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Born in Hidalgo, Mr. Shimotsu was the last surviving member of the six children of Uichi and Takako Shimotsu. He was born into a farming family and was involved in farming his entire life.
He served his country from 1945-46 in WWII in the U.S. Army infantry in Germany. When he returned to the Rio Grande Valley, he purchased 72 acres of farmland and increased his holdings to 3,500 acres within a few years.
He began his tenture as CEO and general manager of Sharyland Plantation and Plantation Produce in 1973 and later expanded growing, packing and shipping operations to West Texas, New Mexico and Mexico.
Mr. Shimotsu served on various agriculture committees, receiving numerous awards. He was a long-term board member of the Water Control and Improvement District #19, was named national Cotton Farmer of the Year in 193 and became a member of the Texas International Produce Association Hall of Fame in 1992.
He and his wife, Machi, stressed the importance of education, and the Sharyland I.S.D. named an elementary school named after him in 2007.
He served his community and participated in the gleaning of the fields after harvests for charitable organizations when he was employed at Sharyland Farms.
Survivors include his children, Grace, Gary, Karen and Ron Shimotsu and two grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Machiko H. Shimotsu; his parents; brothers, Kenneth, Calvin and Akio; and sisters, Amy Shimotsu and Dorothy Nagai.
A memorial service and burial will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, at 10 a.m. at Restlawn Memorial Park, 14166 Business 83 in La Feria. Arrangements are under the care of Buck Ashcraft Funeral Home in Harlingen.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of one’s choice or to the Sharyland ISD Education Foundation, Shimotsu Elementary, ATTN: Dr. Virginia Richter, Supt., 1106 N. Shary Road, Mission, TX 78572.
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.