Funeral Arrangements: Funeral services for Michael Okura will be at the Christs Church of the Valley (CCV) in San Dimas on January 28 at 10 a.m. A reception will follow at Christ First Baptist Church in Covina. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to the new Mike Okura scholarship fund for student-athletes.
Since legendary Michael Okura passed away last week after four decades of teaching and coaching at West Covina,
I have received numerous phone calls and emails sharing stories and telling what a wonderful human being he was. I’ve done this for a long time and when you get reaction like this, you know you’re dealing with someone who was very, very special and adored by many. Here are a few emails I received…..
I was one of his players back in the 70’s. Sad day. I know Coach O had a big influence in my life with his dedication and work ethic. He is one of the reasons I’m being inducted to the Washington State Football Coaches Hall of Fame this weekend. Thank you for the great Article. You did him well. — Coach Z Cashmere. Washington
Thank you for your brief snap shot of Our Friend, Coach, Teacher and Mentor, Mike Okura. There are not enough pages in your newspaper to express how many lives Mike Okura touched in his lifetime. Mike Okura, a leader of the young people who instilled the greatest of character and the highest level of integrity humanly possible in all of us. He insisted on discipline, yet offered a comforting smile, a laugh and a word of encouragement to help us handle life’s next challenge. God Bless Mike Okura, Thank You Coach a being positive influence in my life at such a young age. You are Loved and You will be dearly missed! A high school class mate said it best, “Ichiban Okura-san” — Larry Coyle WCHS ’69-’73
Mike has for quite a few years now has been teaching AP Literature. In that he had an integral role in the education. His teaching style was more than books and tests, he taught his students by example how to become great human beings and how to make a difference in the world. Some of these students have gone on to attend such prestigious schools as Yale, Berkley, Johns Hopkins, University of Chicago, Mt Holyoke, USC, UCLA and the list goes on and on. He had a profound effect on the leaders of tomorrow. Teacher Molly Allen
My family first came to know Mike and his family when Mike and my brother, Steven Fox, played Little League and Pony League together in the late 1950s. My dad, Moe Fox, Fred Allen, and Ed Shannon coached in the West Covina Little and Pony Leagues together. I remember Mike as being so serious about his game, always a good sport, and a smile that just melted you. I also remember how his mom, dad, and sister were always at the games, always with a smile, and also showing good sportsmanship, even when things didn’t go the team’s or Mike’s way. Sadly, my dad, Mr. Allen, and Mr Shannon have all gone onto that Baseball Heaven in the Sky, but my 93 yr old mom, Helen, and brother, Steve, will be at the funeral to honor Mike and all those wonderful memories. Linda Fox Adler
WCHS and Edgewood High student/graduate