Today Stan Sakai’s wife Sharon passed away after a long battle with cancer. What started off as a brain tumor about 10 years ago came and went and came back with a vengeance a couple years ago. Slowly, the cancer took it’s toll on Sharon and Stan’s family. Stan’s fanbase and peers within the comics industry rallied to Stan’s side to help him in this most tragic of circumstances. Let alone the emotional toll, the financial impact was also overwhelming. As if this tragic set of circumstances wasn’t enough, last year Stan’s 20-month old grandson Leo stopped breathing unexpectedly in his crib at Stan’s residence and shortly thereafter passed a way. Leo was the son of Stan’s daughter Hannah.
Words cannot describe the sadness and grief I have felt for the Nicest Guy in Comics, Stan “The Guy” Sakai, a man I have known and followed as a fan since i was 11 years old. I have worked for Stan for the past 18 years running the UsagiYojimbo.com site, the Usagi Yojimbo Dojo, dedicated to promoting the works and creations of “Sensei” Stan, and uniting his worldwide fanbase. To see an icon in the comics industry and my own personal hero go through such undeserving and tragic loss family is heart-wrenching to say the least.
Sharon will be missed greatly. She was always present with Stan at shows, signings, and various events. So, if you have been an avid follower of Stan’s work, you knew Sharon. Stan has drawn cameo appearances of her into his comics, has discussed in detail in various interviews throughout the decades about how they met, and how much she had meant to him. In the comics Stan’s editors would often refer to her in various commentary, as would Stan himself in the letter columns. Her presence was always strong throughout the course of Stan’s 30-year long Usagi endeavor and was always so meaningful.
The Dojo is today offically dedicated to the memory of Sharon Sakai.
— Todd Bustillo; Usagi Yojimbo Dojo