Hiroshi E. Hishiki

Hishiki, Hiroshi E., 91, passed away on Oct. 2, after a long illness. A native of Los Angeles, Hiro grew up on Mariposa Street near Normandy, a few doors away from Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church. He attended Hoover Elementary School, Berendo Junior High School and the old Los Angeles High School. He graduated from UCLA with a business degree in 1940. During WWII he was sent with his family to the relocation camp at Santa Anita Race Track and interred at Heart Mountain, Wyo. His business degree qualified him to run the hospital there where he earned $19 per month. He moved to New Jersey in 1945 and worked as an accountant for the non-profit organization, Sloan Kettering. A few years later he moved back to Los Angeles because of family obligations, giving up his dream of becoming a CPA in order to assist his father-in-law with the Japanese/English language newspaper, The Kashu Mainichi. He worked in all departments of the newspaper, eventually becoming editor and publisher. He continued in the publishing business for 40 years. Hiro was honored as a Nisei Pioneer and was one of a group of business men who worked with the city government to redevelop Little Tokyo in the late 1970s. Hiro was addicted to golf. After retiring, he played golf three times per week, rising early Sunday mornings to the religious songs of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir playing on his radio alarm. He made his first hole in one when he was 80 years old. A loyal UCLA fan, he fondly remembered sitting in Royce Hall, one of only eight buildings which comprised the campus of UCLA in 1937, as George and Ira Gershwin dedicated the song, “Strike Up the Band” to the Bruins. He excelled at the “Eight Clap” and overcame all medical odds to attend UCLA home football games over the last fifteen years.
Hiro is predeceased by his beloved wife, Bessie Matsuo Hishiki; and his daughter, Patricia Hishiki Abrams. He is survived by a son and daughter, Marc R. Abrams, M.D. and Cindy Abrams; cousins and a myriad of friends, both young and old, who loved him deeply and adored him for his quiet sense of humor, his optimistic outlook and his endless love and acceptance of all he met.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, Oct. 15, at 12:30 p.m. at Fukui Mortuary “Chapel in the Garden,” 707 E. Temple St., Los Angeles. The family suggests contributions be made in his memory to the Japanese American National Museum or the UCLA General Scholarship Fund.