PIP Fukushima Passes Away In California
With deep regret we inform you that Kay K. Fukushima, Past International President (2002-2003) passed away on Friday, November 30, 2012 after a long but heroic struggle with illness. A native of Sacramento, California, USA, he was elected to serve as president of The International Association of Lions Clubs at the association’s 85th International Convention in Osaka, Japan, July 8-12, 2002.
Upon graduation from high school, the late Past President Fukushima enrolled at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) studying electronics but was eventually drafted into the US Army. His assignments led him to Redstone battery, a booster rocket for manned space flights at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. As a result, he soon found himself at Cape Canaveral, Florida, observing pioneering sub-orbital flights. Following his discharge, he enrolled at the University of California in Sacramento, where he changed his major to marketing, graduated in 1965 and entered the insurance profession. He eventually started an insurance agency and grew his business into 16 successful branch offices.
In 1965 the late Past President was introduced to a member of the Sacramento (Senator) Lions Club, became a member and over time went on to transform the Club into a leading volunteer organization in the community. He introduced and implemented many new ideas and projects, including financial support of the Sacramento Zoo; rebuilding of the Fairytale Town Japanese Tea Garden; benefit movie fundraisers; raft trips for the blind; language and cultural book projects; sponsorship of youth basketball; student speaker contests; recycling and nursing care programs; and a construction project to build a special crosswalk for the visually impaired in downtown Sacramento. His influence and service were worldwide.
The late Past President Fukushima has held many positions within the association, including club president, zone chairperson, deputy district governor, district governor in 1978-79, vice chairperson of MD 4 (California and Nevada, USA) and served as an international director on the association’s board of directors from 1986-88. He was a member of the USA/Canada Lions Leadership Forum Planning Committee from 1988-91, honorary chairperson in 2002 and is the author of the forum operational manual. He also served as a District Governors-elect school group leader from 1994-99 and as a member of the original Leadership Institute Faculty from 1994-97, the first three years of the institute. Additionally, he served as general convention chairperson in 1988, Denver, Colorado. He also was an original member of the North American Membership Committee.
For his service to the association the late Past President Fukushima received numerous awards including life membership, the 100% Club President Award, the 100% District Governor Award, several Extension Awards, and Lion of the Year awards, Master Key Award, several International President Leadership Medals, and Presidential Certificates of Appreciation, 11 Presidential Medals and the Ambassador of Good Will Award, the highest honor the association bestows upon its members. He was also a progressive Helen Keller Fellow and a Progressive Melvin Jones Fellow.
The late Past President Fukushima and his spouse Denise married for 47 years will be greatly missed by her, son, Keith, daughter, Cory, four lovely grandchildren, many friends, and by fellow Lions the world over. His personal philosophy was to think outside of the box for new and innovative ideas; have the courage of one’s convictions; have compassion and sensitivity and be true to your beliefs; never lose credibility or compromise integrity; be true to your friends; be humble; uplift people; lead by example; always ask questions; do the right thing; never stop learning and always strive for excellence. He was a great Lion leader who will be greatly missed.
Please remember the family in your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.
Lions Clubs International and International President
Wayne A. Madden