New Members Yoko and Walter Zipusch Bonsai Sale Oct. 23rd

Alex Momcilovic Passed Away in 2011

The Passing of Marvin Smith

Dick Beltran Remembered

Carol Dondick, Wife of Morris Dondick Donates Bonsai to Club

Kaz Yoneda Dies at 85 Years of Age

Alex Momcilovic Passed Away in 2011

The members of Sansui-Kai were saddened to hear in October of the passing of Alex. He and his wife, Gordana, were regular attending members of the club. Alex, a friendly and generous individual, will be missed by all of us at the club.

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The Passing of Marvin Smith

After a long illness, long time member Marvin Smith, passed away on June 30th, 2010. Records indicate that he was a continuous member of the club at least as far back as 1982.

Marvin Smith
Marvin on the left seen at the 2004 Auction and Annual Pot Luck. On the right Karen Cuva, Frank Cuva, Esther Smith and someone I can't recognize in this picture.

Marvin and Esther Smith
Marvin and Esther Smith surrounded by members of the club during the auction.

In recent years Michael Jonas helped Marvin and Esther to maintain Marvin's trees after he became unable to do the work on them.

Photos by Michael Jonas

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Dick Beltran Remembered

Dick Beltran
Dick Beltran at the Annual Installation Dinner in 2007

Eulogy for Dick by Michael Jonas at the Shepard of the Hills Church, June 4, 2010.

I called him "Dickie B".

It was an effort to bridge that space which exists between acquaintance and friendship.  I didn't have to worry though.  Wherever Dick went he collected and nurtured relationships, just like he collected seeds and acorns that he came across in his life.  In both areas he was a success and to this day there are seedlings that he recently planted which will continue to grow into trees for bonsai.  And the many people here today show that he was even more successful with his friendships.

For the plants, he remembered where he found them and then nurtured them creating strong healthy trees.  Dick also nurtured the friendships he found in his life.  I never heard him say anything negative about anyone.  He was there to quietly add his strength to any undertaking.  He was always helpful and supportive.

Now, when I think of Dick, I'll imagine him wandering the world planting new plants and creating new life.  If I could ask him today if this is what he would like to continue to do, I think he would repeat his often heard response,


Dick creates a penjing
During a demo by Bob Hilvers, Dick created his own penjing in June 2003

Dick Beltran and Paulan Boland at Sansui-Kai BBQ
Art Davis and Dick talking with wife Paula seated at the August 8, 2008 Sansui-Kai Annual BBQ

Above four photos by Michael Jonas

Handout Dick Beltran service

Handout Dick Beltran service

Handout Dick Beltran service

Handout Dick Beltran service


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Carol Dondick Donates Bonsai to Club
Carol, reported to the club that her husband died in June of 2008 and thanked the club at that time for the pleasure he derived from being a member of Sansui-Kai. Morris had been a member of the club since June of 1993.

She recently contacted Michael Jonas and arranged to donate some of Morris' bonsai, his tools and books to the club. They will be showing up in the raffle starting this month.

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Kaz Yoneda Dies at 85-Years of Age

Sansui-Kai members mourn the passing of Kazuo (Kaz) Yoneda at 85-years of age.  Kaz served as a board member for GSBF, ABS, BCI, California Bonsai Society, Nampukai and was a founding member of Aiseki Kai.  Kaz was a popular demonstrator at all of the Southern California bonsai clubs and at GSBF conventions, and at the convention in 1999, received the President’s Award for his service to GSBF.

Kaz Nampukai tree

This is one of Kaz's trees that was shown in 2002 at Nampukai show
Photo by Ann Erb

Hank Fawcett, Dick Beltran and I were all members of bonsai classes co-taught by Kaz and Sam Nakano at Yamaguchi Bonsai Nursery 15 or more years ago. In fact, it was through these classes that I and many others learned of and then discovered the Sansui-Kai club meetings.

Kaz was a frequent demonstrator at Sansui-Kai and served as our show judge several times.

Kaz 2001 Show Judge

2001 Show Judge Kaz is assisted by Mark Alpert and Dick Beltran
Photo by Michael Jonas

In 1990 Kaz and Kiyo donated his Prostata juniper to the Nation Bonsai and Penjing Museum in Washington, D.C. 

Kaz Yoneda Prostata

Kaz and Kiyo donated this Prostata juniper - photo taken 2007
Photo courtesy of the National Bonsai Foundation

He also donated trees to the San Diego Wild Animal Park Bonsai Pavilion and the Weyerhauser Pacific Rim Collection in 1982 in honor of its opening.

Weyerhaeuser donate saikei

Kaz and Kiyo donated this San Jose juniper saikei
to the Weyerhaeuser Pacific Rim Collection in 1982
Photo courtesy of Curator Dave DeGoot at Weyerhaeuser
photo taken 2008

In December of 2005, His Imperial Highness, Prince Katsura, presented Kaz Agricultural Society of Japan Green and White Medal.  Established in 1881, Agricultural Society of Japan was the first nongovernmental agricultural organization formed in modern Japan. Since 1894, it has conferred the Green and White Award to recognize and honor those who have made significant and lasting contributions to mutual understanding and friendship between Japan and California.

Kaz at 2001 luncheon

Honoree Kaz at 2006 Agricultural Society of Japan luncheon
Photo by Larry Ragle

With this award, Kaz joins previous awardees:  John Naka, Ben Oki, Harry Hirao, Sam Nakano, George Yamaguchi, Frank Goya, Richard Ota, Khan Komei and Hideo Murata.

Kiyo and Kaz 2002 attend Installation Dinner

Kiyo and Kaz at 2002 Installation Dinner
Photo by Michael Jonas

Born in Utah in 1923, he is survived by his wife, Kiyo and their children.  We will all miss Kaz, his gentle spirit and smiling face.


Michael Jonas

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New Members Yoko and Walter Zipusch Bonsai Sale

Walter will be offering some of his bonsai for sale October 23 at their home. You can view some of the bonsai offer for sale at Walter's website .