Toshio Oishi

Obituary of Toshio Oishi

Toshio (Tosh) Oishi of Herndon, Virginia passed away at home surrounded by family on Wednesday, March 22, 2017.

Tosh was born on June 18, 1941, in Seattle, Washington. His father, Hiromi Oishi, was born in Kikitsu, Japan, and emigrated to the United States in 1920. His mother, Tatsuye, was born in Auburn, Washington. Tosh was the third oldest of eight children. He has four brothers Hiroshi Oishi, Kazuo Oishi, Isao Oishi, Tetsumi Oishi and three sisters Emiko Seay, Sachiko Macdonald, and Yoko Simmons.

In February 1942, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 authorizing the internment of Japanese-American citizens and resident aliens. From April 28, 1942 through September 12, 1945, Tosh; his brothers Hiroshi, Isao and Kazuo; sister Emiko; and parents were interned at World War II relocation camps. The family was initially sent to the Santa Anita racetrack outside Los Angeles, known as one of the nation's largest assembly centers for Japanese Americans on their way to internment camps. From there, the Oishi family was sent to the Gila River War Relocation Camp located on the Gila Indian Reservation in Rivers, Arizona. When they were released from the relocation camp they moved as part of the War Relocation Act to the Wilson Plantation in Wilson, Arkansas. Tosh attended Wilson Elementary School in Wilson, Arkansas. Later he attended Scott Elementary School in Scott, Arkansas where the family moved to sharecrop a vegetable farm. Tosh attended Scott High School for a short period and then was bussed along with other students to Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Tosh then attended Little Rock Central during the first year of integration in 1957. When Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus refused to integrate schools, President Eisenhower sent the 101st Airborne Division to enforce integration at Little Rock Central. When Little Rock Central closed in 1958, Tosh and his fellow students were bussed to North Little Rock High School where Tosh graduated in 1959.

After high school, Tosh attended the University of Arkansas with a scholarship. He was a member of Eta Kappa Knu, an honor society for electrical engineers. Tosh graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering in June 1963.

Upon college graduation, Tosh accepted a position with General Dynamics in Fort Worth, Texas. He worked as a Quality Assurance engineer on the design and production of the F-111 fighter aircraft for the Department of Defense. Following this position, Tosh worked for the Bell Helicopter Company in Fort Worth, Texas. He continued this line of work as a consultant and worked on various Navy projects that took him to Minneapolis, Minnesota and Norfolk, Virginia.

From 1967 to 1998, Tosh worked for the Navy Department within the Department of Defense (DOD). Tosh developed new handbooks and other documents on how to design and build reliable and maintainable equipment such as computers. Tosh was the NAVSEA Technical Authority for Reliability and Maintainability Engineering. He also helped establish the Electrostatic Discharge Symposium and Association. Tosh was the Co-Chairman of the first symposium. He then became a Director of Product Assurance for the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, D.C. Following this role, Tosh was the Director of Product Assurance for the Cruise Missile Project for the Department of Defense. Upon retirement from the DOD, Tosh worked as a consultant with ITRI and then started his own consulting business.

Tosh had many talents and interests outside of work that included growing a bountiful garden of tomatoes and other vegetables and flowers; building many projects for his children and grandchildren; gathering, studying, and sharing family history information; and fishing for anything that would bite.

Tosh participated in weightlifting in Texas and Virginia. He competed in the United States Championships and in the North American championships during the 1960's. Tosh was ranked among the top fifty all-time best American weightlifters in his weight class and was ranked 40th in the featherweight class in the "USA All Time Weight-lifting Ranking List (Top 50)" as of 11/10/77 for the Olympic lifts.

Tosh Oishi married Pamela Sue Cantwell on August 29, 1969, in Arlington, Virginia. They lived in Herndon, Virginia for over 50 years and raised two children, Courtney and Tim.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Hiromi and Tatsuye Oishi; brother in-law Gary Seay; brother-in-law Don Simmons; and nephew Tony Macdonald.

He is survived by his loving wife of 48 years Pamela Oishi; son Tim Oishi, of Reston, Virginia; daughter Courtney Watson, son-in-law Steen Watson and three grandchildren J.B., Wally, and Tate Watson of Chattanooga, Tennessee; his brother Hiroshi Oishi and sister-in-law Elizabeth of Brentwood, California; his brother Kazuo Oishi and sister-in-law Ann of Albuquerque, New Mexico; brother Isao Oishi and sister-in-law Rita of Baltimore, Maryland; brother Tetsumi Oishi of The Colony, Texas; sister Emiko Seay of Rogers, Arkansas; sister Sachiko Macdonald of Little Rock, Arkansas; and Yoko Simmons of Silver Lake, California.

A visitation is scheduled for 2pm to 4pm this Saturday, April 1 at Adams-Green Funeral Home at 721 Elden Street, Herndon, Virginia. Family and friends are welcome back at their home following the visitation. In lieu of flowers, the family ask you consider planting flowers in your garden (as Tosh was an avid gardener) or making a donation to the charity your choice.

The family wishes to extend its sincere thanks to the doctors, nurses and staff at Virginia Cancer Specialists and all the loving staff at Vitas Hospice.

Online condolences may be left for the family by clicking the “Condolences” tab on the left of this webpage.