KANEGAWA, Richard Shigenobu
June 18, 1930 – New Westminster, British Columbia
October 8, 2020 – Calgary, Alberta
We are heartbroken to announce that Richard Shigenobu Kanegawa, passed away Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 90 years of age. His lung condition returned from 2018 and despite his desire and will to live, his body fought this difficult battle before and could not do it again. We were so lucky to have been given a second chance to spend with him these past two years to add to our collection of memories and his adventures.
Richard was born on June 18, 1930 in New Westminster, B.C., the youngest of seven children. During World War II, his family was evacuated and interned to Southern Alberta to start a new life all over again. He and his brother Stan started farming potatoes and from there, bought farmland growing sugar beets and wheat. He married a city school teacher from BC, Suyeko (Sue) Asari, whom he adored, on November 26, 1960. She was his rock and stood by every venture he went into and (wanted to escape) every party he had. Not satisfied with just farming, he branched out into many other agricultural businesses where he found his love in the cattle business – commercial cattle and exotic purebreds – becoming known as the Japanese Cowboy. His attitude of “more guts than brains” allowed his dreams to become reality. Over the years, his business passion expanded into numerous projects but his biggest endeavour was starting the Heritage Inn hotels in 1974 with the vision of providing full facility hotels to serve the communities they were in within Western Canada. He continued with commercial cattle as a ‘hobby’. His love of farming and the art of the deal never left him.
This farmer, rancher, hunter, adventurer and human calculator was a creative and free spirit. His love of travel to see the world was immense – to seek the best views from the tallest buildings, to stay in the most modern of hotels, to sail the largest cruise ships, and to taste the best seafood anywhere (knowing that nothing could beat Alberta beef and potatoes).
We were very fortunate to have had the opportunity to keep him home and comfortable until his very end, where he was surrounded by love in the presence of his wife Sue; his daughters, Sandra (John Sun), Shelley (Steven Ming), Susan (Ward Takeda); and his ultimate pride and joy of his grandchildren, Jessica (Kevin), Jarret, Sydney, Cameron, Ronin and Neo. Richard is survived by his older sister, Yumiko (Mary) Osaka of Lethbridge, AB and an abundance of incredible nephews, nieces, grandnephews and grandnieces in Canada and Japan.
Richard was predeceased by his parents, Sumi and Sakuji Kanegawa and his siblings, Shizuko Baba, Sadako Mukai, Misako Yagi, Yoshiko Wada and Stanley Sr.
Richard would always say, “The past is the past”. He was a visionary – he dreamed big and lived big. Life owed him nothing as he lived life to the fullest every single day. We will miss his kind heart, generosity, smile, laugh, relentless drive, keen sense of business, and most of all his “Richard-isms”.
To the amazing team of physicians, specialists, and nurses – Richard recognized their exceptional care and was forever grateful … thank you. In addition, thank you to the family, friends, caregivers, business partners and colleagues who have supported him and us throughout the years and now.
We will be having a private family service. Once gathering restrictions are lifted, we welcome all to join us to share stories and laughs in true Richard Kanegawa fashion which always includes plenty of food and drinks. Condolences, memories and photos may be shared and viewed on Richard’s obituary at www.McInnisandHolloway.com.
In lieu of flowers and koden, donations to one of the following charities in honour of Richard’s giving spirit will be greatly appreciated; Calgary Health Trust – Respirology, Hematology, Cardiology, or Urology, Suite 800, 11012 Macleod Trail SE, Calgary, AB T2J 6A5, Buddhist Temple of Southern Alberta
470 – 40th Street S, Lethbridge, AB T1J 3Z5 or Calgary Buddhist Church, 207 – 6 St NE, Calgary, AB T2E 3Y1.
In living memory of Richard Kanegawa, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Park Memorial, 5008 Elbow Drive SW, Calgary, AB T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.