Mike Kazuji Miyagishima
March 30, 1930 — March 5, 2018
OBITUARY MIKE K. MIYAGISHIMA, written by Bob Miyagishima, MA, BS
Mr. Mike K. Miyagishima was born in Terminal Island, California to Mr. Rikizo Miyagishima (father) and Ryo Miyagishima (mother) on March 30, 1930. Mike was the 4th of 5 children; Noriko (1st), Kimiye (2d), Kazuichi (3d), and Yuji (5th). He is survived by his wife Eufracia Catalina Porras y Gallegos Miyagishima of the family home. Together they had 5 children. His first son is James Miyagishima with daughters Kaitland (Jay), Ramona (Abraham) and son, Santiago (Maria Juliette). His second son is Robert Miyagishima, wife Maura Morton of El Paso, TX; they have 2 daughters, Laura (of the family home) and Roberta and Dani with daughter Arianna and son Dimitri. His third child is Carol who married Doug Rogers, from Las Vegas, NV. They have 2 sons, Mike (San Francisco) and Sean (Preston, AZ). Finally, their third son is Mayor Ken Miyagishima of Las Cruces who married Rosie Reza, daughter, Danielle (currently a medical student at Yale), and three sons; John, Frank and Carlos. Eldest child is Jose Gallegos, married to Amy Soto with son Juan Carlos.
Mike grew up as a child in Terminal Island, California, after serving 4 years at an internment camp at Poston AZ during WW II, he was reunited with other family members in November 1945. He moved to the Los Angeles, CA area and decided to enlist in the U.S. Air Force on December 31, 1948 (18 years old). He served during the Korean conflict and received the Bronze Star for actions associated with that assignment.
While he was stationed at Holloman A.F.B., Alamogordo, NM he met Juan Gallegos who was a contracted employee with the U.S. Government and wife Concha. He introduced Mike to his daughter, they fell in love and decided to get married. Although both sides of the family were against it, he married Eufracia Catalina Porras y Gallegos on November 28, 1952. They honeymooned in Juarez, Mexico. He had 2 sons while stationed at H.A.F.B. NM; Jim in June 1953, Bob in July 1955. When he was stationed at Altus A.F.B. OK, Carol was born in June 1959; and finally when he was stationed at Kessler A.F.B. MS, Ken was born in May 1963. His last stateside assignment was at Vandenberg A.F.B. CA, where he stayed until October or November 1968. He was in computer maintenance and no longer an air traffic controller. While he was stationed at V.A.F.B. CA, he went to night school and he eventually earned his Associate in Arts Degree. His last active duty assignment was in Bangkok, Thailand with Temporary Duty Assignments to Vietnam. He moved his family to Alamogordo prior to reporting for duty in Thailand. He finally retired on November 30, 1969. The family stayed in Alamogordo until May 1971 when they all moved to Las Cruces, NM except his eldest son (Jim) who enlisted in the U.S. Army.
Mike Miyagishima continued with his education and soon earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration degree from the main campus of New Mexico State University. He retired from Civil Service in the summer of 1987.
Mike Miyagishima was affectionately known by his family as Mr. Volunteer. Once he retired from the U.S. Air Force, Civil Service and as a loan officer with White Sands Federal Credit Union, he started volunteering his time to different organizations. These included: the local soup kitchen; NM Mounted Patrol; American Legion; Disabled American Veterans; and the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars. He would read to students at Booker T. Washington Elementary School and University Hills Elementary School as well. He was very active in collecting donations for the Law Enforcement Torch Run and he participated in the Special Olympics. He was an active swimmer and scuba diver when he was stationed at Vandenberg AFB near Lompoc California in the last 1960s. He loved to go abalone fishing/hunting at the local beach and usually took his 2 oldest sons (Jim and Bob).
He was admitted to the ICU in Las Cruces, NM on 26 January, 2018 with infections to his lungs and his blood. He was moved to the ICU at University Medical Center in El Paso, TX on 6 February, 2018 where he developed a heart problem. He succumbed to his serious infections and passed away on 5 March, 2018 at approximately 5:20 am.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Baca’s Funeral Chapels, 300 E Boutz Rd, Las Cruces, NM 88005. Public viewing prior to the rosary is scheduled for March 16, 2018 from 5 to 7 PM, with the rosary starting at 7 PM. Catholic mass will be officiated by Most Reverend Oscar Cantu’ Bishop of Las Cruces and it will be held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral, 1240 S. Espina St. Las Cruces, NM 88001 on March 17, 2018 at 10 AM.
Primary Casket Bearers are Ken Miyagishima, Bob Miyagishima, John Miyagishima, Frank Miyagishima, Michael D. Rogers and Sean D. Rogers. Honorary Casket Bearers are Jim Miyagishima, Kaitland Kazuko Valencia-Miyagishima and Carlos Miyagishima.
Entrusted to Baca’s Funeral Chapels of Las Cruces, 527-2222 Your exclusive providers for “Veterans and Family Memorial Care.” For online condolences log on to www.bacasfuneralchapelslascruces.com