Fife pioneer Robert T. Mizukami fought for his country in the U.S. Army after he and his family were placed in internment camps for Japanese Americans.
He came home from World War II with scars on his face from mortar shrapnel and a Purple Heart.
Besides running a wholesale flower growing business in Fife, Mizukami went on to serve on the first Fife City Council. He remained a council member for 30 years, including the final seven years as mayor.
Mizukami died Saturday at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma after suffering a heart attack three days earlier. He was 87.
Mizukami was a leader who sought to prove his loyalty as a Japanese American to his country, said his son, Gregory Mizukami, who lives near Edgewood.
“He wanted to demonstrate the we were always loyal and had the best interests of the community at heart,” Gregory Mizukami said.
Frank Mizukami, 84, remembered his brother’s many civic activities. “His main thing was to help other people,” said Frank Mizukami, of Fife.
“Bob was always a true gentleman,” said Carl Stegman, former Fife mayor and schools superintendent. “He was always thoughtful, kind and considerate.”
Plans for a memorial service at Puyallup United Methodist Church are pending.