Don and Sachi Arii
I (Don) started going to the Westside Church of Christ when I was born. My grandmother Shige Takemura, father (Hideo), mother (Virginia), and siblings (Catherine, Robert, and Kelvin) all attended the church. I would say that I remember going in 1957 when I was 4 years old. I can remember the old house sitting on the corner of 6th Ave and Jefferson. My first recollection is having Sunday school in this building. I attended the church until I got married and left the area to live in Diamond Bar.
I have very fond memories of the church which includes the great times in vacation bible school and the youth group program. I remember when I could not wait until I was in high school so that I could join the big kids in their activities.They did a lot of fun things from going Christmas caroling, to visiting hospitals, going to church camp, and bible studies.
Church camp was the best time with all the jokes that was played on people to the camp fires, cooking and cleaning, and of course worshiping together. It really brought many people to God and to each other. I have included my wife because she started going with me as a teenager to the youth group events and the church camps. Eventually she attended worship service and finally became a Christian. This was a difficult decision because she came from a Buddhist family.
I remember many of the ministers Bob and Ken especially come to mind. But the one minister that I still see from time to time is Michio Nagai. He has been a family friend and has been there for the Arii’s on many occasions. He performed mine and Sachi marriage ceremony in 1977 and most recently presided over my father’s funeral.
Over the years I have seen the church grow with 4 different generations attending at one time. Even though the doors of Westside will close the memories will live on in our hearts and minds. We would like to say thank you to Westside and everyone that has influenced our lives.
Don and Sachi Arii