Mitsuru Kanegaye, loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, and uncle, passed away on February 26, 2016 at the Spanish Peaks Veterans Community Living Center in Walsenburg, Colorado. He is preceded in death by his wife, Michie, who passed away in August 2015.
Mitsuru, also known as John or “Handsome John,” was born in California but raised in Japan. He joined the United States Air Force when he was 23 and served for 28 years. He met the love of his life, Michie, at his first assignment in Japan. The Air Force would send them to Kansas, Colorado, and back to Japan. After retiring from the Air Force, he worked for Stearns Roger and Raytheon, commuting to Denver from Colorado Springs for many years.
Mitsuru loved singing, especially duets with Michie. He was heavily involved with the Kohaku UtaGassen (the men versus women singing competition) at the Denver Buddhist Temple every January. He participated in many Japanese community events in Denver and Colorado Springs; he had many friends in the Japanese community. Mitsuru also loved woodworking, making shoji screens, tatami rooms, and Japanese flower carts for his family and friends.
Mitsuru is survived by his son, Dennis and his wife Barbara; his daughter, Jean Opitz and her husband Eric; his grandchildren: Amanda, Kyle, Denham, Trish Hilliard and her husband Jeff, Scott and his wife Saraben; his great-grandchildren: Lila, Ellen, Lauren, and Eliza; and his nephew, John Davis.
Mitsuru will be missed dearly by his family and all who knew him; he was a gentle and kind person. But we all take comfort in knowing that he is no longer in pain and is reunited with Michie, the love of his life.
Inurnment will take place at Fort Logan National Cemetery at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 11, 2016. A Memorial Service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 12, 2016 at Shrine of Remembrance “America the Beautiful” Chapel, 1730 East Fountain Blvd.