Chapter History

George Yamaguchi

ASHRAESan JoaquinValleyChapter

President 1963 to 1964

George was born in August 1928 inCupertino,California.  One of eight children (3 brothers and 4 sisters) of parents that immigrated fromJapan.

 The Yamaguchi family farmed in Gilroy.

At the start of World War II, the family was moved to a war relocation camp inPoston,Arizona.  George states that this relocation was not bad as he got out of farming and had a lot of kids to play with.  After the war, the family moved toPasadenawhere George graduated from high school.

George pursued college on the GI Bill.  During a visit to Cal Polly SLO, George felt that a course in HVAC was something he would be interested in and could complete.  Norman Sharp was HVAC professor.

After two years of school, his studies were interrupted for a one year service in the Korean War.  After the war, he completed his studies in 1954.

Through George McMahon, Dick Baird of Baird Sheet Metal recruited George in his senior year.  George moved toFresnoand worked for Baird Sheet Metal for five years.

George then went to work for Howell Air Conditioning.  In 1959, Jack Howell died in an airplane crash.  George and Jack’s brother Harry bought out Jack’s widow and the two co-owned Howell Air Conditioning until 1989 when it closed its doors.

Howell Air Conditioning did residential air conditioning work for Hallmark Homes, Bonnadelle Homes and small to medium commercial projects.  One commercial project was the Fresno County Employees Credit Union atFresnoandBarstow.  The mechanical engineer was John Frank Mitchell.  Frank gave George the usual grief during the project.

After retirement from Howell, Bill Switzer (Environmental Aire) offered George a 3 year position.  He stayed for 9 years.

George met Miya of Reedley at a coffee shop.  They were married in 1955.  George and Miya have 3 boys and 5 grandchildren.  George has a brother who is a dentist inFremont.  His brother has a daughter by the name of Kristi.  Yes, Kristi Yamaguchi of Olympic fame.

Since retirement in 1998, George enjoys time with his son’s families and grandchildren (ages 4-14).  George also has 13 rental properties that keep him out of the easy chair.

Great to talk with a Chapter President of 48 years ago and find life is still active at 84 years old.

Information obtained and written by Gilbert Nye, P.E., FASHRAE, SJVC ASHRAE Historian.