University News

Keisuke "Kei" Nozaki Obituary

January 27, 2023

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University Geographic Information System (GIS) Manager Keisuke "Kei" Nozaki, 45, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 25.

Cremation rites have been accorded. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Clugston-Tibbitts Funeral Home in Macomb. A visitation will be held one hour prior to the service, also at the funeral home. A private burial will be held at a later date.

Nozaki's colleagues said he was an integral part of the maturation of the GIS Center, and was one of the top GIS resources in the state. He worked closely with county and local governments in western Illinois on a multitude of projects.

"We are saddened by the loss of Keisuke's passing," said Western Illinois University President Guiyou Huang. "We extend our most sincere condolences to his family, friends and co-workers."

WIU Geography Professor Chris Sutton said he met Nozaki as a graduate student and over the years many of Sutton's students worked under Nozaki at the GIS Center.

"We would often collaborate on projects, particularly those involving GIS data for the city of Macomb and McDonough County," said Sutton. "Kei was a fantastic colleague and friend and leaves a legacy of hard work and kindness."

After Nozaki graduated from WIU in 2007, with his master's degree in geography, he began working at the GIS Center under GIS Director Chad Sperry.

"Kei was a friend as well as a coworker," said Sperry. "He approached his work as a mission, and was invaluable as a GIS manager for the GIS Center for over 17 years. He served as a mentor to countless students over the years and will be sorely missed."

Nozaki is survived by his wife, Abigail; two sons, Sola and Saku; his mother, Machiko; and his brother, Yuma.

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