William Toshio Nakaoka (1923-2012)


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Bill Nakaoka

Bill Nakaoka, 89, passed away in Louisville, CO on May 25, 2012. He was born on May 20, 1923 in Delta, CO. His parents were Shozo and Tokiwa Nakaoka, first generation immigrants from Japan. He worked long hours on the family farm, but still found time to excel in sports and academics. He lettered in track and graduated valedictorian of his Delta High School class of 1941.

Bill finished two years of college at the Colorado agricultural college (now Colorado State University) before leaving to help his mother on the farm because of the labor shortage. In 1946, he was drafted and served in Korea in the Quartermaster Corps. He was awarded the World War II Victory Medal and the Army of Occupation Medal Japan. After his discharge, he enrolled at the University of Colorado where he graduated first in his pharmacy school class in 1950. Bill moved to Aurora that year and started working at Howard’s Drugstore as a pharmacist. He became a part owner in the store with the passing of Bert Howard in 1964. The drugstore then merged with Nome Drug in 1967. He and his other co-owners operated three stores in Aurora for many years. When his partners decided to pursue other interests, he and his wife Dorothy ran Nome Drug until they sold it in 1985.

Bill joined the Aurora Rotary Club in 1959. He served as president from 1966-67 and chairman of the Rotary Foundation in 1985-86. He enjoyed many years of fellowship with his Rotarian comrades. He has been an active member of the Aurora Chamber of Commerce and has volunteered at the Aurora Senior Center, Meals on Wheels, and in the Aurora Public Schools system.

Bill became a member and later deacon at First Presbyterian Church when he first came to Aurora. For the past 30 plus years, he and Dorothy valued Parkview Congregational Church as their church “home”. He served in various capacities at the church through the years. He was a deacon, lay administrator, usher, and church council member.

Bill and Dorothy were married in 1953 and enjoyed 58 years of marriage together before her death a year ago. Bill was also preceded in death by his sister: Toshie Shibata (NM), brothers: Tomio (MT) and Bob (NM). He is survived by children Bob (Karen) of Ogden, UT, Jenny of Atlanta, GA, Sue (Greg) of Louisville, CO, and Diana (Don) Sperry of Steamboat Springs, CO and six beloved grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at Parkview Congregation Church, 12444 E. Parkview Dr., Aurora, CO on Saturday June 23, 2012 at 2PM.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Parkview Congregational Church, or the Aurora Rotary Club Foundation, PO Box 440088, Aurora, CO 80044 -0088.

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