It’s with a heavy heart that Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) mourns the passing of Dean Matsubayashi, our Executive Director. After a lengthy battle with brain cancer, he succumbed to the disease on September 4 at the age of 49. Dean spent his career creating opportunities for all people to live in safe, affordable homes in thriving neighborhoods, supported by services based on their needs — creating positive change for people and places. Throughout his life, he was loved by many for his generosity, affable spirit, and undeniable passion for community.
Dean served as LTSC’s Executive Director for seven years. Before that, he led our Community Economic Development work for 14 years. Dean‘s contributions to and accomplishments at LTSC are immeasurable.
He built coalitions and partnerships across ethnic and geographic boundaries and achieved national recognition as a leader in the field for his efforts. He brought to fruition the community’s long-held dream to build the Terasaki Budokan – a multipurpose recreation center that will draw families and young people back to Little Tokyo.
Dean was a leader and a visionary, but most importantly, Dean was a friend. He made everyone feel welcomed, made everyone feel special and made everyone laugh. He was steadfast in his convictions, that we stand up against injustice and for those who are marginalized in our society.
The LTSC family will continue walking down the path Dean worked tirelessly to pave. We will keep him in our hearts, using him as our guide, knowing that every positive impact we have on others would make Dean proud.