Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsHealth

Week in Review : MAJOR EVENTS, IMAGES AND PEOPLE IN ORANGE COUNTY NEWS : MISCELLANY/ NEWSMAKERS AND MILESTONES

July 06, 1986|Times Staff Writer Maria L. LaGanga compiled the Week in Review stories

For 35 years as Anaheim evolved from a farming community to a tourist mecca, Masao Fujishige tried to protect his way of life.

As the tall hotels and motels and restaurants grew around his family's 58-acre strawberry field only five blocks south of Disneyland, Fujishige borrowed to pay rising taxes and tried to fend off other pressures to sell.

"It's a rough world out there, and you have to hang tough," he said during last year's harvest.

Last week, Fujishige gave up the fight. Faced with worries about his health and a new City Council decision to condemn part of his farm to make way for a $200-million hotel-office-

condominium development, Fujishige went home last Wednesday evening and killed himself with a shotgun.

He left no note of explanation, but his wife, Carolyn, said he was "very despondent" over the condemnation battle with the city. "He's a person who worked all his life--very strong," she said. ". . . You have to work hard to hold onto it (the land)."

On June 3, when the condemnation came up for a final vote, Fujishige's daughter Beth told the council why the family refused to sell their property. "It's our livelihood," Beth Fujishige told council members. "My family have been farmers all their lives."

The council, however, sided with the developers of the proposed project.

"It's just absolutely shocking and regrettable," Councilman E. Llewellyn Overholt said, reacting to the news of Fujishige's death.

Fujishige's wife said his unhappiness over the condemnation was combined with concerns about his health. Fujishige suffered a stroke about three years ago, and health problems occasionally flared, she said.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|