Ernie Yotsuya passed away on April 16, 2019 after a three-year battle with a bone marrow disease. He was 83 years old.
Ernie was born in Watsonville to Jiro and Umeko Yotsuya and spent most of his life in the greater Turlock area. As a young boy during WWII, he was sent from his family’s farm in the Japanese community of Cortez to Amache Relocation Center in Colorado. He attended Vincent Elementary School and then Livingston High School, where several classmates remained lifelong friends. He went on to attend UCLA and UCSF, where he earned his doctorate of pharmacy. There he met his wife of 33 years, Sachi. After her death, he married Joan Geddes also a longtime resident of Turlock. For almost 30 years, he owned Hauck’s Pharmacy known for having a soda fountain and lunch counter which became a meeting place for many on Main Street.
Ernie cared deeply for the Turlock community and served in Kiwanis and as a school board member for the Turlock High School District. He was active in the Cortez Buddhist Church and many other groups over the years. He enjoyed fishing in Trinidad, clamming in Pismo, farming on his family land and spending time with his grandchildren. Ernie will be remembered for his deep commitment to family and the many true friendships he formed throughout his lifetime. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend. He will be missed by all.
He is survived by his children: Kimberly and Scott Severson of Turlock, Allyson and Paul Nakaue of Stockton, and Mellanie and Dave Maggard of Irvine, grandchildren: Jeff and Liz Severson, Claire Severson, Kiku Severson, Lauren Nakaue, Tyler Nakaue, Evan Maggard, Erika Maggard, and great-grandson Liam Severson.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to Turlock Covenant Care at Covenantcareathome.org under “Charitable Giving” or The National Parks Service at nps.gov/getinvolved under “Partnerships.”
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, 2019 at Turlock Funeral Home, 425 N. Soderquist Road, Turlock.