June 26, 1927 – June 26, 2021 Wataru “Walt” Namba passed away peacefully on his 94th birthday with his family by his side. Wataru was born in Acampo, CA on June 26, 1927. At the age of 7, he traveled to Hiroshima, Japan, where he was raised by his grandparents for the remainder of his youth.
Wataru was in high school, 2 km away from ground zero, when the atomic bomb detonated over Hiroshima. He suffered radiation sickness for many months but survived and went on to complete college in Hokkaido, where he studied engineering and met his future wife, Reiko. His experience has been chronicled in books, documentary films, and news articles.Upon returning to the U.S., Wataru served in the 1st Cavalry Division of the US Army during the Korean War.
He married Reiko and settled down in Los Angeles where he worked as an aerospace engineer. He was proud of his work on the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle programs. Wataru loved travel, gardening and painting, but his passion was judo.
As a 7th degree black belt, he was both a sensei and inspirational mentor to many generations.Wataru is survived by: wife, Reiko; son, Robert (Stephanie); daughter, Anne (Mark); preceded in death by son Ted (Michele); grandchildren, Lauren, Chris, Bryan, Jared, Alex, Grant, Wesley, and Andrew. He is also survived by his brother George and sister Viola.Funeral services will be held on Sunday, August 22, 2021, 10:00 am at Fukui Mortuary, 707 E. Temple St., Los Angeles, CA 90012.