Ben Hiroyuki Shimomura, age 101, passed peacefully on April 14, 2022, in Woodland, Calif. Ben was born on Dec. 4, 1920, in Sacramento, Calif. His parents were Itaro and Sawano Shimomura, emigrants from Wakayama, Japan. His parents managed the Bassett Ranch, located west of Winters, which produced apricots and almonds. In 1926, his sister Harumi was born. In his youth, Ben attended Apricot School, a rural one-room school near his home. He did chores on the ranch and helped with the harvest in the summer. He attended Winters High School where he played on the varsity baseball team. Ben made the honor roll and was elected secretary of his senior class. In 1939 he graduated and was pictured on the front cover of “The Poppy,” the high school yearbook.
After graduation, Ben took vocational training classes at the University of California farm at Davis. However, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Ben and his family were forcibly placed in an incarceration camp in Amache, Colo. along with others of Japanese ancestry during the Second World War. At Amache, Ben met Lois Morimoto from the Turlock area while both were working in the camp motor pool. They married in Denver, Colorado in 1945 at war’s end.
Ben and Lois returned to Winters, and after a few years, were able to lease and then buy the Bassett Ranch where Ben had grown up. Ben resumed raising apricots and almonds. They had four children: Sam Shimomura, Floyd Shimomura, Susan Shimizu and Linda Don. Ben loved to fish and was a big fan of the Giants and 49ers. He also loved to play “the slots.” But most of all, Ben enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Ben was predeceased by his wife Lois, his son Sam, and his infant grandson Matthew Don. Daughter-in-law Patricia Shimomura passed away shortly after Ben.
Ben is survived by his sister Harumi March; and three of his children: Floyd (Ruth) Shimomura, Susan (Grant) Shimizu, and Linda (Richard) Don; grandchildren: Mark (Jamie) Shimomura, Lisa Shimomura (Malcolm Quon), Brian (Alissa Nakaji) Shimomura, Tim Shimizu, Craig Shimizu, Stacy Don (Mike Maben) and Stephanie Don (Lukas Fend); and great grandchildren: Reina Shimomura, Ryan Shimomura, Ben Quon, Russell Quon, Peyton Maben, Cameron Maben, Julian Fend and Dylan Fend.
A private memorial service for family was held on May 21, 2022.