Charles Oihe “Charlie” Hamasaki

Charles Oihe “Charlie” Hamasaki
October 7, 1922 – August 30, 2018

Charles Oihe Hamasaki passed away peacefully on Thursday, August 30th at the age of 95.

If there’s one word that defined our Dad, “Charlie”, it was boisterous. Whatever the event, you knew when Dad arrived. If there was an explosion of laughter, it was usually Dad igniting the fuse. More importantly, he was a good friend to many and a good listener, always willing to give advice or an opinion. He was also that guy who made sure he spent a little time connecting with each person he talked to and liked making new friends. Born in Wakayama-ken, Shinotara, Japan on October 7, 1922, the youngest of his six sisters and brothers (Emiko, Tamikazu, Futomi, Shizuka and Uzuhiko all deceased). Shortly after he was born, only Dad and his father moved back to Terminal Island. His mother came out a few months later and his brothers and sisters moved back to Terminal Island several years later. Dad attended San Pedro High School and graduated in 1941. He worked as a commercial fisherman leaving from San Pedro, traveling up and down the California coast and fishing in Mexico and South America catching sardines and tuna. In between his years as a fisherman, Dad served two years in the Army in the Military Intelligence Service Language School. Always good with his hands, Dad studied automobile repair in high school, then went to trade school to master car/body and fender repair where he made a living for 35+ years. Dad married twice, the first to Florence Ochi having three children: Vincent, Kevin and Jon. Fumiyo, is his current wife of 51 years and they have two children: Julie and Roman. He has five grandchildren: Kailee and Kayla from Julie and Tom Ozeki; Kyle from Roman; Jordan and Taylor from Vince and Susan.

Our Dad loved being around people. Known as “Good Time Charlie”, he really cherished being around his golfing buddies every Tuesday at the golf course. He attended every Terminal Island, Wakayama or Seinan event, happily performing as the Master of Ceremonies and singing a song or two. When we visited him, he would joyously share what everyone was up to or especially if he shot a great round of golf.

He always said that the best times of his life were in Terminal Island. It was a large, joyous community. Everyone knew each other, helped each other and there was a special kinship amongst the people…….no invisible barriers. Dad fondly said, Terminal Island was a fascinating, fantastic dreamland. I call it, “Enchanted Island.” We’re happy he has gone back home. A memorial service will be held at Centenary United Methodist Church on Saturday, September 29th at 11:00am. We are requesting no flowers and casual attire is acceptable.