Cover photo for Jeffery Kenny Nakaishi's Obituary
Jeffery Kenny Nakaishi Profile Photo
1955 Jeffery 2024

Jeffery Kenny Nakaishi

August 20, 1955 — March 15, 2024

Jeffery Kenny Nakaishi played one heck of a game of life, going three extra innings. When he got covid in 2020 we did not think he was going to make it, but he did not go down without swinging. During the last three years of his life, he has battled lung disease, kidney and liver failure and it was non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer that ultimately took his life. He fought hard to the end and won the game on Friday March 15, 2024. He was a devoted coach and friend, a loving grandpa, husband, dad, and brother.

He was born on August 20, 1955, in Ogden, Utah to Kenny and Hilda Tanamine Nakaishi. He grew up in Layton and could often be found at the neighbor’s house telling them his mom sent him over for breakfast. When he was in the second grade he met his lifelong friend Joe Benton. These two were inseparable, Joe baptized him after he was married and has been by his side even up until the time of his passing.

At the age of 8 he began his sports journey by playing T-ball with a 10U team. As he grew older, he played basketball with his cousins for a short time in the Japanese basketball league, but baseball was always his one true love. He started working at his dad’s restaurant, Kens Café, at a very young age and it is unknown exactly how many times he was fired, but we know it was a lot.

Unfortunately, a high school baseball injury brought an abrupt halt to his baseball playing days, and after he graduated from Layton High School in 1973, he immediately started coaching American Legion baseball. His need to stay on the field and in the game was so strong he began the transition to slow pitch softball.

He met his love, Joan Rentmeister Nakaishi, and they were married on June 26,1975 and it should be no surprise their honeymoon was spent at one of his softball tournaments. This meant they were the first ones at the park and the last ones to leave, he has always been romantic like that. Some of his closest friends were made during these years playing softball and he often gets teased that he is running for president while he is at the park.

He had three kids, two sons; Jason and Justin, both of which he coached at Bonneville High. He also had a daughter Jenica who he coached her senior year at Clearfield High. He pretended to hate coaching girls but recently told her he really had a lot of fun doing it, because as it turns out girls pay attention better than boys do. Coaching became not just a title but a fulfilling way of life for him. In total he has coached six different high schools and had the longest run with his current staff at Layton High for nearly two decades.

He owned two successful business: Nakaishi Heating HVAC and SavOn Sporting Goods. He tolerated work enough that he could have enough money to travel and play.

He had two grandkids Keeley Fojtek, who if you can believe it got him to attend every single dance recital she had. That’s right, coach Jeff was a proud dance grandpa. What we can’t say is that he sat reverently at these dance recitals, in true Jeff fashion he had an inappropriate comment for just about every dance he saw. She also played volleyball for eight years and he never missed a tournament.

When his grandson Tate Mikesell came along, he couldn’t wait to be his baseball coach. He started coaching Tate in T-ball and ended his coaching career with his Dragons baseball team, winning the tournament in Vegas, last month in the President’s Day tournament. Jeff had a deep love for everyone he coached but had a true soft spot for his Dragons players and parents.

His grandkids and his Dragons were his life, and they were the sole reason he fought so hard these last three years. He wanted more time with all of them. He was not done watching them grow into the amazing people they had become. He was so proud of them and will continue to be in their lives and with them.

He is proceeded in death by his amazing parents and two of his close friends Gary Steed (his girlfriend) and Steve Yamashita (his other girlfriend). We are sure he has already asked Gary to pull his finger and that Gary has already given him a wet willy in return and we have no doubt Steve has had to apologize to others for something he has done or said. We are sad he is gone but know he was greeted with open arms by those who have gone before him.

He is survived by his wife Joan, three younger sisters, Sheri Butler, Cindy (Michael) Head, and Kimberly Martinez, his three kids Jason Nakaishi, Justin Nakaishi and Jenica (Chad) Mikesell and his two grandkids Keeley Fojtek and Tate Mikesell. We are so grateful for the outpouring of love we have felt and the heartfelt stories that have been shared. He was truly surrounded by incredible people. His family wants to publicly thank the Layton High School and Bingham High School Baseball programs for making his final dream come true on Thursday March 14, 2024. You will never understand the depth of what that meant to his family and especially his grandson Tate. For more details on this please visit the Ogden Standard Examiner article titled “Layton High baseball honors longtime area coach Jeff Nakaishi after sudden cancer diagnosis”.

In lieu of flowers, please carry on Jeff’s legacy by cheering for the underdog or supporting an athlete that doesn’t have the money needed for their equipment or fees. Go watch a sporting event you were not planning on attending or brighten someone’s day with a legendary Coach Jeff one liner. Don’t forget to play to win, don’t play to not lose, compete always, never give up and FIGHT LIKE COACH JEFF!

Funeral services will be held on Monday, March 25, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. at the Syracuse Bluff Stake Center at 2339 W. 1900 S. Friends may visit with family on Sunday, March 24, 2024, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Lindquist’s Syracuse Mortuary. 869 South 2000 West, Syracuse. and on Monday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the church.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jeffery Kenny Nakaishi, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Sunday, March 24, 2024

5:00 - 8:00 pm (Mountain time)

Lindquist's Syracuse Mortuary

869 S 2000 W, Syracuse, UT 84075

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Visitation

Monday, March 25, 2024

9:30 - 10:30 am (Mountain time)

Syracuse Bluff Stake Center

2339 W 1900 S, Syracuse, UT 84075

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Monday, March 25, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

Syracuse Bluff Stake Center

2339 W 1900 S, Syracuse, UT 84075

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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