Promoted to Glory
Brigadier June Natsu Imai was promoted to Glory on her 95th birthday, June 28, 2002.
Natsu Suzuki was born in Fukushima-ken, Japan in 1907, and was educated there before emigrating from Japan to Hawaii. She entered training in San Francisco and was commissioned in 1927 with the Fidelity Session.
Natsu was appointed to Honolulu, where she met and later married then Captain Masahide Imai in 1928. Their two oldest sons, James and Samuel, were born during their time in Hawaii. Later appointed to Fresno, Calif., they welcomed four more children, Nabuo, Lily, Jane and David.
During WWII, the Imais, along with other Japanese living in the U.S., were moved into relocation camps. They first entered a temporary camp in Fresno, later moving to camps in Jerome, Arkansas and Heart Mountain, Wyoming. As Army officers, Majors Imai continued to live out their Christian commitment during this time by ministering to others in the camps.
After the war, the family returned to Fresno. In 1953 they were again appointed to Hawaii, where they attained the rank of Brigadier and served until their retirement in December 1964. After retiring, they moved to Calif. to be near their children and grandchildren.
June Natsu Imai was proud that she had studied and received her U.S. citizenship, and she took her American first name of “June” at that time.
Survivors include six children: James K. Imai, Samuel H. Imai, Nobuo M. Imai, S. Lily Moore, M. Jane Tanikawa, and Y. David Imai; 15 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren and one great great-grandson. Her husband, Brigadier Masahide Imai, was promoted to Glory in 1989.
Condolences may be sent c/o Mr. James K. Imai, 1335 Spoonbill Way, Sunnyvale, CA 94087.
Robert Frank Wilmer, 74, was promoted to Glory on June 13, 2002 from his home in Vancouver, WA. He had received home hospice care for the past 2 1/2 years, suffering from lymphoma, which had metastasized, throughout his body.
An avid S/A bandsman (G trombone), Bob had played with Army bands in San Francisco, Portland, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, Phoenix, and served as bandmaster and organist for the Vancouver Corps.
Following his Honorable Discharge from the navy, he continued with his career in computers, working first for Ramo-Woolridge, then TRW and The General Electric Co. His last project in So. Calif. was designing and installing the West Coast Intertie (a system of connecting all the power on the West Coast, so it could be sent either north or south as need dictated). His next big project was to install the computer control for the Alaska Pipe Line. Following retirement from GE, he worked for the next 10 years for the Portland ARC installing their first computerized system, as well as the Vancouver Corps.
He leaves his wife of 52 years, Roberta (Bobbi) Wilmer, son Tim and his wife Brenda, grandsons Jonathon and Daniel and granddaughter Chantel.
His grandparents were Salvation Army missionary officers serving in Africa; his parents, Colonels Frank and Audrey Wilmer served most of their career in the Western Territory.
Messages of sympathy may be sent to Roberta Wilmer, 7402 NW 10th Ave., Vancouver, WA 98665.
Alfred T. Lee, third generation Salvationist, was promoted to Glory on May 31, 2002 at the age of 85. Al was a member of the Los Angeles Congress Hall Jr. Band from the age of eight and played over 30 years in the senior band, 15 of those years as the principle solo cornet.
While at Congress Hall, Al met his future bride, Captain Josie Conor, and they were married in 1940. Al retired from the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1977. In retirement, he continued his hobby of being an amateur radio operator and played his cornet for the Victor Valley Corps.
He was laid to rest in Ontario, Calif. with Lt. Colonel Jim Sullivan conducting the ceremony. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Josie Lee, his son Charles and daughter Linda Seader, sister Eva Walker, brother Bert Lee, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Messages of condolences may be sent to Josie Lee, 11124 Saratoga Rd., Apple Valley, CA 92308.