Services for Yasuhiro “Hiro” Takahashi, 75, husband of Charlotte Kennedy Takahashi and part-time resident of Hillsboro, will be at Tokyo Baptist Church.
Officiating will be the Rev. Ishihara of Swedish Reformed Church, Japan, a church that Hiro and his family served in many capacities. Hiro’s father had been a lay pastor.
Hiro passed away at 6:38 a.m. Japan time March 11, 2022, at his home in Tokyo.
He is survived by his wife, Charlotte; a brother, Kasuhiko; and a nephew, Nobuhisa Onoyama.
A memorial in Hillsboro will be announced at a later date. Ashes will be buried in both the US and Japan.
Hiro was born Nov. 28, 1946, in Iwate Prefecture, Japan. His family was relocated there during the war.
He attended a Christian junior and senior high school, founded on the philosophy of J. F. Oberlin, in Tokyo. He enjoyed basketball.
He entered Chuo University to study business and was a member of the English Speaking Society of Chuo University, winning second prize in the All-Japan University English Debate Tournament when he was a junior.
Hiro’s career started with Toshiba’s head office in Tokyo. After eight years at Toshiba, he came to the US to earn an M.B.A. from American Graduate School of International Management in Glendale, Arizona. It is today part of Arizona State University.
During a year and a half at graduate school, Hiro met Charlotte, who also was earning her M.B.A. They married in 1977 in Wichita, where Charlotte’s mother, Mildred Kennedy, lived.
Upon graduation in 1976, he changed his career to work in the pharmaceutical industry as Japan had just opened its pharmaceutical market for capital investment by foreign firms.
He stayed in the industry until he retired in 2014.
His initial success was the introduction of Tagamet, an ulcer medicine at Smith Kline & French Labs in Japan.
Hiro and Charlotte were relocated to Japan 1978 by SKF. His career advanced into executive positions and country manager at Centocor Inc., a part of Johnson & Johnson Co., and then board member at Abbott Laboratories Inc. in Japan.
He started a consulting firm in Tokyo in 2000 to help young biotechnology firms from the U.S. and Europe make technology deals with large Japanese pharmaceutical companies.
While he was in the pharmaceutical industry, he was elected for nine consecutive years as a board member for Japan’s pharmaceutical industry organization (Pharma Delegates), which has 150 international member firms.
Hiro and Charlotte shared interests in history and enjoyed friends, traveling (visiting more than 60 countries together), collecting antiques, reading, and supporting each other’s businesses.
Hiro had a passion for golf and kept his 16 handicap until recently.
Hiro especially enjoyed the Hillsboro golf course and the friends he made there. He also enjoyed experiencing Midwestern American culture in Hillsboro and invited several Japanese friends to experience Hillsboro.
During his initial treatment for acute myeloid leukemia in February 2021, Hiro published a book in Japanese on his experiences and travel in North and South America, including his experience of living four seasons in Hillsboro.
He always hoped to return to Hillsboro to say hello to his friends.
Yasuhiro will be dearly missed.
Memorials may be made in care of Jost Funeral Home, PO Box 266, Hillsboro KS 67063; online condolences at www.jostfuneralhome.com.