Kenji was born in California just a few years before World War II broke out. As a young boy he went with his family to the internment camp of Topaz and then Tule Lake. After the war, the family followed many other Japanese Americans to Colorado where Governor Carr welcomed their re-settlement. The family remained in the Denver area with Kenji attending Manual High then graduating from Englewood High.
As the youngest son and second to youngest of 10 children in the household, Kenji enjoyed the role of the fun, young uncle by his many nieces and nephews. He was always grateful to his older siblings for the burden they took on providing for the family, navigating internment, and settling in Denver after the war. They allowed him to be much more care-free, and he never took that for granted.
After working in the family business, Kenji joined IBM, a growing company in the Boulder area.
He spent over 25 years at IBM, working his way up to contract administrator, negotiating multi-million dollar contracts. He loved his job, which allowed him to travel the world, and he took pride in his negotiating skills, saving IBM a few million here and there.
Kenji and his wife, Judy, raised two athletic daughters. They spent countless hours, organizing swim meets, coaching softball, playing catch, and shooting hoops. On game day, he could be found cheering his daughters on from the bleachers, where he could always call a game better than the referee on the court or field.
Those who knew Kenji will remember his warm smile, the 1960 convertible corvette, and his love of sports, especially the Broncos or anything his family was playing. He loved all kids. The neighborhood children knew he was good for a popsicle or ice cream sandwich. He never met a baby that he didn’t want to hold, and his lap was always available for a good book.
Kenji is survived by his wife of 58 years, Judy Fukuhara, daughter Lori Serkland, son-in-law Darwin Serkland, daughter Terri Pascoe, son-in-law Chris Pascoe, and grandchildren Dylan and Morgan. He is also survived by sisters Ida and Linda, and many nephews and nieces.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to a favorite charity.