Bill null Oshima obituary

Bill Oshima Obituary

Boston, New Mexico, United States

February 01, 2016 - January 24, 2016

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Bill null Oshima obituary

Bill Oshima Obituary

Feb 01, 2016 - Jan 24, 2016

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Bill Oshima of Las Vegas was born on Feb. 23, 1925, and died peacefully on Sept. 24, 2016. Services will be held at 11 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church located at 715 National Ave., in Las Vegas at 11 a.m. on Friday. A reception will follow at the same location. Bill's parents emigrated from Japan to the United States. He grew up with six brothers and sisters, who were also fellow workers in the family laundry business. In time they owned and ran five laundries in Berkeley and Oakland, Calif. After Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Government forcibly relocated his family, along with the entire Japanese American community from the West Coast. The Oshimas' first stop was a race track, where each family was given a horse stall as their quarters. After the government finished building a series of concentration camps in remote areas of the west, Bill's family was moved to a camp called "Topaz" in Delta, Utah. Bill graduated from Topaz High School as class president.He was forbidden to return to the west coast for college, but allowed to go east. He went to Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio, and there got his undergraduate degree. He went on to earn a master's in social work at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Armed with his degree, he got a job working with inner-city youth in a Settlement House. There he met a fellow social worker named Helen Ackerly, and in 1953 they were married. "Inter-racial" couples were not common in those years!In 1964, he and his family moved to a suburb of Boston, where he continued to work assisting inner city minority communities. In the 1970s, Bill went back to school - to Boston College, where he taught in the School of Social Work and worked on a Master's degree in business. With his background in social service and his new business degree it was natural that he went to work for the then new programs aimed at increasing the opportunities for minority and women owned businesses to obtain government contracts. In doing so he was tossing wrenches into the corrupt "old boy" network that pervaded the state construction project process. In the mid '70s Bill moved farther outside of the city to help his life partner Helen pursue her dream of an herb farm. He said, "I had to learn how to become a farmer, keep bees, and turn compost." He might have added "on top of commuting two hours a day to my job!" In 1993, he and Helen moved west to Las Vegas to a farm on Hot Springs Blvd., where they raised chickens and sheep, grew herbs, and trained gardeners until Helen's death in 2004. Bill then moved to Lincoln Street. He could be seen biking around town or in yoga class; volunteering at Habitat for Humanity; working out at the rec center; washing pots at the soup kitchen; and enjoying breakfast at Maryanne's Famous Burritos and Hillcrest. Bill was fond of ringing the bell for the Salvation Army at Christmas. He took pride in being a high earner for them, and it didn't bother him that the fund raising seemed to annoy the manager at the store he was stationed in front of. Bill was known for his generous spirit, and dedication to doing good in the world. One year he was the recipient of the Las Vegas Good Samaritan Award. Although a stroke in 2014 curtailed his activities, he continued to live at home with the help of good friends. Bill is preceded in death by his wife, Helen; son, Michael, and his five siblings. He is survived by his sons, Jon and Kenji, daughter, Toki; and four grandchildren, Daniel, Alice, Sean and Jamie.Bill leaves behind his beloved community of Las Vegas. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating time, money, or groceries to The Las Vegas Peace & Justice Center. (For years but without ever saying a word, he shoveled the snow off of the sidewalks for that local service organization), PO Box 716, Las Vegas, N.M. 87701; 425-3840.
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