Stephen “Steve” Takakuwa

Date of Death: November 15, 2015
Berkeley Methodist United Church
Saturday 12/12, 10:30 am

Stephen “Steve” Takakuwa, 65, passed away peacefully at his Richmond, California home on Sunday, November 15, 2015, after fighting a courageous battle with cancer. Steve was born in Oakland, California to Yoshio and Martha Takakuwa. He grew up in Berkeley and is a graduate of Berkeley High School, San Jose State University, and U.C. HastingsContinue Reading

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Steve Edwards left a message on May 22, 2019:
Just learned of Steve’s passing. Put me in a complete funk. He was my best childhood friend in Berkeley. We kept up through college then less so but was grateful for some help with insurance in mid-life. I remember Steve as a funny and fun loving person and I miss him. Love to Yosh, John, and Wayne...and of course him mom, Martha.
Tadashi Kameda left a message on June 6, 2016:
Steve was a brave, kind, and brilliant soul. I met him in the early days of the Asian-American movement. As a member of the Progressive Asian-American Coalition, he helped start the Asian-American Studies program at San Jose State College (now SJSU). Steve also participated in monitoring the San Jose Police through the Community Action Patrol (or something similar to that name). CAP was a mostly Chicano organization that was armed with cameras and themselves as eye witnesses, to monitor the activities of the police with the Chicano community. They were trying to deal with what they felt were numerous cases of abuse and over reaction with the community. His activities with CAP once led to his arrests on misdemeanor charges. Steve was smart and so dedicated to whatever he was involved with. He had great insight and foresight. He fought for social justice with great resolve. He was a man that I greatly respected and admired. Art Kameda
Suzan Yee left a message on December 9, 2015:
Thanx for the Memories Steve: Those were the best of times when we became roommates during our law school years; the "wee" hours of distorted views about life, law, and loves; we needed a new paint job in apt. when Steve, Oylene, and I decided to go on food stamp for one month ; have a painting party; only to share the best sushi from J -Town. on the condition you picked up a paint brush. Your quick mind and generous laughter will always be embedded in our minds. My condolences to Wendy and family...Suzan Yee
Marc Klaas left a message on December 3, 2015:
Steve was a kind, loving and gentle man who faced great dversity with courage and humor. I only hope that when my time comes to leave the earth, that I will demonstrate a small percentage of his grace.
Kevin Peet left a message on December 4, 2015:
I did not know him long, but I found Steve to be a very impressive guy. His mind was very alert, he had a good sense of what was important and significant, and he enjoyed engaging with people about these matters. He sought to be of service in the various communities in which he was involved, and the story of his coming to faith in Jesus as his Savior is quite a remarkable one! He is now blessed forever, and with the Savior with whom he longed to enter Eternity.
Peace of mind is a call away. We’re here when you need us most.
Diane Richwine-Swanson left a message on December 6, 2015:
Steve was a visionary and leader for the Amador Street neighborhood CERT (Community Emergency Response Team). Probably not many knew of his neighborhood activism. It was his idea to develop six training sessions for our neighborhood to prepare for the predicted earthquake on the Hayward fault. Steve invited my husband and me for dinner on several occasions where we would collaborate on building these classes. He envisioned scenarios of how events would play out and how he and other team leaders would respond in an organized way. Together with my husband and me, he trained these popular six sessions with attendance of over 20 folks in each. He was a natural teacher. He hosted most of these sessions. He also hosted an all-day disaster drill with folks from the greater Richmond combined neighborhoods. He was concerned with comfort and care and graciously volunteered use of his home as a safe haven, providing coffee, blankets, warmth and assurance for any weary worker, or for those with special needs. Steve was a good person, neighbor and friend - always smiling and eager to engage in conversation whenever my husband and I would run into him - on the block or at Trader Joe's. He supported and encouraged me when I lost my job in 2008. Wow....that says it all. Steve, you will be missed.
Christina Y. Chen left a message on December 7, 2015:
Steve and I met as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed first-year law students at Hasting in 1975. Assigned to Section "C" of the Class of 1978, we shared not only time and space in the same classroom for one full year, we also became members of the unique study group consisted of Steve Tak. Armond Drumgoole, Oy-Lene Chong, and myself. It was unique because we literally ate through the first year together, our way of addressing the humiliation and frustration experienced by first-year law students at the time. Our friendship survived the study group, law school, our respective law practice or other careers, marriages, and raising children. We remained life-long friends, continued to share our conviction for and dedication to liberal causes designed to establish equity for all, and managed to gather and to share a meal in early October of each and every year in joint celebration of Steve's and Armond's birthdays. Steve was a special friend. As a fellow Asian-American, Steve embodied the best of the East and the West. He was instinctively kind, courteous, considerate, diligent and disciplined with, however, no hesitation to express his opinions and readiness to stand behind what he believed. Above all, he was, as he had been a caring and loyal friend since the Autumn of 1975. Wendy, Chris, and Kimi, you should be proud of Steve, a giant of a man in his decency, loyalty, and humanity. He will be greatly missed. Love. Christina Y. Chen
Dennis Roberts left a message on May 3, 2016:
I am sorry to learn of Steve's passing. He was the hardest working, kindest and most giving man I can think of. We lived together in a dorm at San Jose State. He was the Head Resident. I was an RA. We had so many experiences together dealing with young students living in a coed dorm. He had a private living quarters but he didn't keep it to himself. He encouraged us RA's to spend time with him there discussing the issues of this day. I learned so much about hard work, honesty and putting others ahead of yourself from Steve. One summer he arranged for us three RA's and him to stay in the dorms over the summer break. Just four of us living in three blocks of empty dorms. We had so much fun cooking and living together. The other students trusted Steve. They came to him with their problems. He always found time for them. Perhaps it is a tribute to him that he had such an impact on me that after more than fourty years I would go looking for him on the internet. I'm sorry to hear of his passing....Dennis Roberts
Marilyn Dromgoole Watson left a message on December 11, 2015:
' So well put. You couldn't be more correct.
Marilyn Dromgoole Watson left a message on December 11, 2015:
RIP dear friend. Thank you for your kindness and guidance during our more than 40-year friendship. Thank you, and Wendy for being with me at the time of Armond's passing. I am so blessed to have such devoted and loving friends! Words cannot express how much you will be missed. You were TRULY a great person and a wonderful friend.
Gay Carter left a message on December 18, 2015:
I met Steve at a memorial service for his Aunt Kay. Kay and I had been best of friends for a number of years and during that time she often spoke about her nephew Steve with a deep fondness. After meeting him, I could understand why she felt as she did about him. I found him warm, compassionate, and intelligent, and quickly felt a strong bond with him. I felt as if Kay had sent Steve and his Aunt Michi to become my friends and to help me with my loss when she left us. I only wish I had met this family years before to have been able to have spent more time with the ones I became acquainted with. Steve was so excited about his first grandchild and I watched with amazement as he did all he could do to stay strong so he could enjoy the new addition and to care for his ailing father. I will miss knowing Steve is in my life and yet I feel joy that he is now sharing eternity with my good friend Kay. I think of you both often.
Carolyn Morimoto left a message on May 30, 2016:
To Family and Friends of Steve, Recently we found out that our dear friend, Steve, had passed away last November. Because we were unaware of his passing we will be dancing for him on Sunday, July 10th, at the San Jose Obon Festival. Please join us for this "Celebration of Steve". We will be gathering at Henry Nakata's place from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. (Potluck) Odori will begin at 6:00 pm Henry Nakata 613 N. 5th Street Apt. 11 SJ For more information contact: Sandy Wong 408 230-3836 s2k4wong@att.net Carolyn Morimoto 408 476-7937 memoto@sbcglobal.net Please let us know if you can attend.
Ernst Eric Johnson left a message on August 4, 2017:
This is extremely belated, but I just found out. My condolences to Steve's family. I just wanted to say, thank you Steve, for giving me my first real, adult job back in 1980. I will never forget the opportunity that Steve gave a dopey kid with zero experience. I worked for him, less than a year, but will remember Steve, and the time spent with him, for a lifetime. He was a genuinely nice man. RIP.
Frank Robles left a message on December 5, 2015:
In the spring of 1975 I was a financial aids counselor at UC Hastings College of the Law. One day a fellow wearing black rimmed glassed from San Jose State came in, who had just been accepted into the 1975 class. We did all the paperwork needed to get his financial aid. I can't remember why exactly but this person and I hit it off during the interview. I too had been accepted into the 1975 class, and I asked him whether he had a roommate for the upcoming fall semester, he was all set and didn't need any more roommates. But that started my 40 year friendship with Steve Tak. I really can't think of a finer person that I have met during my lifetime. He was always a diligent and hard worker. I know for a fact that he worked extremely hard working in Willie Browns law office during his school years. Yet Steve would find time to have people over for potlucks, crab was one of his specialities. He loved to experiment with food and I remember one time where he was kept trying different ways of sautéing mushrooms, using different varieties of ingredients. Perhaps a highlight of our friendship was at his and Wendy's wedding reception in 1981, he had his friends act as servers. My job was to slice this huge baron of beef. I had absolutely no experience in handling the slicing. You either got a paper thin slice or a half inch slice. One notable event took place in the early 1980's after I had relocated to Los Angeles and came back to visit the bay area. I hooked up with Steve and he had told me that he had been driving along and the next thing he knew he was on the side of the road in a bunch of bushes and trees. Ironically, the same type of event had just happened to a relative of mine, and he had a serious medical condition. I told Tak he should have it checked out right away. He did take my advice and week later I learned he was in the hospital. I came to visit him in the hospital and he said he didn't recall anything that had happened. I then said, "I suppose you don't remember that I loaned you $100 last week?" Steve Tak loved to laugh and make you laugh, so I hope he appreciates these anecdotes. To Wendy, Chris and Kimi, my heartfelt condolences and the knowledge that you shared so may wonderful years with this truly remarkable person. Good bye Steve Tak.
Sunset View Mortuary left a message:
Please accept our deepest condolences for your family's loss.
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