Steve Itsuo Katano passed away peacefully on December 9, 2020. He was born in Honolulu,HI on April 23.1933 to Tatsusaburo and Chie Katano. He lived a life that would inspire many today. As a young boy of 8 years old, he and his siblings hid under their church watching the Japanese Zeros bombing Pearl Harbor. While he grew up in a time when American sentiment grew hostile to those of Japanese decent, he and many of his peers were quick to enlist in the US Armed Forces when they became 18 years old. Even as Hawaii remained a territory of the USA and was not yet a state at the time of his enlistment, Steve proudly stepped up to serve in the US Army. Along with most others of his generation, he was committed to the idea that pride in one's race and ethnicity and patriotism for the United States of America were not mutually exclusive. He served in the Army for 21 years during which time he served tours of duty in Vietnam experiencing situations that he declined to share. Early in his deployment to Japan, he met his wife Mieko. They were married for 54 years and had three daughters Frances, Miyoko, and Eleanor.
Steve earned a degree in Business Administration from the University of Hawaii which earned him a promotion to Chief Warrant Officer 2. After retiring from the military, he began his next career as a financial officer with Central Pacific bank in Hawaii.
Steve loved golfing, fishing, and hunting. He excelled in golf and brought home many trophies. He also excelled at playing the ukulele and loved to relax to Hawaiian music with a good cigar and a cold beer. Steve especially loved being a dog dad. He owned several dogs in his lifetime but arguably his favorite was his pitbull, Penny.
Hawaii was always home for Steve but in his later years, he and Mieko moved first to Helena, Montana which he referred to as "Siberia with a Walmart" then to the warmer climate of St George, UT, where he could golf everyday.
Sadly after Mieko's passing, he began to develop dementia which ultimately brought him back to Helena where he resided at Edgewood. It was there that he began a new life making friends and enjoying the years he had left. With the help of devoted staff, Steve began to thrive and once again inspired others with the notion that dementia and living a fulfilling life is possible with support and love. His Edgewood family is to be given all the credit for bringing light and life back into Steve's existence. He especially loved Dessie, Julia, Callie and others too many to name....but we know that every one of the staff is a blessing to the lives they touch at Edgewood. Our family is humbled by the privilege of having had you care for our dad.
Steve is survived by his daughters Frances and her children Tatiana (Joe), and Sean (Mariah), Miyoko (Dan), and their children Chris (Trudi), Zach, and Julia (Rivers), and Eleanor and her children Matt (Reyline), Ryan, and Ariane. Steve is blessed by his many great-grand children as well.
A special thank you to Frontier Hospice without whom this time in our lives would have been immeasurably more difficult.
Also a special thank you to Mary at the Beehive Cottages in St George, UT who took our dad under her wing and gave him such amazing care.
We hope that you remember those serving in area assisted living residences and other occupations that are often overlooked and under appreciated for their sacrifice and loving devotion to those they serve. And of course don't forget to consider your local animal rescue or Humane Society in memory of Steve the best dog dad ever.
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