Tribute: George Yoshida
GEORGE YOSHIDA, a Korean War veteran and Hawaiian native, worked as a clinical social worker for 35 years at Denver’s National Jewish Hospital. He retired in 1979, but decades of service and dedication to his community followed.
Yoshida was awarded the Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award and Asian American Hero of Colorado Award. He was an annual volunteer at the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, an advisor to Asian Avenue magazine, and helped launch the Aurora Asian Film Festival.
He is survived by his wife, Helen, four children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
“George Yoshida’s outreach to people was a feat to behold. He was a gentleman, classy, wise and humble. The Denver commumity was fortunate to have his presence.” - Pat Hayashi
“I will always remember George’s warm smile and kind greeting, “mahalo.” He was a pillar of the AAPI community in Colorado. He took part in so many organizations and was a real leader in bringing communities together.” - Peggy Yujiri, President, Asian Roundtable of Colorado
“When I first started in the mental health field 18 years ago, I often turned to George and Helen for their advice and support. They both had years of experience working in community mental health. When the inherent stress of my job was close to chasing me away, George would send a simple message to boost my morale. And, often, that was all I needed. And he was there too – with a hearty congrats – when I had good news to share. His friendship was a treasure and I will miss him dearly.” - Fran Campbell, President, Asian Chamber of Commerce
“George Yoshida was an extraordinary person whose contributions to the community knew no bounds. Though he lived on the mainland for decades, in his own inimitable style he still referred to himself as new to the community here. His eternal optimism should give us all hope and a vision to follow through a life lived well.” - Marge Taniwaki
“George Yoshida was a 12-year very active Steering Committee member of the Aurora Asian/Pacific Community Partnership. George served with extraordinary kindness and community spirit on Partnership programs. George and Helen both helped with the 10-year Aurora Asian Film Festival, a collaboration with the Denver Film Society. He loved giving back to the community and did so in too many ways to name here, but it’s his spirit of friendship that will forever live in our memories!” - Frankie Anderson, Secretary/Treasurer, Aurora Asian/Pacific Community Partnership
“Without George, I would never have become involved with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Community Relations Council and become a Tour Ambassador there. Nor would I have had a mentor and friend to commiserate with about the heat at all the Dragon Boat Festivals which he, Helen and I volunteered for. He was a kind, thoughtful man, generous of spirit in the way that only Asians from Hawaii are.” - Rodger Hara
“George and Helen made a profession out of volunteering! We would see them at so many AAPI events, always with a smile, a strong sense of calm and always ready to help out. Seeing their beaming, rosy-red faces selling water in the Pepsi booth at many CO Dragon Boat Festivals will be forever etched in our minds. They personified true unconditional support to the community through their time, effort and love. We will miss hearing George chuckle.” - Erin Yoshimura & Gil Asakawa