Kenneth Nishimura Obituary

Kenneth  Kenzo Nishimura
Kenneth Kenzo Nishimura

March 12, 1935 - May 13, 2020
Born in Lompoc, California
Resided in Carol Stream, Illinnois


Kenneth Kenzo Nishimura, 85, died on May 13, 2020, in his Carol Stream, IL home of 50 years. His final resting place is Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, IL.

Ken was born in Lompoc, California on March 12, 1935. He spent his youth in Lompoc until World War II, when his family was taken to the Gila River Japanese American Concentration Camp in Arizona. After their release, the family moved to Chicago, IL where he finished his education at McLaren Elementary School and Waller High School.

He met his wife, and lifelong partner, Pauline Itano through the Japanese American social clubs on the south side of Chicago. They married in 1960 and had three children: Karyn, Kurt, and Kristi.

As a young father, Ken was involved in his children’s activities serving as a baseball coach and created the little league umpiring club through the Village of Carol Stream. Additionally, in 1978, Ken was voted Special Citizen of the Year by the Village. Residents would often see the Nishimuras playing tennis, ice skating, and playing sports at Armstrong Park.

He spent 27 years working at Littelfuse, in Des Plaines, IL where he made some wonderful, lifelong friends. Not only did they work together, they attended Cubs and Bulls games, played racquetball, and golfed.

After his children were grown, Ken helped raise his granddaughter Gia and his grandson Stevie. He taught them many life lessons and molded them into the adults they are now. Many years later, he also helped raise Gia’s son, B.J. They would pick up apples in the backyard, kick soccer balls and play baseball together. Ken was also proud of his granddaughter, Skyler, who listened to many of his stories as a Japanese American and their history.

Ken is survived by his wife Pauline, sister Marian Konishi, daughter Karyn and her husband (Steve Sneath), daughter Kristi, and son Kurt. He was the uncle to many blood relatives as well as calabash (chosen) family members.

Ken was proud to be a Japanese American and lived a fulfilling life.

A memorial service will take place at a later date, with more details to come.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Go For Broke National Education Center ( The Center has educated the public on equality and justice through the courageous and patriotic example set by the Japanese American World War II veterans. Your donation will honor their legacy and empower others to continue to take action in following their same spirit.




Funeral Home
DuPage Cremations, Ltd. and Memorial Chapel
951 W. Washington St.
West Chicago, IL US 60185


Go For Broke National Education Center
355 E. 1st Street, Suite 200
Los Angeles, CA USA 90012