AMerican Veteran 11
Official Obituary of

Sadao James Hilario

March 22, 1947 ~ March 8, 2024 (age 76) 76 Years Old
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Sadao Hilario Obituary

Sadao James Hilario, 76, a Veteran of Vietnam, and longtime resident of Enumclaw, WA, passed away March 8, 2024, after a brave struggle with Hodgkins Lymphoma and EBV-associated DLBCL from Agent Orange at the Seattle VA Puget Sound Medical Center with his wife by his side, he showed remarkable strength and courage throughout. Sadao, or Jim as he was known to many, was born on March 22, 1947, in Sanjo-Machi, Niigata Prefecture, Japan. He arrived in San Francisco, California at age 8, where his family lived until they moved to Lakewood, WA. He was preceded in death by his oldest son, Micah Joseph Holz Hilario, Vancouver, WA, whom he loved and missed dearly; his mother, Kumiko Sato Hilario and his adoptive father, Marcelo Tabian Hilario, Lakewood, WA. He leaves behind his wife of 46 years; Ann Marie Holz Hilario, his steadfast companion in life’s journey, married in Seattle, WA; his sons, whom he was very proud of, Justin Sadao (Karen) Hilario, Homer, AK, and Kevin Sato Hilario, Brooklyn, NY; his adoring grandchildren, Charley Edgar Hilario and Elsa Irene Hilario, Vancouver, WA.

Sadao attended Lakes High School in Lakewood, WA before enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1966 at age 19. He served in Chu Lai, Vietnam with the 132nd Assault Support Helicopter Company (ASHC) with the 1st Aviation Brigade, Americal (23rd Infantry) Division as a Flight Engineer on the Chinook CH47. He also trained as a Crew Chief on the Huey. He was a very proud Veteran, who chose to serve in the U.S. Army until his honorable discharge in 1969 as a Specialist 6th Class at Ft. Lewis, WA. Sadao became a Naturalized U.S. Citizen in 1975, in Tacoma, WA. He attended Tacoma Community College and the University of Washington for Civil Engineering.

Sadao has extensive experience in commercial construction. He has worked on various projects, including the construction of the Seattle NOAA Western Regional Center located at Sand Point Way on Lake Washington. Additionally, he was responsible for managing the installation of six outdoor public artworks by five nationally renowned artists along the shoreline and near the NOAA buildings in Magnuson Park.

Sadao worked as a Construction Representative for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for 32 years. During this time, he was involved in various projects, at the West Seattle Bridge, Mud Mountain Dam, Ft. Lewis / McChord Air Base, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Howard Hanson Dam. He also had the opportunity to move his family to Okinawa, Japan, where they spent eight wonderful years, while he constructed several military facilities. He retired in 2012.

Sadao was a kind and gentle man who will always be remembered for his many talents, interests, and witty one-liners. He was someone who loved the outdoors and enjoyed living life to the fullest. Unsurprisingly, he became a ski instructor at Hyak Ski Resort in Washington, worked at an Eastern Washington apple orchard during his college summer break (which also involved fighting forest fires), and became a Scout Master for his sons' Cub & Boy Scout Troops. He loved playing golf, camping (one encounter with a bear at Yosemite Park), snowshoeing, hiking, running, bicycling, razor clam digging, and fishing. Sadao was also passionate about traveling and had been to many parts of the world. Cooking was one of his other passions, and he was a skilled chef who loved to BBQ, make soup, and enjoy a good meal with a glass of wine. As a loyal Seattle Seahawk fan (he played football in high school) and a Seattle Mariner fan (he coached his sons’ baseball teams), he loved watching and cheering them on. In his free time, he enjoyed spending time with his extended family, playing games and solving puzzles, gardening, tutoring math to high school students, ink drawing and watercolor painting, photography, listening to music, and watching old TV shows and movies.

His perfect day was sitting on the deck with his wife, next to his Japanese Maple drinking a Cappuccino and working on his Solitaire, with Sinatra playing in the background.

The family would like to express their gratitude to the nurses, doctors, and staff of the 2West Unit and MICU at the Seattle VA Puget Sound Medical Center for their unwavering professional and compassionate care for Sadao.

A memorial service will be held on May 23, 2024, at 2:00pm to honor Sadao’s life and military service at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, where he will be buried.

The family requests any donations be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; or the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund

They further request that you make a toast “Kanpai” in his honor. Sadao was a remarkable man who left behind a legacy of kindness, talent, and humor.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Sadao James Hilario, please visit our floral store.

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Military Honors
May 23, 2024

2:00 PM
Tahoma National Cemetery
18600 240th St
Kent, WA 98042
Guaranteed delivery before the Military Honors begins


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