Dr. Yutaka Okinaka, award winning research chemist and longtime Madison resident, died peacefully on Thursday, November 7, 2019. He was 93
Dr. Okinaka was born on January 22, 1926 in Osaka, Japan to the late Tsuneyuki and Kiyono Okinaka. He married Masayo Okinaka (nee Kitahara) in 1949. The couple emigrated to the United States in 1963 and settled in Madison.
Dr. Okinaka received his doctorate from Tohoku University in Japan after graduate work at the University of Minnesota. He had a long career as an electrochemist at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, and later as a professor at Waseda University in Japan. Dr. Okinaka never fully retired, frequently travelling between the US and Japan for teaching and consulting work.
In his free time, Dr. Okinaka had a love of music. He played piano and liked to sing karaoke with his family and friends. He also enjoyed astronomy, golf, magic tricks and the game of Go.
In addition to his parents, Dr. Okinaka was predeceased by his younger brother Hiroshi Okinaka. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Masayo Okinaka of Madison; one son, Masato Okinaka and his wife, Laura of Morristown; one daughter, Naomi Heck and her husband, Albert of Camp Hill, PA; and 4 grandchildren, Allison, Nathan, Samuel and Alan.
Memorial services for Dr. Okinaka will be announced at a later date. Funeral services are under the direction of Madison Memorial Home.
In lieu of flowers, charitable contributions in Dr. Okinaka's memory can be made to Morristown Medical Center Inpatient Hospice and Palliative Care, 475 South Street, First Floor Morristown, NJ 07960 , or by using this link