is planning on having a private graveside service, date to be determined at the Colfax Cemetery.


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