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BLACKFOOT â€” Friends and family of local tattoo artist Kim Nakamura are raising funds to honor his memory with a headstone.
Nakamura died Aug. 28 of complications from a medical illness. He owned and operated Til Death Tattoo at 1010 W. Bridge St. Ste. A.
His longtime friend Juan Soltero of Salty's Ink Tattoos in Pocatello is offering tattoos at Kim's shop today. All proceeds will help purchase a headstone, with any additional proceeds going to Kim's five-year-old daughter. T-shirts and CD's of Kim's rap music are also for sale.
Starr Bynum, Kim's girlfriend of 7 1/2 years, said they wanted to open his shop and give an opportunity for his friends and customers to come in one more time.
"This event is to honor and celebrate his work," Bynum said.
Bynum said Kim got into tattooing seven years ago and opened his own shop in Blackfoot two years ago.
"He was well-liked," she said. "He was a great artist."
Kim worked with Soltero for three years in Pocatello, then the two opened a shop in Blackfoot. Kim then bought the shop from Soltero and moved to 1010 W. Bridge St.
"We were really good friends," Soltero said. "He would have done this for me."
Bynum said the support she and Kim's family has received from the community has been both amazing and overwhelming.
"I wish he would have known how well-loved and respected he was," she said.
Soltero will be at Til Death Tattoo today beginning at noon and will remain open until customers stop coming.
Those not wanting a tattoo right away can purchase a gift certificate to have Soltero do the work at another time.
Condolences can be sent to Bynum via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.