YASHUSHI (SUGI) SUGIMOTO

January 1,1920 to May 5,2011

Sugi passed peacefully on May 5, 2011, at Annesley Cottage, Hardy View Lodge, Grand Forks, B.C., his final home on a former piece of his farm. This remarkable man was born on January 1,1920, in Port Clements, B.C., on Haida Gwaii. At the age of five Sugi moved to Rutland, B.C., where he graduated from Rutland High School. In March 1941 the family moved to Grand Forks where he became heavily involved in agriculture. Sugi was at different times B.C.’s largest potato grower and Canada’s largest carrot seed grower. He was a member of the B.C. Vegetable Marketing Board, Provincial Director of the B.C. Cooperative Seeds Association and 10 years President of the Grand Forks Co-op Exchange. In February 1943 he married Fran and they enjoyed 60 years together until her death in 2003. He was one of the founding members of the Grand Forks District Savings Credit Union and helped found the Grand Forks Rotary Club and was a Paul Harris Fellow. In 1974 he started his political career, first as an alderman for the City of Grand Forks and then in 1977 as mayor, a position he held with great dignity for 19 years. During this time he was a Director of the Union of B.C. Municipalities and served twice as President of the Association of Kootenay Boundary Municipalities and subsequently was awarded Life Member. Sugi took great pride in representing Grand Forks and gained the respect of many people he met while on city business; this was reflected by the letters he received from mayors and government officials during his term and when he left office. He was diligent in his role as Mayor and in a newspaper interview was quoted: “I have always based my decisions on what is good for the majority and the greater good of the community. “ In 1997 he was awarded Freedom of the City.

Predeceased by his wife, Fran; son, Allan; brothers: Masashi, Yutaka and Hiroshi; and sister, Rits, he is survived by his children, Donald (Dorothy) and Susan (Larry); sisters: Sumi, Faye (Yukio) and Kay; and brother, Min (Kay).

Announcement to follow for an informal get-together to remember Sugi. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory would be greatly appreciated to the Alzheimer’s Society of B.C., 300-828 West 8th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, V5Z 1E2. Arrangements entrusted to the Baker family of Grand Forks Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent to gffh@shaw.ca