Doctor's kindness, loyalty benefited 2 countries
With his body ravaged by the effects of Parkinson's disease, Dr. Isamu Sando couldn't keep his right arm raised on Dec. 20 while he was taking his oath of being sworn in as a naturalized citizen of the United States.
Dr. Sando lowered the arm, his daughter said, but immediately raised his left hand to ensure he could finish the oath.
“He was so proud,” his daughter, Mariko Sando, said. “He really wanted to make sure his hand was up.”
Dr. Isamu Sando of Upper St. Clair died on Saturday, April 12, 2014, in Asbury Heights assisted living facility in Mt. Lebanon of Parkinson's Disease. He was 85.
For nearly 25 years, Dr. Sando was a professor of otolaryngology, the study of ear, nose and throat conditions, and pathology in the University of Pittsburgh, and was the director of Elizabeth McCullough Knowles Otopathology Laboratory in the university's School of Medicine.
Dr. Sando moved from Japan to the United States in 1962, settling in Boston with his wife and daughter before moving his family to Denver to work for the University of Colorado.
By 1972, Sando and his family moved to Pittsburgh. Until his 2001 retirement, Dr. Sando mentored more than 40 research fellows from Japan. His daughter said that because of the language barrier many faced, Dr. Sando and his wife, Yoko, helped many of them settle in the Pittsburgh area.
“He loved helping everybody. That's why his fellows just loved him. They did whatever they could for him. They are loyal to him to this day,” Yoko Sando said.
In 2007, Dr. Sando was awarded the Japanese Order of the Sacred Treasures, including Gold Ray with Neck Ribbon, from the Emperor of Japan, honoring his work in otolaryngology.
For years, Dr. Sando wavered on whether to become a naturalized citizen, his daughter said.
“I think he was worried that he might have problems with connections he still had in Japan,” Sando said. Dr. Sando overcame those concerns and became a U.S. citizen less than four months before his death.
“He said he owed everything to the United States. He wanted to always buy American things. He believed that his success was in part to being in the United States,” Sando said.
In addition to his wife, Yoko, of Upper St. Clair; and daughter, Mariko Sando of Mt. Lebanon; Mr. Sando is survived by a sister, Kotoko Aoki, in Japan; two grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.
Arrangements were handled by John A. Freyvogel Sons Inc. funeral home in Shadyside. A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. May 19 in Heinz Chapel in the University of Pittsburgh in Oakland.
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Man charged with playing doctor for free Nemacolin stay
- Steelers cornerback Taylor ready to swap earpiece for helmet
- Davis becomes 1st African-American to be named vice chair of Allegheny County Democratic Committee
- Ehrhoff finding his way with Penguins
- Murrysville athlete runs obstacle course for charity — 7 times
- Penguins notebook: Bennett status remains fluid
- Nor’easter causing flight delays at Pittsburgh International
- DUI checkpoints take on dangerous drivers
- Steelers’ lookahead: New Orleans Saints
- Cancer didn’t stop mother from living for her son
- Lower gasoline prices fail to spur consumer spending