Minoru Miya

October 1, 1920 - March 7, 2024

U.S. Veteran

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Minoru “Min” Miya

October 1, 1920 – March 7, 2024

On the afternoon of March 7, 2024, Minoru “Min” Miya of Beaverton, Oregon passed away of natural causes surrounded by loved ones at Touchmark in the West Hills.  Min was 103 years old.

Min was the eldest son of Japanese immigrants and was born in Clearfield, Utah on October 1, 1920.

He talks about his childhood fondly, but it must have been challenging for him because his primary language was Japanese until he went to school.  He had to learn English from scratch, and later had to translate for his parents and friends.  He would describe long treks in the snow to and from school, the kindness of their neighbors and how poor they were.

His family was a social and political hub for their small Japanese community.  He was involved in the organization of a cooperative that imported and distributed Japanese goods, helped with their church (which was originally held in their home) and kept records of savings, loans and other transactions among their members.

One of his most memorable times was his first visit to Japan and China with a judo team from Southern California.  He talked often of swimming naked in Hawaii, visits with family in Japan, touring all around Asia and receiving a Black Belt from the Tokyo Headquarters of the Kodokan Judo Organization.

His other favorite memory was of his time in the Army at Fort Knox.  He always said that he was the commanding officer’s favorite because he was his personal driver and was treated very well.  While in the service, he talked often about his car trips to Chicago where he would go visit friends.  I’m sure that he was quite the adventurous guy.

People often say that if you do something that is passionate for you, it’s not really work.  Farming was Min’s passion. He loved watching things grow and mature into amazingly beautiful vegetables.  He loved every part of the process and liked to brag about the quality of his crops.  He was proud of his livestock as well.  He would often go out to see how his cattle and calves were doing – even saddling up his horse to check out the herd.  He worked very hard and kept everyone very busy on the farm with all the family.  Some great memories are of those of our extended family and friends working together in the fields and then playing together afterwards – football, baseball, fishing, picnics, barbecues and parties.

Later in life, Min came to appreciate traveling and exploring the world.  He was able to travel with family to all parts of the world – Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand and most of all Japan.  He loved visiting relatives there and really enjoyed everything about his country of origin.

Min was always able to make friends easily. It must have been his easy-going way, or his appreciation of what they meant to him.  He loved people and was well loved in return.

Min was preceded in death by his parents, Nakaemon and Seki Miya; his wife, Ume (Shiba); his sisters, Toriko and Chieko (husband, Yosh) Shiba; his brother Hideo (wife, Betty); son Dennis (wife, Janet).

Min is survived by two brothers: Shigeru “Shig” Miya (wife Mary), and Yukio “Yuk” Miya (wife Shigemi);

Two sons Wayne Miya (partner Rex Mitchell) and Gerald Miya (wife Cyndee), and a daughter Cheryl Aoki (husband Harley); Grandchildren Nicki Carillo, Christy Silvanic (husband Gary), Ryan Aoki (wife Jill), Natalie Miya, Daniel Miya (wife Dalin), Matthew Miya (wife McKenzie); 10 Great-Grandchildren.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date in both Portland and Utah.

Special thanks go to the Caregivers at Touchmark and to close friends – Rex, Viki, Kay, Hiroko, Yoko and Dwight who have been such a valuable support.


In lieu of flowers or Koden, please give donations in his name to the Ogden Japanese Christian Church or Ikoi No Kai (Japanese Ancestral Society – japaneseancestralsociety.org) who provide delicious Japanese luncheons for seniors in the Portland Metro Area.