George Tsugawa
1921 - 2020
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GEORGE TSUGAWA
June 20, 1921 ˜ November 27, 2020

George Tsugawa, age 99, passed away peacefully Nov. 27, 2020, in Vancouver, WA. He was born in Everett, WA, June 20, 1921, a son of Masaichiro and Kazuno Tsugawa, Japanese immigrants.
George spent much of his childhood working at the family’s produce stand and taking care of his family since his father died at a very young age. In high school, George enjoyed playing basketball. He graduated from Beaverton High School in 1939.
During World War II, George was incarcerated at Minidoka War Relocation Center in Idaho with his family. He had shared recollections of time spent there as a message of hope during hard times.
On April 1, 1950, George married the love of his life, Mable Taniguchi. In 1955, George and Mable moved to Woodland, WA, to establish the Tsugawa Brothers Farm with his brother, Akira. Work on the farm was a family affair. As his children grew up, they spent many days and summers working on the farm also.
In 1981, Mable opened Tsugawa Nursery. Together, they would spend the rest of their lives transforming a small business into a destination garden center in Woodland.
George treasured being surrounded by loved ones, and enjoyed his church community at the Woodland Presbyterian Church. In 2013, he was selected ‘Citizen of the Year’ by the Woodland Chamber of Commerce.
Always the farmer, George could be found in the greenhouses or in his garage working on plants. His work ethic, charisma and legacy will be remembered by friends and family.
George is survived by his children, Mary Lynn, Lori, Karen and Brian; brother, James, and sister, Helen; 12 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by wife, Mable; sons, Martin and Dan; two sisters and two brothers.
In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to the Woodland Presbyterian Church. A service will be held at a later date.
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Published in The Columbian on Dec. 13, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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12 entries
December 24, 2020
I was able to sit with him at the nursery last this fall and had such wonderful conversation with him. He will be truly missed. RIP
Kuni Masuda
Kuni Masuda
Friend
December 17, 2020
I picked berries for the brothers berry farm when I was in grade school S0 s0rry for the family loss
Gerry (Gary) Adolfson
Acquaintance
December 17, 2020
Rest in Peace George, I was able to meet George a couple of times with my wife Cathy Rounds ( her mothers maiden name was also Tsugawa) They had a couple of meetings together to discuss possible family history which she enjoyed to no end, What a Great Friendly Guy he was and I know he will be greatly missed.
James Lowers
Acquaintance
December 15, 2020
Sorry for your loss. I woke up early early some forty years ago to catch a bus heading to your family strawberry field. I was just about to turn 17. Although I only picked a flat or two of strawberries each day (enough to buy a soda and pack of twinkies to go with the fresh berries I ate) it was there I met the love of my life. We have been married for 38 years and have four wonderful sons. May your family find peace today.
Kelly Johnsen
December 13, 2020
If you wanted to be a cool teen in the 60's, then you picked strawberries at Tsugawas. We had so much fun. Our berry bus drivers had fun, clean dance parties through the summer. I met many of my friends that way.
Daphne Kivinen
Acquaintance
December 13, 2020
I first met George in the 1950’s when, in my youth, I picked strawberries on the Tsugawa Berry Farm, which was operated by George and his brothers Henry, Ike and Jimmy. My most vivid memory of George was his humor and infectious laugh. It could brighten anyone’s day. Many years later, I was part of a group of former berry pickers (now adults) who met up with George and his brother Jimmy for lunch. It was a nice time down Memory Lane. My deepest condolences to the Tsugawa family. George and his Tsugawa brothers will be fondly remembered.
Dan George
Friend
December 13, 2020
I was saddened to read of George's passing in the Columbian this morning. I'd like to offer my condolences to his family. I worked for (and with) the Tsugawa family for several summers when I was hired to drive strawberry bus and field boss in both berries and cukes back in the mid-60's. I've always thought George was wonderful man and a great boss. Over the years, we've met by chance several times at the garden center or at the Oak Tree when it was a restaurant. I can still hear his distinctive chuckle, and I will miss him.
Warren Bieker
Friend
December 13, 2020
I met Tsugawa-san back in the 1900's.... I was just getting into bonsai and Tsugawa Nursery had the real deal.... still does today 1.) to purchase all manner and stages of bonsai and the tools , pots and soils 2.) a wonderful family who backed him up and ran the place for he and Mable as they acheived fine old ages. I knew a bit of Japanese and always delighted at greeting George and Mable, in Japanese, when I encountered them at Tsugawa Nursery. The whole family is the finest example of Americans and that the hard work and good attitude had rewards and the great praise from customers and friends!

Never forget the older folks among us.... they consititue a truthful and reliable "database" as to what is right or wrong, which path to take when we younger adults and children need the wisdom or their years of lving life.
-- "osewa ni narimasu" George
(( "thank you for everything" ))
Stephen Hass
Friend
December 13, 2020
The last time I saw him he was delivering plants from the farm to the nursery. He drove about as fast as he walked. His rusty red little truck sputtered along. Resilience is what struck me as I watched him. He was focused on the task at hand and would not be deterred from that. I missed seeing him at later visits to the nursery. I appreciate the family owned business that has served SW Washington and beyond so well. Blessings to the family at this time and in the future.
Marjanne Robinson
December 13, 2020
To George's family, we were so sorry to hear of your loss. The Tsugawa family has always been near & dear to my heart. Your character & integrity was shaped by George & Mable & it is their beautiful legacy. In the 80's I was at COSTCO & saw a man bent over with his head resting on his arms over the handle of his shopping cart. As I passed by I saw his eyes were closed but recognizing it was George, I had to say hello. He was warm & friendly, so grateful that I had said hi. It was a beautiful moment that expressed who George was, a kind & gentle, loving person....patiently waiting as Mable did their shopping.
May God bless each of you with many special memories of George & the family members who have gone before him. ❤
Lynn Herren Studer
Friend
December 11, 2020
George affected so many lives in a very positive way. His enthusiasm for life was infectious and he made me laugh out loud many many times. I offer the family my heartfelt condolences and suggest you all hold your memories of George close and find comfort in the good thoughts we are sending to you.
Bruce RAUCH
December 9, 2020
George was one of the nicest people. He always had stories for us and was so proud of all his family. We met him when we bought the property next to his home and he would always take the time to honk wave and smile as he would come and go. We will miss him deeply.
Debbie broselle
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