Richard Mikio Tsuyuki

Richard Mikio Tsuyuki lived 52 years and departed this world on Sunday, April 4, 2021 while out for an evening run. Devoted husband to Grace, his beloved wife of 25 years, Richard was a proud father to four beautiful, spirited girls: Emiko, 20; Ayumi, 18; Miya, 15; and Kiyomi, 13.

An aerospace engineer for 27 years at Northrop-Grumman, formerly Orbital ATK/Orbital Sciences Corporation, he was a structural engineer and technical expert, affectionately called Rich by his colleagues. He worked on numerous aerospace programs including Pegasus, X-34, Super Lightweight, Interchangeable Carrier (SLIC) for the Hubble Servicing Mission, Dawn, Orion Launch Abort System, Stratolaunch, Antares, OmegA and Mission Extension Pod (MEP). When each project was complete, he would write his daughters’ initials on the hardware to be launched into space.

Skilled in piano, violin and guitar, he loved Rachmaninoff and Chopin and taught his daughters Beethoven’s Fur Elise and Moonlight Sonata. He also insisted his girls learn Japanese martial arts. He practiced Jodo and Iaido for decades, devoting weekends to rigorous training. He was drawn to the precision of the classical arts, the sense of camaraderie and connection to the past. He believed that there was always another level of understanding just slightly out of reach.

Richard Tsuyuki was born October 1, 1968 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the son of Yoko and Shigeru Tsuyuki and the baby brother of Kon. His family shared a love of classical music, literature and travel. His mother’s apple crumb pie and sister’s peach pie were among his favorite foods. He was proud of his Canadian roots and his Japanese heritage. He met Grace soon after he moved to Virginia to work for Orbital. A mutual friend jokingly introduced him as a “rocket scientist.” They were married in 1995 in a series of ceremonies that blended their Taiwanese-American and Japanese-Canadian backgrounds. Outwardly reserved with a dry wit and a fine attention to detail, Miki was simultaneously exasperated and delighted by the spontaneity his Gracey added to his life. She could make him laugh like no one else.

The family will host a socially distant visitation on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 4-5pm at Potomac Baptist Church in Sterling, VA. The visitation will be followed by a private service from 5-6pm. The link for the livestream service will be made available as soon as possible. Arrangements are being handled by Adams-Green Funeral Home & Crematory, Herndon, VA. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the newly created memorial fund:

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