Ken Saito passed away unexpectedly on December 20, 2021. He was 82 years old. Ken was born on September 10, 1939 in Los Angeles, and grew up in Long Beach. Ken was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers-in-law and grandson. He is survived by wife Christine Saito, sister Keiko Shibata, stepsons David (Mary) Russell, Steven (Candy) Russell, nephews Kyle (Marissa) Meininger, Mitchell (Cynthia) Shibata, nieces Aileen Shibata, and Katrina Shibata, three grandchildren, four great grandchildren, grandnephew and grandniece.
In his early adult years he worked in the produce department for Vons Markets. Much of his leisure time during those years was consumed playing poker in the local card rooms, and trips to Las Vegas with his friends.
After moving to Reno in 1980 Ken began a successful professional career at the poker tables. He continued this new calling - as a poker dealer, card room manager, and an occasional player at the Cal-Neva, Reno Hilton, Atlantis, Spark’s Nugget, Rail City, and Fernley Nugget until 2020, when Covid 19 closed all the poker rooms.
In 1983 Ken married Christi, a union that would continue for the rest of his life. When they weren’t working they went camping, fishing and skiing. Ken loved riding steam trains, cruising, and the Hawaiian islands.
Ken volunteered for The Great Reno Balloon Races for 15 years and for the US Department of Wildlife Lahontan Fish Hatchery for two years until a flood destroyed the fish raceways. He took the two oldest grandchildren, who lived in Reno, on trips to amusement parks, zoos, and aquariums. He was just getting to know the next generation of children.
His burial will be with his parents at Green Hills Memorial Park, 27501 So. Western Ave., Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. January 21,2022 at 12:30 pm