George Kaneo Omata
October 11, 1940 - September 30, 2017
George Kaneo Omata died on September 30, 2017, just shy of his 77th birthday, at the Menlo Park, Calif., nursing home where he resided the last few years. He is survived by his son, Eric Omata, of Chillicothe, Ohio; his daughter, Christine Omata, son-in-law, Francis Zamora, and granddaughter, Addison Zamora, of San Francisco; his ex-wife, Joyce Yamasaki Omata of San Jose, Calif.; and his sister, Jean Omata Tajima, of Lafayette, Calif.
George was born on October 11, 1940 in Hanford, Calif., to Kikuko “Keech” and Jiro Omata. During World War II, his family was interned at the Jerome War Relocation Center in Arkansas. After the war, they returned to their home in Hanford via Minneapolis, Minn. He graduated from Hanford Union High School in 1958. He attended Fresno State University, where he played football on scholarship and was a member of the 1961 Mercy Bowl memorial team. After college, he served his country honorably in the US Navy.
In addition to his football career, George was a skillful skier, swimmer, and golfer. He was an avid Bay Area sports fan, his favorite being the San Francisco Giants. George had an incredible sense of humor, was always looking to get a rise out of people, and left an impression on everyone he met.
George spent the majority of his life in San Jose, Calif., with his family. He was a salesman in various industries. He returned to Fresno in 1990, and retired in 1998 after a major stroke. He spent his retirement at various senior centers, including Yu Ai Kai in San Jose. He liked playing pinochle and going on gambling trips. George battled with major health issues over the last 20 years, but his physical strength and will to live kept him alive to reach his life-long goal of being a grandfather.
A memorial service for George will be held on Friday, October 6 at Oak Hill Funeral Home & Memorial Park, Drawing Room, 300 Curtner Ave., San Jose, Calif. George will be buried at a later date at Hanford Cemetery (no services planned.)
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation “In Memory of George Omata” to Yu Ai Kai Senior Services, 588 N. 4th Street, San Jose, CA 95112, or via Paypal at yuaikai.org/donate.