Masao Watabe 1914 ~ 2005 OREM, UT. - Masao Watabe passed away peacefully on February 6th at his home in Orem, Utah. Masao was born on June 6, 1914 in Keikanzan, Manchuria, China, the second son of Senji Watabe and Kon Takano. He graduated from college in Harbin, China with a major in Russian. His fluency in Chinese, Russian and his native tongue, Japanese, helped him secure a post in the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On March 20, 1938 Masao married Hisako Watanabe. Masao's life changed dramatically after World War II when he met two LDS missionaries in Sendai, Japan. He was so inspired by the Joseph Smith story that he stayed up all night reading The Book of Mormon. In the gospel he found salvation not only for himself, but for all of his ancestors, his family and his friends who died in the War. He was the first person in Sendai to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served as a branch president there for several years. Later he was asked to become a full-time translator for the Church in English, a language he taught himself after he joined the Church. He served in various callings in the Church including branch president, district president, mission genealogy chairman and stake missionary. In 1972, he became the first patriarch in Asia when he was called to serve as patriarch for the Tokyo Stake. After he retired from his job as translator for the Church, he and his wife served several full-time missions including missions to the Hawaii Temple, the Tokyo Temple and the Taiwan Temple, where he served as the second counselor in the temple presidency. In 1990 Masao and Hisako moved permanently to Utah to be close to many of their children and grandchildren. While in Utah, Masao served as patriarch of the Asian branches at Brigham Young University where he gave patriarchal blessings to students in Chinese, Japanese and English. He was so grateful that he was able to give more than 1,700 patriarchal blessings during his tenure as patriarch. He also served as a sealer in the Hawaii Temple, the Tokyo temple and the Taiwan Temple, and as a temple worker in the Provo temple. He now rejoins his wife, Hisako, who passed away in 1996. They are survived by their four sons, Masahisa (Faith), Masaji (Claire), Masakazu (Rose) and Masasue (Junko), and two daughters, Seiko (Yoshiteru) Matsuura and Yasuko (Kazunori) Okano, 23 grandchildren, and 26 great-grandchildren. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2005, at 2:00 p.m. in the Canyon View Stake Center, 575 E. 800 N. Orem. A viewing will be held in the Walker Sanderson Funeral Home, 646 E. 800 N. Orem, from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, February 11, 2005, and from 1:00-1:45 p.m. prior to the services at the church. Interment, Orem City Cemetery.