John T Akiyama
(1969 - 2012)

John T Akiyama

October 1969

December 2012

This month marked one year since John left us, and we'd like to thank everyone for the community of support that has evolved over time from near and far.

We were blessed with the time that John was with us, and although we miss him very much, we pray that his memory will continue to live on in your hearts and make you smile every now and then.

The Akiyama Family
December 2013


John T. Akiyama's life was dedicated to legal, public and community service. John’s legal career began with Lovell & Stewart of New York, and he was eventually admitted to practice law in three other jurisdictions: California, Washington, DC and Virginia. John also worked at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati of Palo Alto, CA, and then, using his fluency in Japanese, practiced law for several years on his own, consulting for clients in New York and Washington DC. In 2007, John joined the firm of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, and worked in the firm’s Reston, Virginia office. John’s colleagues at Finnegan remember him not only for his hard work and legal talent, but also for his kind and caring nature, and great sense of humor.

John also engaged in public service, working briefly at the U.S. Census Bureau, as well as serving the Asian American and Pacific Islanders community as the Deputy Director of the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation, and as a consultant to the Gates Millennium Scholarship Program.

Son of Tak and Toshi Akiyama, and brother of Emmy Akiyama, John grew up in Southern California, and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley where he received his BA in History. He then went on to receive his JD from Syracuse University College of Law.

John will be remembered as a loving son and brother, and a caring friend to many. Please keep the Akiyama family in your thoughts and prayers.

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Guest Book (20 entries)
Mr.& Mrs. Akiyama and Emmy,

Your family welcomed me at the West LA United Methodist Church, I had just moved in with my Aunt and Uncle house in Torrance to have learned that you lived 5 houses up. Though quiet, John liked actively meeting new & familiar people alike, at the fine Culinary establishments, Jazz bars, KUMON, JAUC, JACL, COPANI, JA Festivals & US Census in NY City. John's will live on in the cherished memories and spirit of his friendship and solid support! My sincere condolences to you Emmy, your mom and dad.
~ Ron Uba
Ron Uba (Friend)
January 25th, 2013
Dear Akiyama Family,
I was so fortunate to know John and share Thanksgivings and other good times in Arlington over the past few years. I will miss his gentle smile, wry wit, thoughtfulness, and calm presence during the competitive and boisterous game nights.
John left too soon. May all the good memories sustain you in the days ahead.
Shirley Ponomareff
Shirley Ponomareff (friend)
January 23rd, 2013
Mr. & Mrs. Akiyama and Family,
My condolences for your great loss.
I was a volunteer at the NJAMF and worked with John who managed the office. He was extremely intelligent, hardworking, and a very, very good person who was kind and considerate to everyone around him.

Nancy Yamada
Nancy Yamada (friend)
January 12th, 2013
Dear Mr. & Mrs. Akiyama & Emmy,
It was with great sorrow that I learned of John's passing. I worked as a receptionist where John worked but our paths never crossed very much...with one very endearing and greatly missed exception. Without fail, whenever John was leaving, as he walked to the elevator he would always (ALWAYS!) wave his hand and give me a smile. I remember how warm and happy his kind yet simple gesture made me feel. What a unique gift John brought into my life, and I am grateful for that sweet memory I will always have of John.
Alida Lewin (co-worker)
January 7th, 2013
Dear Mr. & Mrs. Akiyama & Emmy,

I am sending my heartfelt condolences to each of you and your whole family. We will all miss John who was so kind and easy going. I had the pleasure of hanging out with John in D.C. and the Bay Area. In the Bay Area, often we would play basketball, softball, or flag football. About ten years ago, John taught me how to play poker. I still have a cheat sheet of the ranking of poker hands in his handwriting. One of my favorite memories of John was when we went to Great American amusement park. We rode upside down on a roller coaster and John's hands were in the air. Then, he noticed his wallet fell out of his pocket and he could see it on the ground below the roller coaster. Most people would freak out, but John just calmly checked in with lost and found where his wallet was safe and sound. Such a calm guy who was unrattled--even on a roller coaster.

With warm memories and regards, Karna Wong
Karna Wong (Friend)
January 3rd, 2013
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"We will especially miss John's smiling face at Thanksgiving, Christmas tree decorating, game nights and other family celebrations. We will always treasure the memories of gentle John, who left us too soon."
Shirley Ponomareff
January 23rd, 2013
"John's empty office saddens me so. We got snowed in together here one night with no electricity and shared some good laughs. He was a quiet, sweet and unpretentious man and he will be missed. My deepest sympathy to the Akiyama family."
Trish Hyland
January 7th, 2013
"It was an honor to be one of John's colleagues for the past five years. While he was always quiet, John always come through when we needed help for advice and projects at work. My condolences to the Akiyama for their loss and John will be missed!"
Ashley Cheung
January 4th, 2013
"My deepest sympathy to the Akiyama family for their loss. John was a gentle, warm and good person. He will be missed."
Julie Azuma
December 20th, 2012
""John's life was exemplary; a tapestry of committed action through trial by error, public advocacy, community service and cultural outreach to find solutions and opportunities with playful seriousness." -"
Ron Uba
December 19th, 2012
"Quietly supportive, John had a huge heart. In deepest sympathy, Mari"
Mari Matsumoto
December 17th, 2012

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