Harold Yasuo Tanaka - 1937 - 2019


On Jan 29, 2019, Heaven welcomed a husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and servant to his community. Hal Tanaka passed away, surrounded by loved ones, at his home in Dayton, Oregon. He was 81 years old. Hal was born September 10, 1937, in Shoshone, Idaho, to Ray Kazuo Tanaka and Marie Mitsuko (Kono) Tanaka. He graduated from Shoshone High School in 1955, Linfield College (BA Education) in 1960 and the University of Oregon (MA Education) in 1973.
Hal taught and coached in Idaho high schools in Wendell, Filer, Jerome and Arco. On Sept 4, 1962, he married Sharon Ann Hardesty of Filer; they lived in Arco. There they were blessed by their first daughter, Camille. They then moved to Jerome, where he taught; soon they welcomed their second daughter, Christine, and stayed until 1969. Hal next accepted a teaching and coaching position, which moved them to Dayton. There they welcomed their third daughter, Cathryn. The family remained in Dayton and Hal taught and coached many teams for 29 years at Dayton High School, in addition to coaching track and field at Linfield College and Western Mennonite High School. Hal had a passion for anything physical and for studying movement, so he furthered his education by earning his massage therapy license in 1985, which he used to help support others in their sports and athletic endeavors. On Sept 12, 1998, he married his second wife, Sharon Alice Myers, from Portland, Oregon. They continued to reside in Dayton where he soon retired from teaching but continued his coaching career and support of athletics. He also loved watching his grandchildren play sports and was always there cheering them on. His legacy is in teaching and coaching across many subjects and sports, where he was an inspiration to many. In 2015, Harold was recognized for 55 years of outstanding service to interscholastic athletics by the Oregon Athletic Coaches Association.
While he was a lifelong educator, teacher and coach who loved his family, athletics, golfing, bowling and fishing, he also had a strong faith and loved the Lord with all his heart. He was the choir director and helped start a ukulele club in his church. He loved to sing and used his voice in many events, choirs and theater performances.
Hal was preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Sharon; sister, Frances; and great-granddaughter, Adelyn.
Survivors include his wife, Sharon Alice; daughters, Camille, Christine (Kristine) and Cathryn (Jeff); brothers, William, Robert, Richard and Gilbert; step-children, Kim (Reed), Sandra (Jim), Bruce, Janice (Rob) and Kelsey (Vern); grandchildren, Cody, Cassi, Kylee and Jori; step-grandchildren, Nicole, Michelle, Kyle, Nelja, Megan, Michael, Alysha, Emily, Jesse and Noah; and 15 great-grandchildren.
His Celebration of Life will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, February 23, at the Dayton High School old gymnasium, 801 Ferry St., Dayton Oregon.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Hal’s memory to the Dayton ASB Track or ASB Softball clubs. They can be mailed c/o Dayton High School, 801 Ferry St. Dayton OR 97114.


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