Frank Kawasaki

Born: November 1, 1939
Died: May 16, 2004

Frank Kawasaki was born in San Francisco, son of Ichiyo Keiko "Kawai" Kawasaki. His father was a Japanese diplomat and Frank traveled extensively as a youth. He attended grammar school in Japan and prepared for Yale at Azabu High School in Tokyo and Monrovia-Duarte, California, High School.

Frank was a member of Branford College and majored in political science. He rowed with the Varsity 150 pound crew.

After graduation Frank attended the University of Pennsylvania and received his Masters in Architecture in 1966. He worked for renowned architects Louis Kahn and I. M. Pei in Philadelphia and then started his own architectural firm. He was also a colleague of Kahn's on the faculty at Pennsylvania where he taught drawing for 30 years. Letters published in the University of Pennsylvania Alumni News after his death from students in his classes paid tribute to his "great Architecture 200 class; it was an exhilarating experience..." "The best people in the world [teaching architecture] were in Philadelphia then."

Frank was active with the Friends of the Japanese House and Garden which maintained Shofuso House in Philadelphia. He was responsible for restoration of the veranda.

After his retirement, Frank relocated to Belfast, Maine.

Classmate Bob Scheele recalls his "wonderful memories of the summer of 1959 which I spent with Frank and his family in Geneva, where his father was head of the Japanese delegation to the World Health Organization. I had taken him home with me on some school breaks during freshman year, and in return his folks invited me to come to Geneva for the summer. They tried to teach me three leisure class pastimes - tennis, bridge and golf - and failed at all three (more my failures than theirs, I am sure). Frank and I had a great time traveling around Switzerland and France. I was really saddened to hear of Frank's death."

Freshman roommate David Siphron recalls Frank as quiet, pleasant and unassuming. "He and Geoff Forgie arrived at Wright Hall before I did and took the bedroom which left me in the living room for the year. But he was always considerate when I was sleeping or studying, just the easiest guy to get along with."

Frank was predeceased by his mother and is survived by his wife of 23 years, Yasuyo, his father, who resides in Geneva, Switzerland, a sister, Kana Hirano of Japan and three nephews.

At Frank's request there was no memorial service. The family requested that donations be made in his memory to the County Health Care Hospice of Waldo County, Maine.