Masakazu Yamada, known to everyone as "Mac" was born January 2,1925 at his parents' home in Kitsilano. Active in sports, he was a skilled soccer and baseball player, particularly the latter. In later years he played tennis and golf, giving up tennis in his mid-seventies only because his back wouldn't let him continue.
In his early teens, he became an apprentice shipwright at Union Boatyards in Coal Harbour, a career that ended suddenly with the Internment. He was not to return to the West Coast until the mid-1980s. Because he had good carpentry skills, he went early to the Slocan Valley to build housing in the Internment camps, and when that was complete worked at Donald in a lumber camp, (where, he was proud to announce, he built a proper bathhouse with David Suzuki's grandfather). In 1943 he was sent East, at first working in a pulp logging operation northeast of Thunder Bay. In the spring he moved to Montreal.
In Montreal he quickly demonstrated his carpentry skills, working first for others and then starting his own construction firm, which he operated until the mid-1980s. Many of the finer houses in Town of Mount Royal and Westmount benefited from his skills as a builder. Of course he built his own house on St. Urbain (aided by his brothers and close friends, and by his wife Kimi) and the family cabin at Lac Duhamel in St. Jovite.
He and Kimi met in the Slocan, the beginning of a devoted relationship that lasted over 77 years, including more than 70 years of marriage. Moving to Davis Bay in the fall of 1990, he and Kimi took on yet another renovation, making a large number of changes and improvements to their home. Even at the age of 87 he was tearing up carpet and installing hardwood flooring. The joints in the baseboard moulding were just as tight as he had ever made.
Once established in Davis Bay, he and Kimi became very involved in the Sechelt Golf & Country Club, both financially and with their time. They spent many happy hours there, developing friendships that last to this day. He also continued to play tennis, playing at the Wakefield bubble.
It is hard to imagine anyone not liking Mac. He was engaging, cared deeply about other people, and was concerned with their welfare perhaps to a fault. Generous with his time, he was always willing to help others. There are many in Montreal and on the Sunshine Coast who benefited from his generosity.
Mac is survived by his wife Kimiye, children Glenn, Judy, and Carol (Cam), grandson Daniel (Andi) and great-granddaughter Rin, and by his brother Harry (Margaret) as well as numerous nephews and nieces and in-laws in the Yamada and Toyota families. Predeceased by brother Hideo and sisters Namiko, Kazuko, and Akiko.
Special thanks go to Dr. James M. Hunter, Dr. John Hourigan, and Dave Moe for their continuing care.
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