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NAGATA, Roy Masahiro

May 23, 1926 – Sea Island, British Columbia
April 26, 2018 – Calgary, Alberta

Roy Masahiro Nagata, much beloved husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and friend, slipped away peacefully on Thursday, April 26th at the age of 91.

Roy was born in Sea Island, BC, on May 23rd, 1926, and was the youngest of six children in the Nagata family. He grew up near the Vancouver Cannery with other Japanese Canadian families involved in the salmon fishery, until 1942, when his family was relocated from the West Coast to Welling, AB, during World War II. Fortuitously, Roy met his future wife, Luri Oishi, from Raymond, during his consignment in Southern Alberta.

After all Canadian wartime restrictions were lifted, Roy moved to Calgary, in September 1947, to attend the Provincial Institute of Technology and Arts (now known as SAIT), where he graduated in Electrical Engineering Technology in 1949. He practiced as a journeyman electrician for 9 years, spent the next 7 years as an electrical designer, and eventually came full circle, when he decided to apply his skills as an instructor at SAIT for 25 years, beginning in 1966. Roy also furthered himself by completing his Bachelor of Vocational Education in 1974, at the University of Alberta while on a sabbatical from his teaching duties at SAIT. He retired from SAIT as a Program Supervisor in 1991. He also served in the Royal Canadian Air Force Auxiliary as a Ground Radar Technician and flight sergeant for 13 years from 1951-1964.

Roy was proud of his heritage and strongly valued honesty, hard work, and higher education. He overcame the hardships of his youth to create a stable home environment for Luri, Cindy, and Kerry, and a host of pets. He was always quick to offer a helping hand to friends and strangers, alike; and welcomed members of his large extended family, many friends, and acquaintances over the years. Roy’s parents lived full-time with the family for 5 years after his father was bedridden from a stroke.

He was an adept handyman, and would freely give of himself to do electrical wiring on homes for friends, and community groups, alike. Roy enjoyed hobbies like swimming, bowling, badminton, model-making, karaoke, wood-carving, gardening and was a movie buff. Upon retirement, he tirelessly immersed himself in the Calgary Japanese Canadian Community, Japanese Language School, Kotobuki-kai, Japanese Community Newsletter (was an editor for 25 years), and spent copious amounts of time doing volunteer work including the Calgary 88 Olympics, World Police & Fire Games, Calgary Board of Education, and Consulate of Japan. He received numerous achievement and humanitarian awards over the years, culminating in an Emperor’s Award, presented to Roy in Japan by Emperor Akihito in 2005.

Roy is survived by his wife of 62 years, Luri (Nee Oishi); daughter Cindy Nagata-McMillan (Bryan); son Kerry (Erin); grandchildren, Maelle, Jona, and Shephard; older sisters, Hisako Sameshima, and Reiko Mitsuishi; numerous brothers and sisters-in-law; cousins; nieces; and nephews.

Roy was predeceased by his father, Sanshiro; mother, Saye; sisters, Fumi Suzuki, Yuki Fukumoto; and brother, Jerry.

A memorial celebration of Roy’s life will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY (Fish Creek, 14441 Bannister Road S.E., Calgary, AB) on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at 2:00 P.M. Reception to follow at the funeral home. Condolences may be forwarded through

In living memory of Roy Nagata, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek, 14441 Bannister Road S.E., Calgary, AB, T2X 3J3, Telephone: 403-256-9575.

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Condolence Messages

  1. I can’t describe how sorry I am for your loss.
    Roy-san was incredibly sweet and wonderful person.
    I am really honored to have known him.
    I will miss him so much.

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  2. My deepest sympathies for your loss. Roy touched and impacted my life in a very special way. To me, he was a friend, a mentor, and a father figure. I will miss him dearly. The special, cherished moments spent with your father will be forever captured by the panoramic lens of my mind’s eye and be forever etched on the photographic plate of my heart

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  3. Jennifer Thornton

    Condolences to the family. Uncle Roy will be dearly missed

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  4. Monica Coulson

    To all the Nagata family,
    Sincerest condolences sent from a friend of Toshiko, Akemi and Wendy. You have a precious family. May you cherish fond memories from his very long life.

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  5. The news of Roy’s passing is received with profound sadness. My late parents, Joseph Sho and Kiyoka Okazaki, always spoke of Roy with great gratitude, affection and respect. Roy’s wonderful generosity of spirit made him a true role model not only in the Japanese Canadian community but in our wider multiethnic society to which he contributed so much. He will be sadly missed but long remembered.

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  6. Kelly & Linda Mann

    Luri and Families:
    It has been a pleasure to have known and worked with this fine gentleman in the SAIT Electrical Department up until his retirement. We will all remember Roy as a kind compassionate individual. He was worldly and shared many stories throughout his rich life.
    Our prayers are with you.

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  7. Luri, Cindy and Kerry,

    I was stunned and deeply saddened to learn today of Roy’s passing. Roy was an outstanding individual and an excellent instructor with whom I had the pleasure and privilege to work with for many years in SAIT’s Electrical Department. He was a quiet and humble man who had the respect of all of us in the electrical department.
    Please accept my most sincere condolences on your loss.

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  8. Our sincere sympathy to the Nagata Family in the loss of Roy.

    SAIT’s ALIVE (The Association of Retired and Former SAIT employees and their spouses)

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  9. Rick and Sharon Plante (Kondo)

    Our deepest condolences on the loss of your husband, father and grandfather. Our thoughts are with you all during this time of sorrow.
    Rick and Sharon Plante (Kondo)

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  10. Aiichiro & Yukiko Nara

    Luri-san and Families.

    We just received the sad news of your Roy Nagata-san passing away.Your Roy was a wonderful man who was always kind and thoughtful to all around him.We are sure all of us who knew will miss very much.Let me again send you our heartfelt condolences and prayers that time heal your grief.
    With profound sympathy.

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  11. Sylvia Welsh

    Joyce Kreuz, Sylvia Welsh, Bryant Tomimoto, Karen Yip

    Sincere condolences from our family [Tomimoto] all of whom held such high regard and admiration for Roy’s humanitarian character and thoughtfulness. Roy’s legacy of charitably gifting his educational talents and social skills will continue to be an inspiration for everyone.

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  12. Luri and family, I am sorry for your loss. Mr. Nagata was a highly respected friend of my parents, Art and Kay Miller. Mr. Nagata and my Dad taught in the Electrical department at SAIT for many years and Dad always held him in high esteem. Mr. Nagata came out to my parents acreage for many Electrical department get togethers (horse shoe tournaments) and he always brought a treat for Mum to show his appreciation. Over the years my parents enjoyed many visits with both Roy and Luri. By his example, Mr. Nagata taught us of courage, compassion, generosity, and respect for all. Mr. Nagata was a true gentleman and will be missed by all who were privileged to have known him.

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  13. To Luri and each of your family –

    My sincere condolences to you Luri and to your extended family, on the evening after you met to reminisce and honour your Roy’s remarkable life and talents during his lifetime with us. My husband William ‘Bill’ Duke first met Roy when he attended ‘PITA’ as a student, and then had many associations with Roy through Roy’s teaching years at ‘SAIT’. Knowing Roy, particularly through his teaching years, was a wonderful inspiration to his many students, continuing on through Roy’s remaining years. Bill and now I, have many fond memories of the ‘SAIT Electrical Dept.’ social activities of that time era, which then included ‘Staff spouses’.

    Remembering you Luri today, when many of you will have met to and share the memorable and happy reminisces.

    Sincere Condolences, Jean Duke

    No life passes without a purpose,
    No sorrow goes uncomforted.

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  14. Rose (Hori) Gundry-White

    To Luri and all the Nagata Famliy,

    I just heard of Roy’s passing and wish to extend my deepest sympathy to all of you. I have known Roy and the Nagata family since I was a little girl and my parents, Peter and Caroline Hori spent many wonderful times together with you.
    Roy will be missed by many people who knew him and loved him. Blessings to all of you.

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  15. Judy hanazawa

    To the Family if Roy Nagata. So sorry to hear of Roy Nagata’s passing. Met him at the Calgary cultural centre in October 2017 and was so impressed by his compassion and expression of support and loyalty regarding his friends and community. He was a hardworking and accomplished community leader who won the appreciation of so many and will be greatly missed. With sincere condolence, Judy Hanazawa, Vancouver

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  16. Esther Odagaki

    I just received a copy of the CJCA newsletter and saw that Roy had passed away. I wanted to pass along my condolences. Roy was such a great friend to my dad, Bunk Odagaki. I believe he had a hand in helping my dad produce some really nice woodworking pieces and I got to taste the kinpiri gobo they prepared together. I was surprised that he got my dad to actually cook something! Best wishes, Esther Odagaki, Toronto

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