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Born: May 06, 1928

Date of Passing: Feb 19, 2021

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Beloved father, cherished grandfather and loving husband; Tsutomu Tom Miyata passed away on Friday, February 19, 2021 after suffering a fall in his home of 64 years.
Left behind in gratitude and thanksgiving is wife Haruko; daughters, Tannis (Mark) and Christine (Robert); grandchildren, David, Colin and Dominic Miyata; Maxwell, Miya and Jack Steiman as well as great-grandson Quinn Miyata-Ji. Waiting in paradise for him is is son Robert, mother Marion Shigeta and many friends and family.
Dad was born in Vancouver, BC on May 6, 1928. After the bombing of Pearl Harbour, Canadians of Japanese ethnicity were wrongly labelled "enemy aliens". Their property was confiscated, and they were incarcerated in internment camps in the British Columbia interior.
From 1943 to 1945, my father lived in camps in Sandon, Roseberry, BayFarm and Slocan, separated from his mother and sisters. These years would shape my father for the rest of his life. Always, ingratiating and kind, Dad's motto was: "Never complain, never explain". Also: "The nail that sticks out gets pounded first". Despite his war-time experiences, my father's positive spirit allowed him to find beauty and joy in his surroundings. He always said the Kootenay Valley and the nearby mountains were so beautiful.
After the war, my father and his family moved to Winnipeg. Dad sacrificed his own formal education to support his family. He was the most intelligent uneducated man that I know. He had a very strong work ethic and was able to put himself through night school and obtain his refrigeration credentials. Dad worked at Ante's Foundry, Dominion Tanners and started his own small business called Crestwood Appliance. This led to many years working at the Hudson's Bay Company. Together with his wife by his side, he was able to provide an idyllic home for his children.
Tom met my mother, Haruko Matsubara at a gathering of young people. He told me that he would see her going to her job downtown and thought that she was quite beautiful. (She is). Mom and Dad were married for close to 65 years and provided us with a loving home one only dreams of. We went camping all over Canada. His love of the outdoors led to him building a cabin at Auglen Park near Lac du Bonnet. We had many wonderful summers there with our family and friends. My father's favourite past time was to farm the land and harvest fruit and vegetables. He also loved getting to the lake, getting on his riding mower and cutting the grass. The best part of his day was to sit down and enjoy a cold beer. Dad frequently raised his glass and said: "First one today". This became somewhat humorous in his later years when he became very forgetful.
Dad loved to travel and make connections with people of all ethnicities and religions. Mom and Dad were blessed to be able to travel the world with many family and friends including Mexico and Hawaii, with the Allan's and the Takada's, and Europe with the Kudos. Mom and Dad also went to Florida, Alaska, the Caribbean, and Japan.
Dad's years in the Kootenay's helped develop a zest for cross country and downhill skiing. Dad loved to ski at Windsor Park Golf Course and often skied without using poles! After retiring from the Bay, Dad joined the Silver Streakers downhill ski club run out of Springhill and loved skiing with his newfound friends. As he grew older, Dad enjoyed attending the High Steppers group at the community club.
My father had a beautiful life and was deeply loved. He was a strong, intelligent, and a kind man who taught me to be loyal and treat everyone with respect.
He was grateful for his life and took joy in living. I loved him and will love him all the days of my life.

Goodbye Dad. Enjoy your beer.

Thank you to the neighbours, family and friends who provided so much love and support to Dad. A special thank you to Dr. Doan, Dr. Monica Dowhanik, Miyako Ogasawara and to my mother for her ever gentle and abiding love and care for Dad.
"Friends and relatives are encouraged to share in a photo-tribute, stories, and condolences for the family by visiting Tsutomu's memorial page at"

Cremation & Funeral Planning
204-295-5408 -

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Feb 27, 2021

Condolences & Memories (7 entries)

  • My condolences Tannis, Helen and the family. A large part of my childhood was spent at the Miyata’s house and it holds so many great memories for me. Tom was a such wonderful man. My thoughts are with all of you. - Posted by: Kathleen Moule-Thompson (Friend) on: Mar 28, 2021

  • Dear Helen, Tanis and Family: May all your fond memories sustain you through this very sad time. We were so saddened to read of Tom's passing. Over the years we had so much fun with Tom and Helen and the group of neighbours, times that they drove out to Brereton before they settled in the Lac du Bonnet area. We were the new ones on the street and they always included us in their social events and helped us meet the rest of the neighbours, and of course Tom was always around to help Ron with any appliance issues. He will be missed, We will do a toast to him with a wee dram of scotch. Sincerely, Joanne and Ron - Posted by: Joanne and Ron Gillan (Friends and Neighbours) on: Mar 08, 2021

  • My sincere condolences, Haruko, on the passing of Tom. I only met him a few times but remember his gentle smile and cooperative nature. May he Rest In Peace. - Posted by: Judy Kuffner (Friend) on: Mar 02, 2021

  • Dear Uncle Tom, You were a quiet hero to me. Your love and care to your family and sisters were always an inspiration to me. I am remembering a particular summer, perhaps 1962. Mom had just been released from hospital in Toronto following a life threatening illness. Without hesitation you invited her and us, out to Winnipeg for two blissful, relaxing weeks in the care of you and Haruko. You put us up in a cottage on Laclu, north of Kenora, with Haruko, and we spent two amazing weeks, swimming, buying 'Rockets' at the tuck shop...You'd visit on weekends and take us fishing and on boat rides. You introduced me to the wonders of the Lake Winnipeg basin fishery-sauger, goldeye, mooneye, always with extraordinary patience and wisdom. Tannis is so right when she speaks of your innate intelligence (Mom always said 'Tstomu is the smartest' of a very smart clan). You sacrificed your educational opportunities for your family, but still lived an impressive life of learning and contribution. I remember our CFL debates-Ploen vs Rote, Shatto vs Pitts, Thornton vs Rountree- you won most of them! One story that I'll never forget is the one in which you had to dump your Coleman stove into Lake Winnipeg when it threatened to burn a hole in your boat- your were out in the middle of nowhere, cooking your catch. But you somehow remembered where, and managed to retrieve the stove at a later date. These are stories that a kid never forgets, stories about an amazing man, that I always looked up to. I hope you, Rob and Dad are floating on a lake somewhere, in the sun, lines wet, swapping yarns.. With love and respect, Jim - Posted by: Jim Sugiyama (nephew) on: Mar 02, 2021

  • Our thoughts and prayers are with you Helen, Tannis and family. We often think of you and all the good times had in Auglen Park. Tom will always be remembered as the kind and gentle man he was. - Posted by: Luc and linda (Friends) on: Feb 27, 2021

  • My earliest childhood memories are of Uncle Tom taking my brothers and me to Garbage Hill to play, when we’d visit bachan and jichan at the pink house. He said we had to be careful of the moles, which then became my “monster” since I didn’t know what a mole was. Uncle Tom and Auntie Haruko had an integral part in taking care of our family after we arrived from Japan. With my dad being in the hospital for a few months, they drove us everywhere in their baby blue Buick. Special drives were to the hospital in Ninette to visit dad then a stop at the A&W Drive-In by Polo Park. As an adult, Uncle Tom was always respectful and took interest in what I was doing. He taught me a lot of Winnipeg of the 50’s and 60’s, even as recent as last year, he told me about the foundry which I drove by so often. Couple bottles Uncle Tom’s homemade wine still sits in my wine rack. He always offered a beer no matter the time of day. If I kindly refused, out came the Scotch! Uncle Tom was generous, gracious and humorous. Never sappy, always “a matter of fact”. I’ll remember him and miss him with much love and gratitude, as my “movie star” uncle. I know you’re happy to be with your son, Robert, once again. I love you and miss you. RIP❤️ - Posted by: Joy (Niece) on: Feb 27, 2021

  • I met Tom when he joined the Highsteppers Seniors Club. He had the most beautiful smile and such a calm and peaceful way about him. I enjoyed talking to him while we played cards or did crafts. Sometimes we'd even go on little walks in the building. Whenever it was coffee time and we would ask him what he wanted to have he would often say, "I'll have a beer please." This always got us laughing. I would tell him, that I would give him one if I could, but we weren't allowed alcohol. I know Tom will be missed as it was so nice to have him around. My condolences to the whole family. - Posted by: Liz Chammartin (Friend) on: Feb 27, 2021

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