TRAVERSE CITY — Sadayoshi “Sada” Omoto, 90, of Leland, died Monday, March 4, 2013, at Munson Hospice House. He was born on Oct. 5, 1922, at Wing Point on Bainbridge Island, Wash.
Sada leaves a legacy of education, art and friendship in the Leelanau area.
Sada grew up near Seattle. He was one of 120,000 Japanese Americans removed from their homes and relocated by the U.S. government during World War II.
After earning a Ph.D. in art history at The Ohio State University, Sada embarked on a 40-year career in higher education. He taught at colleges in Illinois, Detroit and - for more than 30 years - at Michigan State University.
Sada relocated to Leelanau County in the 1990s, building a home in Leland. He had first visited the area as a college student in the 1950s.
In retirement he indulged his creative impulses, taking classes in painting at the Old Art Building. He frequently turned to the breathtaking local scenery for inspiration.
Sada helped form the Leelanau Art Group and served on the board of the Leelanau Community Cultural Center. He was instrumental in launching exercise classes for seniors in Leland. In 2007 he helped assemble an exhibit that highlighted the 50-year history of MSU art students visiting the community.
Sada is survived by his wife, Kathryn Bishop Omoto; children, Loren (Susan) Omoto, of Maitland, Fla., Allen Omoto (David Robinson), of Claremont, Calif., and Katherine (Neal) Fortin, of Okemos; and granddaughter, Helen Fortin.
He was preceded in death by his son, Roger Omoto.
A celebration of Sada’s life will be held May 24 at the Old Art Building in Leland. Details will be announced at a later date.
Donations in Sada’s memory may be made to the following organizations or to a charity of the donor’s choice: Leelanau Community Cultural Center at the Old Art Building (www.oldartbuilding.com/contributions-and-donations/); The Leelanau Conservancy (leelanauconservancy.org/donate/); Fishtown Preservation Society (www.fishtownmi.org/donate); or ShareCare of Leelanau (www.sharecareleelanau.org).
Please visit www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com/obituaries/ for more information on Sada’s life and to share your thoughts and memories with the family.