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Sam Toru Kita


Passed Away:
Service Date:

Sam Toru Kita

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Service Location:
Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple
Directions to:
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Sam Toru Kita
August 29, 1944 - November 23, 2023

It is with profound sadness that the family of Sam Kita shares his untimely passing on Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 2023 at the age of 79. A day meant for reflection and gratitude, we know we have so much to be grateful for because of him and feel peace knowing he lived a wonderful life and that at the end, he was surrounded by those he loved most in this world.

Sam was born in Payson, Utah on August 29, 1944 to Heiji and Kiyoko Kita after they left Manzanar Internment Camp. When the war ended, they moved back to their romaine and celery family farm in Venice, California where Sam grew up. After graduating from Venice High, Sam became a Trojan where he earned his Pharm.D. from the USC School of Pharmacy. After graduation, he worked at Steve’s Rexall, a neighborhood pharmacy in Mar Vista, followed by Kaiser Permanente where he retired after more than a total of 45 years of care and service. Patients and staff remember him as the nicest guy with the best smile to help you at the counter.

Sam and Coco were married for 44 happy years. Together they traveled the world – they backpacked through Europe, went skiing all over the west, wine tasting throughout California, and more – but his favorite place was at home with his family. One of the best years was when he became a father when Lauren was born. She was always a “Daddy’s Girl,” and she got the sweetest smile whenever he saw her. He was so happy walking her down the aisle on her wedding day to John at the same beautiful venue where he and Coco were also married.

In addition to the Trojans, Sam cheered for the Lakers and Dodgers. He enjoyed Sunday pancakes, playing poker with friends, collecting kokeshi and hula dolls on his numerous trips to Japan and Hawaii, and always had a secret stash of candy and chips hidden somewhere. He was unintentionally silly, had the best smile and always went above and beyond for his family and friends. We even called him the house elf because he was always doing dishes, laundry, going grocery shopping or washing the cars. There won’t be a day that goes by that he won’t be missed.

Sam will be remembered by his kindness, his generosity, selflessness and thoughtfulness, which will live on forever in the hearts of his family and everyone who loved him. He is survived by his wife, Coco (Colleen), his daughter, Lauren and son-in-law John Tallman, his sister Mary Bender, his niece and nephew Candace and Sean, Aunty Suzanne, cousins, Ben, Ruby, Jimmy and Gail, Judy and Tommy. Thank you to all of our family and friends for their countless acts of kindness and thoughtfulness: the many visits, calls, cards, messages, flowers to brighten our home, food and sweet treats to nourish us, dog sitting Capri, and lots of hugs and handholding. It’s Sam reflecting through all of you as the sweetest, kindest, and most gentle husband, father and friend.

Funeral services will be held on January 20, 2024 at 11 AM at the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, 12371 Braddock Dr., Culver City. There will be additional parking at the VJCC parking lot.

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