A True Inspiration: James Yutaka Suzuki, 1936-2014

Written by David Suzuki, president of Bio-Therapeutic, Inc.

James Yutaka Suzuki was born on May 19, 1936, in Seattle, Washington, to Tohachi and Mikayo Suzuki. He was the fourth of seven children. He spent much of his early childhood in the Japanese interment camp Minidoka, where Japanese Americans located on the West Coast were imprisoned during World War II. When his family was released from camp in late 1945, they returned to their home and family business in downtown Seattle, The Brewster Apartment building. There, Suzuki learned and mastered the craft of carpentry, plumbing, and electrical from his father, Tohachi.


Suzuki was an athlete from an early age. He was strong, agile, fast, and smart. He exceled at many sports, but his passion was football. He lettered in track and football at Queen Anne High School and was a driving force to the undefeated record and city championship that the Queen Anne Football Club achieved in 1954. Suzuki graduated with the highest academic honors, was the the senior class president, all-city sprinter in track, all-city and all-state half back and captain of the varsity football team. Likely his biggest honor was being selected for the National Japanese All American Football team. His athleticism and intelligence led him to the University of Washington in 1955 where he pursued electrical engineering and played football for the University of Washington Huskies.top
In 1958 he married the love of his life, Patricia Spain. Together they had three children, Christine, Jimmy Jr., and David.
Suzuki enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1959, after graduating with honors from the University of Washington as an electrical engineer. He spent the early part of his Air Force career as a navigator, and showed great potential in the missile programs. He was assigned to the 4751st Air Defense Missile Squadron as a missile officer, and was later assigned to work with Boeing on the Minute Man Missile. As a 1st Lt., he was decorated with the “Guided Missile Award” in 1960. After the Air Force, he continued with Boeing in the military division – and in the early 1970s, he spearheaded the development of the cruise missile, AGM 86. He spent the remainder of his Boeing career perfecting the cruise missile as the chief trouble shooter for all operational cruise missiles in the United States. The AGM 86 is still used today.middle
Suzuki was an avid enthusiast of any type of automobile that moved fast. Of his favorites were his 1957 convertible Corvette that he drove in college, and his 2001 Corvette Mallet boasting 700 horse power that he had until his passing. He said that one of the proudest moments of his life was when he was able to buy his father, Tohachi, his first Cadillac. This was something that Tohachi had dreamed about for years.
Suzuki was the true definition of an entrepreneur. In 1974, he founded Bio-Therapeutic as a research and development company specializing in designing and manufacturing technology for wellness and preventative aging. With his vast knowledge of electrical engineering and the electrical function of the human body, he was able to create the first computerized, low-level microcurrent device. He later went on to achieve multiple worldwide patents and four independent medical device 510K approvals focusing on pain control. Bio-Therapeutic has now become a worldwide company with distribution in 25 different countries.
Suzuki spent his retirement in his home in Seattle, cherishing time with his children and grandchildren, Ava, Kaitlyn, Kenji, Niko, and Sierra. He fully-embraced being a grandfather and loved every minute of every visit and sports event that he was able to attend for them.
Suzuki was a brilliant man with an incredible story. His optimism, generosity, and positive outlook on life was a breath of fresh air and an inspiration to all who knew him. He was a true patriot and fought every battle to the fullest. He will be missed by many, and we now celebrate his life and those who he inspired to be extraordinary.

Words from his children: “You inspired the world around you with your brilliance, generosity, fortitude, and persistence. You inspired us, your children, to never give up and always find the way forward – it exists.”

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