Michael Miyamoto

Michael Miyamoto
August 27, 1954 — February 22, 2021

Michael Miyamoto passed away peacefully on February 22, 2021 at the age of 66 following a courageous six-year fight with cancer. Beloved husband of Eve Miyamoto and brother of Fumiye Toni Yamada, Ben Miyamoto and Judith Keiko Nakanishi, he is preceded in death by his father, Masao Miyamoto and mother, Michiko (Narimatsu) Miyamoto as well as his dear brothers-in-law, Leroy Narasaki and Edward Nakanishi and nephew, Brent Narasaki.

Michael Miyamoto was born on August 27, 1954 in Dinuba, Calif. located in the heart of the state’s San Joaquin Valley. He was the youngest of four siblings, separated by 14 years with Judy, the sister with whom he was closest in age and shared a special familial bond.

After graduating from Dinuba High School in 1968, Michael moved to the Bay Area to attend San Jose State University. He completed his college education at California State University, Fresno, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a focus on news writing in 1972.

A naturally gifted communicator, Michael spent most of his adult life working in reporting and photojournalism at newspapers in the Central Valley. From 1998 to 2015, he took on roles ranging from Lead Reporter to Editor to Managing Editor at the Selma Enterprise, the Reedley Exponent, the Visalia Times-Delta and the Dinuba Sentinel.

Michael was the proud recipient of a George F. Gruner Award recognizing public service in local San Joaquin Valley journalism. Under his leadership, the newspapers he worked for took home a number of California News Publishers Association Awards for outstanding breaking news, feature and sports photos.

In 2015, Michael relocated from the Central Valley to Orange County taking a job as Assistant Editor at Landscape Communications, Inc. This same year, he was diagnosed with neck cancer, learning of the news on Christmas Day. After undergoing rigorous chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatments at City of Hope Hospital in Duarte, Michael was pronounced to be cancer-free.

A major event in Michael’s life was meeting Eve Miyamoto. On April 20, 2017, the couple were married in a small ceremony in Orange County. They shared a love for travel and together enjoyed trips up and down the California coast as well as to Hawaii and other locations renowned for their natural beauty.

During this period of remission, Michael joined Taft Broadcasting in Riverside as Technical Writer and Photo Caption Editor responsible for creating and assigning metadata tags to archival photos. This new role tapped his experience with writing and photography and he excelled in it.

One of Michael’s long-held dreams was to visit his father’s birthplace in Hiroshima, Japan to learn more about his family and its origins halfway around the world. He and Eve were in the process of planning this trip in 2019 when they learned that his cancer had returned. After another valiant fight, Michael Miyamoto died on February 22, 2021 at City of Hope Hospital. He was at peace, surrounded by his loving wife and family.

Michael was adored by all those who knew him. At work, he was admired for helping junior newspaper staffers gain experience that would form solid foundations for their own journalism careers. His ability to find human interest stories within the subjects he covered resulted in uniquely engaging articles. A sharp eye enabled Michael to be an exceptional photo editor as well as an accomplished film photographer in his own right.

In his free time, Michael was passionate about music and an active member of his church. Whenever his favorite band, the Eagles, toured in California, he was sure to have tickets in hand. Michael regularly attended the Mid- Cities Baptist Church in Westminster, Calif. where he found a tight-knit community of people whose company he cherished. His favorite hymn to sing in Sunday services was “How Great Thou Art.”

The memorial service for Michael Miyamoto will be held at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Covina, Calif. on March 19, 2021. Out of respect for COVID restrictions, immediate family only.