Herbert Mitsuru Okamoto
December 1, 1930 ~ December 8, 2018
Herbert Mitsuru “Mits” Okamoto, 88, died peacefully on December 8, 2018, in Los Angeles, after an active life as an outdoorsman, US Air Force veteran, public servant, swing dancer, disc jockey and loving father, grandfather and friend. Herb’s advice: “If you have the chance to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance!”
Born on December 1, 1930, in Hanna, Wyoming, Herb worked in the coal mines before enlisting in the Air Force. He received his B.A. in Accounting from the University of Wyoming and Masters in Public Administration from the University of Colorado and enjoyed a distinguished career with the Internal Revenue Service. In retirement, Herb consulted for his favorite team, the L.A. Lakers, and DJ’d for swing dance events in L.A., Denver, and Las Vegas. Passionate about social justice, Herb was active with the Democratic Party and Japanese American Citizens League.
Herb is survived by his daughter Jeri Okamoto and son David (Amy) Okamoto and several grandchildren and other relatives and friends. He was predeceased by his parents Manzo & Tsuya Okamoto and siblings Nellie Nagata, Sadami Kuroda, Harriet Okamoto, Robert Okamoto, and Midori Nagasawa, and spouses Chiyoko Tanaka Okamoto and May Sutow Okamoto.
Herb was laid to rest on December 21 at Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes, following a funeral service at West Los Angeles United Methodist Church with military honors, Rev. Gary Oba officiating. In lieu of flowers, a donation to West Los Angeles UMC, the Reconciling Ministries Network, or Little Tokyo Service Center/Budokan Gym would be welcome.