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Toki, Akira

Akira Toki

Memorial services are set for Saturday for Akira Toki, 96, a World War II veteran who has a Madison middle school named after him.

Toki died on June 29 at Willowcrest Care in South Milwaukee, according to an obituary that was posted Sunday on Madison.com.

The services will be at Cress Funeral Home, 3325 E. Washington Ave., at 10 a.m., with burial at Roselawn Memorial Park in Monona. Visitation for Toki will be at the funeral home from 9 a.m. Saturday until time of services.

Toki was born in Madison in 1916, son of Henry and Sueno Toki, who were the only Japanese family living in Madison at the time, according to a Wisconsin State Journal article in 2006.

Toki Middle School, 5606 Russett Road, is named in his honor for the many years of community service he did in Madison, including being a volunteer at the Veterans Hospital for years, as well as serving on the Madison Veterans Council.

The school was named in his honor in 1993; in the years since, Toki visited the school numerous times, telling the kids about his experiences, growing up as a minority in Madison, World War II, and the Great Depression.

In World War II, Toki was part of the all-Japanese 100th battalion, serving in the European theater of war. He was wounded twice in battle and was awarded the Purple Heart.

The school threw a 90th birthday party for Toki in 2006, with students and staff serenading him with "Happy Birthday."

Toki is survived by his wife Mary, three daughters, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

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