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Howard Haruto Tao Obituary


Howard Haruto Tao passed away peacefully at the age of 88, surrounded by his loving family on March 21, 2013 following a short illness. He was born in Watsonville, California on January 30, 1925 to Keitaro and Takeyo Tao. He grew up in San Jose until the outbreak of World War II. Soon after, the family relocated to Tremonton, Utah, where he graduated from Bear River High School in 1944. Howard was drafted into the U.S. Army and trained at Camp Blanding, Florida where he proudly served with the 9th Calvary Reconnaissance Troop in Germany.

Following the end of World War II, Howard returned to Watsonville where he began farming with his brothers. He later met Janice Ikeda at the Watsonville Buddhist Temple where they married in 1957 and raised three children. He grew strawberries on his own and continued to farm until his retirement in 2000, but remained a farmer at heart by tending his greenhouse garden at home.

Howard was a devoted and active member of the Watsonville Buddhist Temple. His other passions included spending time with family and friends, breakfast at Cowboys Corner Café and being a faithful San Francisco Giants and 49ers fan.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years Janice, daughters Susan Tao (Dale Takeda) of San Jose, and Lisa (Dean) Sakae of Watsonville, son Michael Tao (Christine Padilla) of San Mateo, and granddaughters Hayley and Kaitlin Sakae. He is also survived by his sister-in-laws Mitsuyo, Shizuko, and Tomoko Tao, numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his brothers Tom, Bill and Yotsuo and sister Kazuko Tsurumoto.

A celebration of his life will be held at the Watsonville Buddhist Temple on Saturday, March 30th at 2:00 pm.