Robert M. Watanuki

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 2:25 PM



Robert Mitsuo (Bob) Watanuki, 70, passed away Tuesday, November 5th, at his home after a brave, quiet battle with lung cancer and end stage renal disease. He was born July 24, 1943, in Murray, Utah, to Isamu (Sam) Watanuki and Midori Nakano.

He graduated from West High School in 1961. He married Peggy Case in 1962. They have six children. He and Peggy divorced in 1990, but remained friends. He married Brenda Best Rakes in 1993, and became second father to her three sons.

Bob was a loyal and dependable employee. He worked for Tats Matsuda at Uptown Service as a "brake man" for several years. He then worked for George "Blackie" Murakami at AG Produce until he started a career at Hill Air Force Base in 1966, where he worked mostly with radar and the F-4G (Wild Weasel) aircraft. His last few years were with the 84th Radar Evaluation Squadron as a technical writer/editor. He retired in 1999.

Bob coached West Side Babe Ruth Baseball for many years. He also enjoyed bowling, fishing, golfing, poker, Las Vegas, Disneyworld, and many other pastimes. He enjoyed participating in many long distance runs, including three marathons. Indicative of his positive outlook on life, his claim to fame in running was that he was one of the fastest runners in the bottom 33%. He had a great sense of humor, and could make an ordinary event into a memorable, hilarious occasion. He made everyone feel good about themselves and others.

He is survived by his wife Brenda; ex-wife Peggy; children Glen, Jodi Iwasaki (Mark), Kip (Amber Doi), Scott, Matt (Kristin Clowes), and Midori Murakami (Lucas); stepchildren Mark (Alicia Solis), Gary

(Melody Johnson), and Dan (Tina Torres); 15 grandchildren, six great grandchildren; his mother, Midori, Hamada; his brother Thomas Akira (Jane Kamaya); stepsister Judy (Fred) Tamagawa; several nephews and cousins.

His good friends from school, work, bowling, golfing, and neighboring brought joy and laughter to him. He now thanks each of you for your love and friendship.

The family would like to thank all the family and friends that came to visit him and give him support. They would also like to thank the Huntsman Cancer Institute (Dr. Wallace Akerley, Terry Van Duren; Dr. Reddy and Audra Zdunich); University of Utah (Dr. Niru Ramkumar), and Gentiva Home Hospice (nurses John Hewes, Steve Scoville).

A visitation will be held Thursday, November 14th at Neil O'Donnell & Sons Mortuary, 372 East 100 South, SLCfrom 6 - 8 p.m. An open house and luncheon will be held at the Japanese Buddhist Temple, 211 West 100 South, SLC on Friday, November 15th at 12 p.m. where family and friends may visit with each other. Casual attire requested.

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