Minoru "Min" Koga
U.S. Army - 985th Engineers
World War II

Brick #9   Wall Location  Column: 12   Row: 19

Min loved to work on cars and he loved to fish. He also enjoyed going Matsutake gari. After retiring he and his wife, Hisaye, would sometimes go fishing 7 days a week. They would go out in their boat and go fishing for whatever was in season; salmon, smelt, squid, anything. If they couldn't catch what was in season, they would go to their favorite places to get rockfish or whatever they could. They never came home empty handed.

Min always kept their boats, cars, and trucks in top notch condition. He made shelves and little cubbies in their tan van so they could camp out when they drove to Westport to go fishing out on a charter boat or clam digging out by the ocean.

In the growing season, Min would till the soil and help Hisaye plant beans, tomatoes, peas, and other things each year. They would have so much produce each year they would go visiting and give away a good portion of their crops. This made up most of their social life.

Min enjoyed eating also. He loved to go to various places to eat. But he especially loved to go for desserts. He had a sweet tooth that couldn't be satisfied. He loved cakes, pies,cookies,& ice cream, but he really loved Japanese confections.

He did use artificial sweetener in his coffee, though. His niece & nephew, Doreen & Steven, loved to put the 2 little sweetener beads into his coffee for him.

After a his attack in the '70's Min quit smoking. Before that he and Hisaye would drive to Portland to buy cigarettes, by the case. (He also tried to cut back on his calories, but that did not last too long.)

He was a staunch proponent for non-smoking then, complaining about the stink of other people's smoking. He got Hisaye to quit because he wouldn't drive her to get cigarettes anymore and she couldn't drive herself.

Min and Hisaye would often drive to Los Angeles to see Hisaye's older daughter, Carole. They would stop in Reedly, California to visit with Hisaye's Aunt & Uncle there on the way. They would take salted salmon and raspberry jelly that Hisaye made from the raspberries they grew, and sometimes fresh salmon as well.

They would go fishing the day before they for California just so the salmon would be as fresh as possible and put it on ice in Coleman ice chests to keep it cold.

Min was a grumpy old fellow. We used to call him Grumpapa sometimes. I sometimes called him 'Bear', but I think he didn't mind that. The grandchildren would have gotten to know him better had he not been so prickly, I suppose, but that was just his way.

He loved to make things that would make life easier; like clipboards for us girls for school, or a lamp or a desk for us to do homework in our rooms. The end product always worked really well and was always so nicely durable, but it was always totally hideous. I mean really truly almost grotesque. But because he would present it to you so proudly, how could you tell him it was too ugly to use? So we would use it and hope to high heaven no one would see us using it. After all, he did make it with all the love he had in his heart. It was just a bit sad he did not have a better aesthetic eye.

Min painted all the trim on the house and did all the repairs to the house he could before he passed away because he knew the cancer was not going to go into remission and he wanted to do as much as he could for Hisaye before he passed away. So no matter how poorly he was feeling, he was puttering around the house, tieing up loose ends. He wasn't a mushy guy so this was his way of showing Hisaye he loved her. (He was the sort of fellow that only bought his wife gifts at the hardware store.)

He and Hisaye celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary with him in his blue terry cloth bathrobe looking pretty punk and not able to eat much of the cake. Still, we all went there to congratulate them for the 35 years they spent together. I think Min was happy we were there, but he surely did not feel well as he had just gone through chemo a few days prior to that.

Hisaye had his ashes scattered near their favorite fishing spots. Hers will be scattered there soon so they will be together fishing forever as much as they like, just as they always wanted, just as they did when they were retired and out on their boat, having the time of their lives.

  • Highest rank attained: Corporal
  • Position: Automotive Mechanic 014
  • Enlisted: 1942 - 1945
Branches Of Service
  • U.S. Army
  • World War II
  • 985th Engineers
Brick Donors
  • Hisaye Koga
  • Masaye Nakagawa
  • Carole Suzuki