Tetsuo “Tek” Ueda

Tetsuo “Tek” Ueda
October 27, 1932 – December 9, 2019

Tetsuo “Tek” Ueda, 87, of Salinas, CA passed away peacefully from cancer on December 9, 2019.

Born on October 27, 1932 in Indio, CA, Tek grew up in the San Gabriel Valley area and lived in El Monte, CA at the time of the signing of Executive Order 9066 in February 1942. He and his family were interned at the Pomona Assembly Center (Los Angeles County Fairgrounds) on May 13, 1942; transferred to Heart Mountain War Relocation Center, WY on August 20, 1942; and moved to Tule Lake Detention Center, CA in September 1943. He was released along with his father and mother in 1946. The family settled in San Marino, CA where his parents worked as domestics. Tek is a graduate of South Pasadena, CA High School.

Shortly after graduation, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, trained as a military stevedore and, during the Korean War while stationed at Ft Lawton, WA served on military cargo ships providing supplies to bases in the Aleutian Islands.

Upon discharge in 1954, he was readmitted to UCLA where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in floriculture and ornamental horticulture. He was one of the early college-educated, Japanese American floriculture graduates entering the long Japanese dominated carnation and chrysanthemum nursery industry. He was employed by Tak’s Greenhouse in Santa Clara, CA, and, with the pressure of urbanization, moved with the carnation nursery industry to Salinas Valley. He also served many years as an instructor of the Hartnell College’s floriculture training program for students from Japan.

Tek was predeceased by his parents, Chusaku and Toshiyo (Karimoto), originally from Hiroshima, Japan; brothers Minoru (Fuyuko) and Yoshito; and sister Kikue (Robert) Ishiguro. He is survived by his sister, Sachie (John) Hayakawa of Honolulu, six nephews, nine great nieces and nephews, and good friends Jun and Kyoko Uchida of Salinas.

He will be interred at the Ueda Family gravesite in the Evergreen Cemetery, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, CA.