Kenji Utsunomiya

Kenji Utsunomiya

Monday, June 29th, 1931 - Tuesday, December 29th, 2020
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With great sadness we announce the sudden passing of Ken Utsunomiya on Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at the age of 89. He was predeceased by his parents Genji and Kiwa, brothers Yasuo and Max and sisters Taye, Amy and Louise. Ken will be lovingly remembered by his wife Kathy, son Kevin (Cathy Jo), daughter Sandi, and numerous nieces and nephews. Ken was born on June 29, 1931 in Haney (now Maple Ridge), British Columbia. In 1941 to avoid the internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War, his family moved to Coaldale, Alberta to work on sugar beet farms. In 1955, the family moved to Winnipeg where Ken began painting homes with his brother Max. In 1962, Ken and Kathy were married, making this March their 59th anniversary. Ken later worked at Eastern Sales, and then when an opportunity arose in 1972 for Ken to teach auto body at the Assiniboine Community College, he moved his family to Brandon. He retired from the College 19 years later. As a young man, he enjoyed camping and fishing, and liked golfing, curling, bowling and playing cards and billiards with friends. At home, he was always busy with projects around the house, making Japanese lanterns and pagodas, and working in his garden and yard. Ken liked to travel, and over the years they made trips to places from the west coast to the east coast of Canada, through various parts of the United States, and especially memorable was their trip to Japan to visit relatives and Kevin, who was working there at the time. Ken liked to be involved in Kevin’s and Sandi’s activities, such as being president of the baton association, coaching softball, letting the band practice in their basement, and making stands for the Japanese taiko (drum) group. In retirement, he continued to enjoy golfing and curling, playing with his “grandpuppies”, and watching sports on TV, in particular the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Blue Jays. Ken will always be remembered for his smile, sense of humour, and welcoming and friendly personality. Anywhere he went in Brandon, he would undoubtedly meet and talk with someone he knew. Due to COVID-19, a private family service will be held at a later date. Donations in memory of Ken may be made to a charity of one’s choice.
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Due to Covid 19, a funeral service will be held at a later date.

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Private Condolence

Marcia Davies

Posted at 02:10pm
I have fond memories of Mr. U. He always greeted me with a smile and a big hello! I will miss our chats about sports and, of course, cars.
Marci Davies

Haley Schettler

Posted at 12:47pm
I am so sorry for your loss. I remember Mr. U very well when I worked at the Co-op Grocery store in Brandon during my high school years. He was always so happy and I got to know him so well I could remember his co-op # as soon as he came through the checkout. He was always very kind and polite and had a joke to share. I am thinking of the family during this difficult time.

Haley Schettler (McKee was my maiden name)

Paula Walker

Posted at 07:12pm
My greatest condolences to Kathy, Kevin, and Sandi. Hope the food memories of all of you together help you thru these hard times. Will always remember my younger days of practicing baton in your basement and back yard that you allowed my sister Brenda to have her wedding photos done in. Take care
Paula Walker

Elaine Stanley

Posted at 06:51pm
Sincere condolences Kathy and family on the loss of your loved one. Although I mostly ran into Ken when we were both out grocery shopping, we always stopped for a quick chat. He was such a nice man.

Sean Keogh

Posted at 05:05pm
As young musicians we spent a lot of time at the Utsunomiya home when we were in high school, and Ken and Kathy never complained about the noise coming from the basement. We felt so welcome, and everybody knew that Ken always had some of his sushi creations waiting in the refrigerator. (Yeah... it was us!) I remember how Ken and Kathy were always together, and two of the kindest people I have ever met. I remember ken's beautiful, immaculate back yard, his great sense of humour, and his love for the game of golf. Ken will be missed by everybody who was fortunate enough to know him, and my memories of him will stay with me for the rest of my days.

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