94, of Honolulu, passed away on November 20, 2019. Glenn was an internationally recognized orthodontist who practiced on Oahu for over 45 years. Glenn will forever be remembered as a wonderful husband, family man and friend – charming all with his generous spirit, his kind, ready smile and his disarming sense of humor.
The second of seven children, Glenn was born on March 17, 1925 in Wahiawa, to Rinzo Masunaga, a taxi driver, and Kika Masunaga, who instilled in him the importance of learning the Japanese language. When World War II forced his father out of work, Glenn’s chicken farm helped supplement the family income.
Glenn served in the U.S. Army as a member of the Military Intelligence Service (MIS). After the war he pursued higher education at the University of Kansas City Dental College, receiving a dental degree with high honors in 1952, and a certification in orthodontics in 1953.
Glenn accompanied Dr. Fujio Miura, of the Tokyo Medical Dental University, as a translator and collaborator, presenting research at universities and national conventions in over 16 countries. He was one of the first orthodontists to utilize a Miura innovation, the direct bonding of brackets to tooth enamel. Glenn was a Fellow of both the American and International College of Dentists, and in 2007 was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Hawaii Dental Association.
Glenn was awarded a U.S. patent at age 20 for a horticultural tool and later, another patent for an orthodontic instrument, whose royalties were entirely donated to his dental school.
Locally, Glenn served many institutions and societies as either a board member, president or devoted supporter, including the Japanese Cultural Center. His service to community, culture, and country did not go unnoticed. In 1999 he was conferred an award from the Emperor of Japan, the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays. In 2011 the MIS and other WWII Nisei military units accepted a Congressional Gold Medal.
Glenn is survived by his wife of 65 years, Harriet (Sato), his children, Scott, Jill and Eric (Erin), grandchildren Kristen, Jaimie "Kika", Geneva and Louisa, brothers Isao (Janie) and Harold, and sisters Elaine Watada and Mary Yonemura. He was preceded in death by brothers Seiichi and Haruo.
Services will be held in private. Donations may be made in his name to the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii or the "Glenn M. Masunaga Scholarship Fund" at the University of Missouri Kansas City – School of Dentistry.
Arrangements Provided By: Hosoi Garden Mortuary
Notice #: 0001253798-01