Robert E Hamaguchi
(1947 - 2017)

Robert E Hamaguchi
Nickname: Bob

March 30, 1947

CA, United States of America
September 4, 2017

On September 4, 2017 the world lost a giant. We'll miss you, Bob.

Born on March 30, 1947, Robert Eton Hamaguchi was the second son born to Mack and Hide Hamaguchi. Growing up in the Jefferson neighborhood of Los Angeles, Bob ran the streets with his little brother “Raybo” and his group of friends (“the LA Gang”), most of whom he continued to cause trouble with in recent years.

Bob went on to attend Dorsey High School where he was Student Body President and star basketball player…well, he made the team, at least. Following High School, Bob attended Whittier College in Southern California. He would never forget selling his prized Pontiac GTO to pay for his final year of school (he would never let his kids forget, either). While at Whittier, Bob was a member of the Lancer Society and graduated with a degree in Economics.

In the summer of 1967, while playing in a J-volleyball league, he met Carolyn Maruyama. A few years later (August 15, 1970), with his oldest friend and brother, Raybo, by his side, Bob married Carolyn in Inglewood, CA. Their lives changed again in 1974 with the birth of their first daughter, Kristi. In 1977, they decided to increase the level of difficulty by adding a boy, Scott, to the household. And if things were not hectic (Bob would say “fun”) enough, they added Staci in 1982. His three kids were the light of his life, and provided all the motivation he needed to go on to accomplish great things.

After graduating Whittier College, Bob spent his career in real estate with Security Pacific Bank (eventually Bank of America), bouncing back and forth between Southern and Northern California. He spent a career working with some of the largest real estate developers in the Western United States and had the chance to work for BofA Vice Chairman, Marty Stein. After more than 30 years, and achieving the title of Senior Vice President, Bob retired from the bank in 2001, making the Bay Area his permanent home.

Bob being Bob, he did not stay idle for long. When his real estate expertise was needed by his friends in Japantown, he jumped right in to help. What started as a helping hand eventually became a full blown passion project. After his own great experiences with the JCCCNC and their Shinzen program, Bob knew that a cultural touchstone like Japantown was essential to the Japanese-American story. Without it, future generations of Japanese-Americans would continue to drift away from the community and from each other. He quickly became integrated into the Japantown community, eventually teaming up with Sandy Mori, and the rest is history...or perhaps the future. Picking up on the work Sandy was already doing, the two helped guide the dedicated staff at the Taskforce, and leaders in the community, to put Japantown on a path to economic viability today and well into the future.

Outside of his work life, Bob was all about family, friends, golf, and fishing. Though it may have elevated his blood pressure a bit, Bob was probably at his happiest when he was coaching his kids in basketball. When his coaching career finally ended, Bob satisfied his love for sports through his annual March Madness pool and by boisterously supporting St. Mary's athletics.

After a yearlong battle with cholangiocarcnioma (cancer of the bile duct), Bob Hamaguchi passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family. In the last hours, days, and over the past 13-months, Bob was able to get the most out of every moment. He was able to enjoy a family trip to Hawaii, an Arai Clan Family Reunion, and attend the 2017 Final Four in Arizona. Bob spent time at his favorite getaway spot (Truckee), taking his grandkids out for their first fishing trip on the boat, and his "older grandkids" on one last adventure (they only caught 76 fish). He got to see the Japantown Community Benefit District come to fruition; he spent quality time with friends and relatives; and he played some golf...okay, a lot of golf.

Robert E. Hamaguchi was a friend, confidant, coach, mentor, or brother to so many people--always being exactly what the moment required. The world will not be the same without him, but there is little doubt that it is better because of him. We all carry a piece of him with us, and a little "what would Bobby say?" can only help us to be better people...usually.

Bob is survived by his wife Carolyn, his children Kristi Hiatt (Darren), Scott Hamaguchi (LeAnne), and Staci Byrne (Bryan), and his favorite hobby, his grandchildren Camden, Mason, and Madilyn.

Please join us as we celebrate the full and wonderful life of Bob Hamaguchi:

Bob Hamaguchi - A Life Celebrated
Date: Saturday, September 23, 2017
Time: 3p - 7p
Location: JCCCNC // 1840 Sutter St. // San Francisco, CA 94115

Attire: Casual (golf and aloha attire in honor of Bob)

*in lieu of flowers the family is asks that you make donations to the Japantown Task Force

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Guest Book (7 entries)
A Great Story!
Bob was headed north for a memorial and some fishing, so he called to say he could stay with us for the night as we were at the half-way point of his drivee.
Monday Night Football was on the television, so I told the guys to watch it while I cooked dinner. when the kids were young Bob often opted for Udon at their home after one of the kids sporting events, if I offered to cook (I am not the greatest cook). He wasn't expecting much, but this meal was the worst. I was cooking baked salmon, rice (in the cooker they bought me) and broccoli. Unfortunately and typically, the electricity had an interruption and turned off the oven, cooker and stove prematurely. The salmon was raw, the rice was teeth breaking hard and the broccoli was edible.
Bob ate the broccoli (crunch, crunch, crunch), told me he was pretending the salmon was sushi and he possibly broke a tooth on the rice. Not a word of complaint or a derogatory comment.
As he went to his room, I told him there was an Albertsons down the street. His face lit up!
Julie Martinez (Friend)
February 16th, 2018
At Daniel 12:13, the prophet Daniel was assured of the resurrection and this promise was repeated again for all of us in John 11:25, where Jesus promised "I am the resurrection and the life. He that exercises faith in me, even though he dies, will come to life." And thus, the Creator has promised all of us the resurrection and no more mourning and no more pain (Revelation 21:4) May God's loving kindness comfort you and help you through this very sad time (Psalms 29:11)
R Moreno (neighbor)
December 18th, 2017
My deepest sympathies go out to your family at this time of such great loss. May you find comfort in knowing that God puts before us the prospect of being reunited with our dear loved ones soon and living forever with them right here on the earth. (Acts 24:15; Psalm 37:29)
someone who cares
October 10th, 2017
Knew Bobby since middle school in Los Angeles. He was our leader in all things related to Audubon Junior High School and Dorsey High School, athletics, social activities, and just getting along with people. His VW Bug was the "Cool" car at Dorsey High. He became a huge presence in banking/real estate development and will be sincerely missed. My condolences to Carolyn and the rest of the Family. I am very sad at our loss.
Gilbert Nishimura (Classmate and Friend)
September 26th, 2017
I had the pleasure of working with Hama when we were colleagues at Bank of America. He was cool under pressure, a true professional, a class act, astute, thoughtful, rational, a joy to partner with. He was everyone's friend, someone you enjoyed sharing stories with. It is true, there is a part of Bob in all of us. I know he touched my life and will not be forgotten.
Phillip Kelloff (Work Colleague)
September 19th, 2017
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"Thanks for always being there for me. Thank for you teaching me so many things. You were my second dad."
Simon Yi
September 27th, 2017
"Great dude. Will be sorely missed by a lot of people. Keep hittin 'em straight. Ball belongs in the hole."
Craig Yamada
September 25th, 2017
"We miss you, Bob. You will always be in our hearts."
LeAnne Skelly
September 17th, 2017
"Love you, Dad. -scotty"
Scott Hamaguchi
September 17th, 2017


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