On Tuesday, January 19, 2010 in the early afternoon, I stepped outside my office and went to the restroom. When I walked out I saw paramedics pushing someone in a stretcher. Immediately I felt worried. Later that evening I found out Jon Kobayashi was the one in the stretcher. He had suffered aneurism. I was shocked and saddened. I met Jon through Rep. Bob Nakasone in 2003. He was such a nice person. I always enjoyed talking to him. In 2006, when my grandma Bessie Karamatsu was in Queen’s hospital, every evening I would walk to the hospital and then return to the capitol visiting Rep. Nakasone and the gang at Nakasone’s office. Jon and I were outside on the balcony. He knew my grandma’s health was failing and I was hurting inside. He told me the most comforting words a person could say and hugged me. I tried to hold back my sadness and I could see the sincerity in Jon as he looked emotional as well. Earlier this month, I bumped into him at the capitol. I told him, “We gotta hang out sometime.” He smiled and agreed. That was the last time I talked to him. Jon had such a good heart, so sincere and caring. It is hard to believe he is gone.
Representative Jon Riki Karamatsu