Born in Vancouver on April 29th, 1915 Shige died peacefully at the Northumberland Hills Hospital on August 5, 2013. Shige is survived by his wife of 69 years, Haruko “Dorothy”, his children, Gord (Debbie) and Linda (Peter) Hustler. He was also Jichan (“Jich”) of Sandy, John, Corinne, Gord, Bevan, Luke and Jesse and Ojichan to Abby and Alex.
His formative years were spent during the Great Depression when he had to leave school to eke out a living taking tough and sometimes dangerous jobs. He spent time on the Pacific Ocean as a commercial fisherman and laying submarine cable and drove lumber trucks on rudimentary roads in the Rockies sometimes having to stick his head out the window to see through the fog. He also worked as a riveter on the construction of the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver and – in his mid 20’s was interned during WWII.
After the war Shige settled in Toronto, married Haruko and raised his family.
A gifted athlete Shige was selected to a Vancouver team that challenged the touring Harlem Globe Trotters, was invited to a prospects baseball camp in California by the Brooklin (now Los Angeles) Dodgers and was a sparing partner for local golden glove contenders. Later, he settled on golf as his area of activity, participated into his early 90’s, regularly shot his age after his 85th birthday. He confided to those complimenting him on these regular accomplishments that “… each year it’s easier.”
Jich and his camera were present at all important events from grandchildren’s sports, to graduations, to Sandy’s wedding where he was the unofficial family photographer.
Jich’s pride in his grandchildren’s athletic achievements was always evident by a warm smile and three short “ahem” coughs. While watching a hockey game grandson, Gord, rifled a breakaway pass to a team-mate. A spectator commented that Gord’s pass was “right on the stick” and Jich quietly told Gord’s dad that the pass was even better: it was “right on the tape”. This was followed by the trademark three coughs.
Perhaps Jich’s greatest achievement was forging a bond with his grandchildren. While unspoken the affection, respect and support was always clearly evident. His communication of this affection to his grandchildren was “right on the tape”.
The family would like to take this opportunity to express its sincere appreciation for the compassion, support and dedication of Dr. Bayer and all staff members of Ward 2B at the Northumberland Hills Hospital. Whether it was taking Shige to visit Haruko on the first floor, keeping an eye on him as he motored around in his wheelchair or simply answering his many questions the 2B staff voluntarily went above and beyond the call of duty.
We would also like to thank the staff at the Landmark Assisted Living Residence in Cobourg for their wonderful care during Shige and Haruko’s three year stay prior to being hospitalized.
The family requests that no flowers be sent, that those wishing to make a financial gesture do so to the Northumberland Hills Hospital and advises that they are honouring Shige’s request that there be no ceremony and that his ashes be sprinkled in his beloved Pacific Ocean.