Ryozo Glenn Kumekawa


Ryozo Glenn Kumekawa passed away on April 16, 2018.

He was born in Yokohama, Japan and moved to San Francisco, California soon after. With the declaration of WWII, he was forcibly relocated to the Topaz Japanese-American Internment camp in the desert of Utah where he spent his high school years. After the war, and with the help of the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council (NJASRC), he attended Bates College in Maine and continued his post-graduate studies in city planning at Brown University. Glenn was a pioneer in municipal planning. He served as the Director of City Planning for the City of Warwick, R.I from 1958-1972.

He was appointed as the Executive Assistant for Policy and Program Review for Governor Philip Noel of Rhode Island from 1973-1977. From 1977-1979 he was the Executive Director of the Coalition of Northeastern Governors (CONEG) Policy Research Center. From 1980 to his retirement in 1998, Glenn directed the University of Rhode Island Intergovernmental Policy Analysis Program (IPAP) and served as the Chair for the URI Graduate Program in Community Planning. Glenn’s 40-year commitment to public service in the field of planning has been acknowledged in many professional awards; in 1996 he was given the distinguished leadership award by the RI Chapter of the American Planning Association and in 2001 he was elected a Fellow in the American Institute of Certified Planners.

The internment experience in Utah instilled a deep sense of social responsibility in Glenn.He was part of a group that helped resettle 12,000 Southeast Asians in Rhode Island. Over the past three decades Glenn devoted his attention to serving the Nisei Student Relocation Commemorative Fund, created to repay the generosity of the NJASRC and lend a helping hand to the underserved Southeast Asian community – he was a Board member, President, and Chair of a Scholarship Awards Committee.

He is survived by his wife Yoshiko Kumekawa, and his children: Joanne, Richard, and Kenneth Kumekawa - as well as numerous nieces and nephews in both the United States and Japan.

The memorial service will be held on June 2nd 11 a.m. at Kingston Congregational Church, 2610 Kingstown Rd, Kingston, RI 02881. Additional parking will be available at the Briar Lane Lot at URI without the need for a visitor’s pass. ( https://web.uri.edu/visit/files/URI-KingstonCampusMap-Web-FINAL.pdf ).

Memorial contributions may be made to the Ryozo Glenn Kumekawa Scholarship at the Nisei Student Relocation Commemorative Fund 19 Scenic Drive, Portland CT 06480 (http://www.nsrcfund.org/).


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