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In Memoriam

Class of 1965 (Orthodontics)


Dr. Harry HatasakaDr. Harry Hideo Hatasaka died on June 12, 2022 in Palo Alto, Calif., his hometown for over 60 years. He was 93.

He was born on May 9, 1929 in Fort Lupton, Colo., and humbly raised on a farm in Brighton, Colo., with seven siblings. He was the first of his family to attend college and after graduating from the University of Colorado in 1950, he crisscrossed the country in pursuit of higher education. Upon completion of dental school at Northwestern University in Chicago, he met and married Sadako “Cyd” Matsushita in 1954. They moved to Baltimore, Md., Honolulu, and San Leandro, Calif. He served in Public Health Services with the U.S. Coast Guard. In 1958, they moved to Seattle. In 1960, they set roots in Palo Alto, where he became one of the city’s first orthodontists. There the couple raised their four children and lived in the same house for the next 60 years.

Dr. Hatasaka enjoyed a successful and productive orthodontic career spanning 40 years. In the last 11, he specialized in treating myofascial pain disorders, including TMJ. He was dedicated to the advancement of orthodontics and ongoing education and lectured internationally. As a clinical associate professor, he taught and mentored students at the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry for 50 years, starting from the inception of the program in 1970. He was a member of, or served with, numerous orthodontic societies, including the American Association of Orthodontists, Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists, Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists (president 1988-89), Peninsula Orthodontic Research Group (founding member), and Tweed International Foundation of Orthodontic Research.

He loved the outdoors, zealously pursuing snow skiing, camping, and fishing with family and friends. He arranged numerous fly-fishing adventures to the Caribbean, Amazon, Mexico, and Alaska. He spent countless hours cultivating vegetables and flowers in his expansive garden. In addition, he was active in community service, coaching Little League and Babe Ruth Baseball teams, volunteering with the Optimist Club, and serving as governor of the Japanese American Citizens League (NorCa/W-NV region) and participating in the annual “Mochitsuke.”

Dr. Hatasaka was the quintessential fan of all Bay Area sports teams, holding season tickets for the San Jose Sharks and the San Francisco 49ers. He attended many games at Candlestick Park and was present when the Giants played the Oakland A’s during the 1989 World Series playoffs and the Loma Prieta earthquake struck. He witnessed the San Francisco Giants win three World Series games and excitedly cheered the Golden State Warriors to the 2022 NBA Championship during his last days.

Dr. Hatasaka is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Sadako; children Leslie Lynne (Stuart) Blackburn, Harry Jr. (Julia), Mark Teizo, and Kimberley Anne (Matthew) Ainsley; grandchildren Michael and Matthew Blackburn, Megan and Bryan Hatasaka, and Alyssa Ainsley; many nieces and nephews; and siblings Lorina, Sam, Stanley, and Sharon.(