Obituary: Paul Yokota – March 18, 2008  

One of our true Spartan Super Heroes



PAUL YOKOTA, HPHS 1937, tells his story.

March 2008

A native Californian born in Yuba City , CA , most of my family life has been spent in the Golden State except for the WWII years. Courtesy of the U.S. Government we sojourned at the Santa Anita racetrack for a half year and at Jerome Relocation Center in Arkansas for one year. All 18,000 of the Santa Anita internees could claim they had slept in Seabiscuit’s stall.

Prior to internment our family enjoyed the hometowns of Whittier , Norwalk , Artesia, Santa Monica , Los Angeles , Vernon and Downey . Those moves accounted for my attendance at nine years before matriculating at Huntington Park High School . My formal education was completed at Los Angeles City College and University of California .

Following internment, we lived in Cincinnati and Dayton , OH , when Uncle Sam decided to draft me into the Army for a spell. After the war, we returned to Downey although our home had been burned in or absence.

Starting with a war emergency credential in 1947, 37 years of educational service in the Los Angeles Unified   School District include teaching positions at Albion Street , Marianna Avenue and Ford Boulevard Schools . In 1956 I became vice principal at Eastman Avenue School , possibly the first person of Asian descent to be a public school administrator in the U.S. A year later I was assigned as principal at Marianna and remained there for 11 years. In 1968 I was moved to Lorena Street School and was principal there for 16 years.

Before the Downey Schools unified in 1961, I was a member of the Old River School Board of Trustees for two terms totally six years.

In retirement I volunteer at Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center , Meals on Wheels, Downey Adult School ESL, and work with community organizations. I am past president of Downey Presbyterian Men, Whittier Division of California Retired Teachers Association, Downey AARP Chapter 262, Downey Committee on Aging and Downey Meals on Wheels. I have been active in the First Presbyterian Church of Downey for more than 35 years, completing my fourth term as elder on the Session in 1998. I try to squeeze in some tennis from time to time..  

Additional Obituary and Paul's Life    LINK

Paul Yokota


Home | MemoriesReunions | Links |