Ikuta Sensei Enters the Pureland
Sensei Susumu Kyojo Ikuta passed away peacefully on April 24, 2014.
Susumu or "Sus" was born on November 23, 1926 in Kyoto, Japan as the eldest son to Rev. Shinjo and Mrs. Mino Ikuta. Susumu moved to Canada with his family in 1937 and during WWII the family was relocated to Raymond, Alberta where Sus graduated from the Raymond High School in 1948.
In 1953, Sus graduated from University of Toronto with MA in philosophy. In 1954, he returned to Japan to begin his life passion of Buddhist Studies. It is also during this time that he met Teruko Yamasaki. The couple married on March 23, 1957 and for 60 years they shared the same passions and were devoted to each other, their family, the Dharma and the Sangha.
Following his graduation in 1958 with a M.A. in Buddhist Studies from Ryukoku University, Sus and Terrie returned to Canada where he began over 50 years of services as a Jodo Shinshu Buddhist minister for the Buddhist Churches of Canada.
From 1998 to 2002, he served as Bishop of the Buddhist Churches of Canada. In 1972, the family moved to Calgary where Sus began his longest posting as a resident minister. The sangha was still very much in the fledgling stage without a permanent home. In 1981, the founding members and Sus fulfilled their dream by raising funds to purchase the Croatian Catholic Church on 6 Street N. E. to establish the Calgary Buddhist Temple.
The Edo Japan franchise was started to help sustain the Temple. Sus worked full-time, both as the president of Edo Japan International and as the resident minister for the Temple. Over the years, the Temple has established itself within the rich multi-faith mosaic of the city of Calgary. Most recently Sus was excited about the restoration plans for the Temple and encouraged everyone to support their efforts. Sus led a wonderful life of 87 years passing away quietly surrounded by his family.
He leaves behind wife, Teruko, daughter Mari Cameron (Huston), sons Lester Ikuta (Mickey), Roland Ikuta (Brenda), son Grant Ikuta (Noriko), and grandchildren, Eric, Sean, Kyle, Nathan, Arthur, Maya, Charlotte, Dylan, Clayton, Courtney and Erin. Sus is also survived by siblings, brother Makoto Ikuta, sister Kyoko Oda (Rev. Harold Oda), sister Noriko Sugimoto, brother Kuni Ikuta (June) and numerous nephews, nieces and their families.
The journey of life was truly wonderful for Sus, and he often mentioned in his latter days how grateful he was to all for their friendship and support. The family would also like to express deep appreciation for the overwhelming support they have received during this time of sadness.
In Gassho, Namo Amida Butsu.
A private family cremation service was held. A Public Memorial Service was be held at the Buddhist Temple of Southern Alberta in Lethbridge, on Friday, May 2, 2014.
OBITUARY COURTESY CALGARY HERALD
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