Obituary Gordon Kadota

One of the most contributed person to Nikkei Community in Vancouver, Gordon Kadota (86) as passed away.

He is effort was not only to community but also business scene as well. He is well-known businessman as a co-owner and CEO of OK Gift Shop. His merits through the activities in Canada were above praise. 合掌!

Obituary

Gordon Ryo Kadota passed away on July 31, 2019 at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia at the age of 86. A private funeral was held on August 6 at Celebration Hall in Vancouver. Gordon is survived by his second wife, Kyoko; daughter Ayako (Steve); grandchildren Sydney, Andrew and Dana; step-sons Takashi (Reiko), Haruyuki (Kim); and step-grandchildren K and Emi. Uncle Gordon will also be mourned by many nieces, nephews and cousins in Canada, the United States, England and Japan.

Gordon was born on January 15, 1933 in New Westminster, B.C., the 8th child of Kantaro and Shigeno (nee Kunita) Kadota. At the age of 7 he was taken to Japan for a visit, but the outbreak of World War II prevented his return to Canada. He spent 12 years in Japan, graduating from Kwansei Gakuin University High School and later returned to Canada in 1952.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Gordon worked in forestry and in the 1960’s entered the travel industry, eventually specializing in tourism between Canada and Japan.  This led to Canaway Consultants which provided translating and business consulting services.  In the early 1970’s, he also co-founded OK Gift Shop with the Canadian stores opening in Vancouver, Banff, and Niagara Falls.  He remained active in the company until recently.

Beginning in the mid-1950’s, he volunteered and became a leader in the Japanese Canadian community, serving both in organizations at the local and national levels.  Over the years, Gordon received numerous awards for his work in the Japanese Canadian community, in business and tourism and the betterment of relations between Japan and Canada. In 2000, his dream of creating a gathering place for the Japanese-Canadian community was realized with the building of Nikkei Place in Burnaby, B.C. 

Gordon was a great story teller and often started by saying “It’s a long story”.  He had a big heart, kind words and a sense of humour that made it possible for him to continue for so many years in public service. He enjoyed travel, sports particularly golf and hockey, and was always helping others in need.  Those who wish to make a donation in Gordon’s memory might do so to Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation or in keeping with Gordon’s philanthropic spirit, any charity of your choice.

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