Mike Kamitakahara

Obituary of Mike Kamitakahara

June 29, 1962 - Calgary, Alberta

May 12, 2023 - Calgary, Alberta


With sadness, but gratitude for an amazing life, we say goodbye to Mike at 60 years of age.


Mike was born in Calgary on June 29, 1962.  In those days, although integration and acceptance of Downs Syndrome was unfamiliar, Mike was very lucky.   From the day he was born, to the day he died, he was surrounded with supportive family, friends, teachers, mentors, coaches, and caregivers.  Mike’s entire life was filled with purpose and joy.  


Mike attended Grade 1 to 12 in CBE Special Ed classes and upon graduation, transitioned to Vecova, formerly the VRRI.  From the time he turned 18, Vecova facilitated his employment, his daily activities through the Wayfinder program, and most recently his housing.  He worked in the gas station, the bottle depot, at Shaw Cable for 10 years, and had numerous volunteer positions in churches, seniors’ homes and at the U of C.   He attended Mount Royal University for over 25 years, taking reading and writing courses in their Transitional Vocational Program.  He was a prolific writer for most of his life, always carrying a notebook (or 5) and pens in every pocket and backpack.  He painted and did ceramics through Indefinite Arts – now the National Access Arts Centre.  Mike also became involved in the Special Olympics in his youth, starting with swimming, skiing, and bowling.  He chose 10 Pin Bowling as his competitive sport and won medals at both the Calgary and Alberta Games over the years, continuing to bowl every season, up to the present.  Mike collected CDs and DVDs and was the ultimate TV and music expert.  Even in his declining past year, music remained his love.  He enjoyed sessions with Gord at the New Territories music classes each week, and his Bishop’s Manor group home caregivers always had Kenny Rogers or Elvis playing for him.  Mike celebrated his 60th birthday with a party last June in the Vecova Atrium – also remembered as ‘his office.’ 


It truly ‘takes a village’ and Mike was supported by doting parents, close extended family and friends, and the incredible staff at Vecova who helped him achieve this amazing life.


Mike is survived by his sister Diane (Victor), brother David (Rona), his nephew Matthew (Alex), and numerous Kamitakahara, Miyashita, Koltes, and Coombs relatives.


Mike was predeceased by his mother Kazie, father Nobby, grandparents, and many special aunts, uncles, and cousins. 


The family would like to thank the Bishop’s Manor staff, who provided support 24/7 while Mike was in hospital, EMS, and the staff at Peter Lougheed Centre.  Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed at www.MHFH.com.


In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be made directly to Vecova Centre for Disability Services and Research (3304 33 St NW, Calgary, AB T2L 2A6) at https://vecova.ca.


In living memory of Mike Kamitakahara, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Deerfoot South, 12281 – 40th Street SE, Calgary, AB T2Z 4E6, Telephone: 403-203-0525.


Click Here to View Mike Kamitakahara's Memorial Card

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