Sam Saburo Ozaki

Deceased: September 23, 2015

Service Information:

Memorial Service: Saturday, October 10, 2015 11am at
West Ridge Methodist Church, 2301 W. Lunt Chicago with reception to follow
Interment: Private


Sam Saburo Ozaki, 90, passed away peacefully on September 23, 2015. Sam was born in Los Angeles, California on November 2, 1924 to Kyujiro and Tomino Ozaki, the second youngest of five children. In 1941, when Sam was a senior attending Banning High School, World War II began and President Roosevelt ordered all people of Japanese ancestry to American internment camps. To prove his loyalty, Sam enlisted in the 442nd Infantry Regiment, the all-Japanese American unit of the armed forces and the most decorated unit in American history. Sam received a Purple Heart and Congressional Gold Medal for his service to the United States. Sam relocated to Chicago after the war and became the first Asian American principal in the city of Chicago, serving at Harrison, Lakeview, and Taft Chicago Public High Schools. Every chance he had, he used his passion for justice to educate youth and the Chicagoland community about Japanese American internment to make sure the same injustice would never happen again. Sam was a community leader, avid golfer, cat lover, and the “best grandfather in the world.” Sam was a loving husband to his wife of 57 years, Harue, and is survived by his children Edward (Marina), Stephen, and Nancy and his sisters, Lily (Tom) Teraji and June (Tom) Nomura. Sam and Harue have four grandchildren, Stephen, Phillip, Rebecca, and James. Sam is preceded in death by his siblings Kei Ozaki, and Yogi (Molly) Ozaki. Memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 10th at West Ridge Methodist Church, 2301 W. Lunt Chicago, IL 60645 at 11 AM with reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in honor of Sam Ozaki to West Ridge United Methodist Church (address above), Rainbow Hospice and Palliative Care (1550 Bishop Court, Mount Prospect, IL 60056), the Japanese American Service Committee (4427 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60640), or the Japanese American Citizens League Chicago Chapter (4715 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60640). For information – Lakeview Funeral Home, 773-472-6300 or


October 9, 2015

Dear Ozaki Family,

My husband and I would like to express to you our sympathies over the passing of Mr. Osaki. Having both attended Taft High School, we have often over the years thought fondly of him. We always would remember him as a kind and just school leader. We would remark many times how amazing it was that he always seemed to remember all of our names year after year! And respected him so much for the honorable service he gave to our country. He was truly and inspiration.

Peace be with you all,

Brian McGlade (Taft, Class of 1985), and Christine Masaracchia-McGlade (Taft, Class of 1983)