Alfred Eiichi “Al” Fujii passed away in his sleep on Thursday, October 13, 2022, at Lincolnwood Place. He was 95 years old. Al had been in at-home hospice care for about a month following a brief hospital stay.`
Al was born on November 24, 1926, in Portland, Oregon, to Fred Yonezo and Martha Masako, née Kurata, Fujii. He was the oldest of four: Robert “Rupert” (predeceased), Loretta Kaneko, and Raymond Fujii.
The Fujii family, along with about 120,000 others of Japanese and Japanese-American descent, were interned in Minidoka, Idaho, following the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 which set off World War II. There, Al met some lifelong friends and joined a Boy Scout troop. Following WWII, Al was drafted into the Army in 1946 and served in the U.S. Occupation Forces in Germany. He was honorably discharged in 1947.
Al moved to Chicago shortly after being discharged. Chicago became the home for many “Nisei” or second generation Japanese-Americans – those born in the States – following WWII. Al was roommates with three of his buddies also from Oregon. He soon met his wife-to-be, Louisa Egami, of Pasadena, California, Louisa having moved in with her sister and brother-in-law also following the War. Al and Louisa sang in the same church choir and married in 1950. Al and Louisa had two daughters, Eloise and Laurie, while living in Chicago. After they moved to Evanston, Bradford “Brad” was born in 1963. Louisa passed away in 2006, but Al continued to live in the family home until early 2015, when he moved to Lincolnwood Place, where he lived until his death.
Al learned technical and electrical skills in the Army. After moving to Chicago, he attended junior college while working as a draftsman specializing in mechanical systems such as plumbing and HVAC systems. He later became a mechanical “consulting” engineer and worked for Chicago firms S.R. Lewis, A.M. Kinney, and Teng & Associates. His pet projects of which he was most proud were for Honeybaked Ham and the “people mover” system at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Al was a devoted family man outside of work. He liked to stay in shape and did his own yard work and home maintenance. Al was a proud member of American Legion Post 1183, where he served for a time as Post Historian, and Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church (which was essentially the same church where he and Louisa met).
In addition to his children, Eloise Fujii (David) Mateling, Laurie Fujii (Marcello) Falcone, and Brad (Joan) Fujii, Al is also survived by seven grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and many nephews and nieces in California and Japan.
Visitation, Thursday, October 20, 2022, from 12 noon until time of Funeral Service, 3 p.m., at HABEN Funeral Home & Crematory, 8057 Niles Center Rd., Skokie.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to American Legion Post 1183, c/o JASC, 4427 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60640.
or Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church, 4511 N. Hermitage Ave., Chicago, IL, 60640.
Funeral info: 847.673.6111 or habenfuneral.com to sign guestbook and to leave a condolence message.
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