Today’s Obituary Notices
- Joel Feldman
- Ottie Austin Ladd
- Rod Nobuto Omoto
Joel Feldman, age 75, passed away peacefully at his home in Lakewood, WA on June 5, 2013 with his family at his side.
Joel graduated in the first UPS Law School class and practiced law in Lakewood for 30 years. Joel was a member of the Lakewood Rotary Club, serving as president in 2009.
A Celebration of Life for Joel will be held on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 3:00 pm in the Aspen Chapel at Mountain View Funeral Home. Remembrances may be made to the Lakewood Community Foundation.
Arrangements by Mountain View Funeral Home 253-584-0252. To view the complete obituary please visit www.mountainviewtacoma.com.
Ottie Austin Ladd (above) 1936 – 2013 Ottie Austin Ladd, Oklahoma farm boy, Army pilot, businessman, and community supporter, died peacefully at his home surrounded by his family on June 6. The cause of death was idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. He was 77. Ottie was born in Cordell, Oklahoma, the son of Ottie Abraham and Margretta (Hill) Ladd. His father died when he was only two, leaving his mother with five children to support during the Depression. Eventually, an aunt and uncle, Art and Eliza Elliott, took the children in and raised them on their sharecrop farm where Ottie learned the importance and necessity of hard work. He went on his first wheat harvest from Oklahoma to the Canadian border when he was only nine. He continued to work the wheat harvests in summers and other jobs during the school year to pay his way through Oklahoma State University, where he was involved in campus politics and his fraternity. He joined ROTC and its flight training program to earn more money for school. As an Army pilot, he flew in Southeast Asia at the start of the Vietnam War. He was transferred to Ft. Lewis in 1962 and when he left the Army as a Captain in 1965, he settled in Lakewood and lived there until his death. He was past owner of the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in Pierce County, Spokane and Coeur d’Alene. He held several leadership positions at KFC, representing all U. S. franchisees on the National Franchisee Advisory Committee and the National Advertising Cooperative. After selling his restaurants, he became co-owner of Capital Investment Corporation of Washington. His KFC restaurants provided a first job for many young people, and he often ran into adults who told him they’d started work at one of his restaurants – many saying it was one of their best job experiences. In later years, many former workers told him their children also got their first jobs at KFC. Ottie loved to see how the young workers blossomed as they gained more confidence in their work skills and dealing with co-workers and customers. He paid attention to the adage “travel while you can.” And while he could, he took skiing, camping and fishing trips into the wilderness of Canada and the Northwest, climbed Huayna Picchu in Peru and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, and traveled extensively throughout the world But no matter where he traveled, he was always glad to return to the Pacific Northwest. He also played tennis every Saturday morning with the same group of friends for 40 years, until the pulmonary fibrosis made it too difficult. He was a dedicated gardener and environmentalist, and welcomed big fat worms in his compost bin and garden because they meant the soil was healthy and productive. He loved collecting all sorts of garden and farm tools and visiting antique shops wherever he traveled to collect more. He especially appreciated old hammers with handles worn smooth over many years because of the hard work they represented. Ottie was a firm believer in giving back to the communities that supported his businesses, and he was actively involved in and supported many non-profit organizations, especially those that helped young people learn job skills and get an education. He was a 42-year member of Tacoma Rotary # 8 and served as its president in 1984-85. He also served as president of the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation and held leadership positions at Greater Lakes Mental Health, Allenmore Hospital Foundation, the Tacoma Art Museum, the Washington State Historical Society, Lakewold Gardens and MultiCare Foundation. He was a graduate of the American Leadership Forum 1993 class four. Ottie’s valued priorities in life were, first and foremost, family and friends. He is survived by his wife, Clara Kinner Ladd, three children, Rodney (Shelley), Mindy (Michael O’Neill), and Cori (Michael Beerman), six grandchildren, Michael Ladd, Sarah Miller, Emrey Hombach, Macy Hombach, Ruby Beerman, and Miles Beerman, two sisters, Zonelle Pappan and Jan Jordan of Oklahoma, and his former wife, Barbara Ladd. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 on Friday, June 14, 2013 in the Mountain View Valley Chapel, followed by a reception at the Tacoma Golf and Country Club. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Rotary 8 Foundation, P.O. Box 1777, Tacoma, 98401; the Ottie and Clara Ladd Great Futures Fund at the Boys and Girls Club of Lakewood, 3875 S. 66th St., Tacoma 98409; or Tacoma Goodwill Industries, 714 S. 27th St., 98409.
Rod Nobuto Omoto passed away on June 1, 2013. He was born on September 9, 1918 in Wahiawa, Hawaii to Shinichi and Tameno Omoto, second of seven children. He began to learn kendo at the age of 14 and achieved the rank of 2 dan by the time he graduated from Leilehua High School in 1938. He was sent to learn kendo at Budo Senmon Gakko, known as Busen, the premier martial arts college in Kyoto, Japan and lived at the home of 10 dan Ogawa sensei. However, his preparation was not sufficient for him to be admitted to Busen so he attended Japanese high school for 2 years before being admitted to Busen. He learned more than kendo at Busen including modern and classic Japanese and calligraphy.
Before his graduation from Busen, he was drafted into the Japanese military in 1942. His training at Busen helped him survive boot camp relatively easily. Because of his fluency in English, being born in Hawaii and having relatives there, unlike other college students who were sent to officer training school, he was made a sergeant and confined to the Japanese mainland assigned to the Transportation Corps. Thus his Hawaiian background likely saved his life.
Upon the end of WWII, he served as translator for various Occupation Force organizations. He married Mutsuko (Mildred) Kawakami. They and their two daughters, Miyuki (Norma) and Kazumi (Charlotte), moved throughout Japan as his translation job required.
Kendo was his life, so although Occupation Forces technically forbade kendo, he managed to get permission to practice kendo. He had missed it so much that it was like being alive again to practice kendo. In 1960, they moved to US where he received his Bachelor’s degree in engineering at Oregon State University in 1966. Upon graduation he and his family moved to Tacoma, WA. He initially taught kendo to Boy Scouts out of the Tacoma Buddhist Temple. He enjoyed teaching kendo throughout the Northwest. He was the founding Charter President of the Washington State Kendo Federation, now known as the Pacific Northwest Kendo Federation and he was one of the founding members of the University of Washington Kendo Club.
Rod was preceded in death by his sisters, Judy O’Connor, Jean Kessel, and Ruth Rhodes; and brother, Brian Omoto. He was also preceded in death by his wife whom he lovingly cared for the last 5 years of her life. He is survived by his daughters, Charlotte Omoto and Norma Wakatsuki; grandson, Ryan Wakatsuki; and by many nieces and nephews including Louise and Bruce Kessel, Eesha and Swasti Bhattacharrya, Sandy Keepers, Evan, Eric and Lydia Rhodes.
A celebration of Rod Omoto’s life will be held at Tacoma Buddhist Temple, 1717 S Fawcett Ave at 1pm on Saturday, June 15th.