I think this is hard to write, because there is not just one thing that comes to mind … there are so many. Jerry came to our family through marriage. And even though the marriage disappeared the friendship continued. My sons will always remember him as Uncle Jerry, we think of him as a brother.
(Photo taken on 4.1.92 photo has Danny Kikuchi and Katsuhide Ando enjoying dinner at Fung Lum with Jerry. Celebrating Yosh Uchida's birthday.)
How could you not like Jerry? When he was “family” he was there for our birthday parties, holiday celebrations, anniversaries, and events. There was always something. My father would be able to count on him to help with “filling a table”, or donations. He would be asked to be part of a committee or help one of the community organizations and he would. Never questioned why he should – because he knew he could.
Jerry moved in the right circles, he knew something about everyone. Going to an appointment at Dr. Jerry’s was a time to catch up. Of course, he would ask all the questions, and you would somehow mumble some response while he was probing your mouth. But while he chatted with you he would bring you up to date on the latest happenings in JTown and the city.
(Photo taken in March 1992 shows Jerry and Aileen sharing time with nephews Michael and Kyle Sakai.)
He was an excellent dentist. He knew I hated to visit him as a patient, especially if there was some “procedure” he had to perform. We would joke about how I was clutching my hands, and how much novacaine I would need. Even though I hated those visits in the chair, I weirdly enjoyed it because you knew that he and his staff genuinely loved one another. And they passed that on to their patients with their high quality of care.
Jerry was kind, friendly, generous, often times silly. Thinking about him only brings warm feelings to our hearts, and sadness that he’s not here to talk to. We were lucky to have been part of that circle for even a brief time.
Steve Sakai & Lydia Uchida-Sakai