Obituary of Yukio Machii
Yukio Machii (85) went to be with Jesus Christ his Lord and Savior on August 13, 2023. He passed away peacefully surrounded by his family.
Yukio was born on July 30, 1938, in the countryside of Nagano, Japan. He was the sixth child (fourth son) of nine children born to Gisaku and Kane Machii. He is survived by his wife Haru and their son, two daughters, ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Son Akio Machii has three sons: Kainoa, Kaimana and Brett; a daughter Kiyomi; a step-son Carson; a step-daughter Autumn; and two grandsons Hayzen and Skye. Older daughter Janet Izumi Machii has two daughters: Archelle (husband Adam) and Chelsea (husband Anthony). Younger daughter Lisa (Nozomi) Machii Greengrove (husband Keith) has two step-sons: Carson and Owen.
Yukio is also survived by his older sister Tomoko (Machii) Shimada, his younger brothers Takeshi, Masaru and Hideo Machii, and many cousins, nieces and nephews, almost all of whom live in Japan. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Tokiko (Machii) Ogawa and his brothers Yoshio, Isamu and Yasuo Machii.
Yukio was a pioneer in his family. He is the first member of his family to receive higher education, the first in his family to emigrate to and raise a family in the United States, and the first to become a naturalized U.S. citizen.
Yukio met the love of his life Haru (Nojima) in October 1961. At that time, Haru was a School Deacon at the Hamadayama Christian Church in Tokyo. She had many responsibilities including teaching Sunday school, in which she desperately needed help. During a church meeting Haru requested volunteers to help her teach, when Yukio, the only brave sole, shyly raised his hand from the back of the room. Two years later, they were engaged to be married. Shortly after their engagement party, Yukio left Japan alone to attend university in the United States, a difficult decision but one he knew was best for their future.
Yukio was the first member of his family to attend high school which was not mandatory education at that time. From a young age, he was fascinated with how things worked and one day dis-assembled a clock and re-assembled it perfectly all by himself, amazing his teachers who encouraged him to attend Nagano Technical High School, Mechanical Division. As his parents were financially bound, he paid for his own tuition by working as a blacksmith by day and attending school at night. Yukio’s high school teachers also recognized his brilliance and insisted he continue his education. His then employer, Shibaden, an electronics manufacturing company in Japan, saw Yukio as a promising future engineer and offered him a full scholarship to study mechanical engineering anywhere in the world at the university of his choice. He chose the University of Southern California. Yukio went on to become the first member of his family to attend college and little did he know that this would be the beginning of a legacy of Trojans for generations.
After Yukio completed one year of studies at USC, Haru moved to the United States and they were married in December 1964. They lived on campus until he graduated in 1967 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. Though Yukio couldn’t speak a word of English when he started college, he managed to graduate in four years with honors, get inducted into Pi Tau Sigma (an International Honor Society for Mechanical Engineers) and win numerous prestigious engineering awards. Though he chose not to pursue a master’s degree, even after receiving scholarships from his professors, Yukio often helped graduate students in higher-level engineering courses he never enrolled in himself.
Yukio enjoyed a long prosperous career as a mechanical engineer, primarily working in the Los Angeles area at Saki Magnetics (owned by TDK Electronics), a leading manufacturer of magnetic recording heads. While his daily work centered around designing music recording equipment, he also had the honor of designing parts of the Space Shuttle. His engineering mindset carried over to his personal life as well. He was meticulous and precise in just about everything he did. His children chuckled at how he set 12-minute timers in the sun for optimal Vitamin D absorption. His doctors often described him as their best patient for following exact orders. As an avid baseball fan, he enjoyed keeping stats on every baseball game he watched and taking copious notes that no one could understand.
While Yukio was quite accomplished, he was eternally humble, and it was clear that he loved and cared most about his family. He was as loyal, devoted and committed as a man could be. His free time was always spent with family, and he invariably put their interests first. He tirelessly helped his children with math and science homework (without spoon feeding answers) when he should’ve been resting up for the next day’s work. He repaired by himself every automobile, bicycle and home appliance, and even helped his son develop winning street-racing cars. After Yukio’s older daughter became a single mother, he played a large part in raising his granddaughters, and ultimately gave away his eldest granddaughter in marriage.
Yukio’s Christian faith was the foundation of his life. After his father passed away when Yukio was only 22, he began pondering the meaning of life and became intrigued by religions other than Buddhism, which was his parents’ background. He discovered Christianity through a co-worker in Japan and learned and embraced the much-needed comfort and guidance Jesus gave him to deal with his father’s death and life in general. That’s when Yukio became born again and baptized. He was a member of Los Angeles Holiness Church and South Bay Free Methodist Church, both in California, in addition to other churches in Japan. He and Haru continued the teaching that brought them together by holding Bible study at home with their children. Yukio faithfully read the Bible daily in both English and Japanese, and in later years, he took daily devotionals online and enjoyed watching his favorite pastors across the nation on television. Though his physical body weakened year after year, his faith in Jesus grew stronger and stronger and by the time he breathed his last breath he took comfort in knowing he would be spending eternity with Jesus.
A Celebration of Life reception will be held on September 30, 2023, in Portland.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Yukio Machii, please visit Tribute Store