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Obituaries for Friday, January 7, 2022

William M. Bettencourt Sr.

March 11, 1927 – December 6, 2021

William M. Bettencourt Sr. (known to all as, “Bill”) passed peacefully in his Chico, California, home on Dec. 6, 2021, surrounded by his family.

Bill was born in Kapa‘a, Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i on March 11, 1927, the ninth of ten children.

Bill’s family story began in Kaua‘i, over 136 years ago. His maternal and paternal grandparents sailed on the great clipper ships of the time around Cape Horn, from the Azores and Madeira, Portugal to the Garden Island of Kaua‘i. Initially they worked as “Lunas” in the local sugar plantations. From there, Bill’s family branched out across the island making a living in agriculture, ranching and government.

Bill was raised by his mother Helena and his father Manual with his nine siblings in the small Kapa‘a house that is the now the State Farm building on Kuhio Highway. As a boy he helped his father work the family land in the homesteads, tending to his father’s cattle as he raised with pride his beloved racehorse, “Black Boy.” Bill was a standout athlete in football and track at Kapa‘a High School. The slow rhythms and the warm essence of Kaua‘i’s Aloha Spirit imbued Bill’s being throughout his life. Bill’s jovial island spirit and his disarming humanity was evidenced by all whom he met along the way.

At the end of World War II, Bill joined the U.S. Army to honorably serve the Country with his best friend, Eugene Henriques and his cousin Eddie Souza, all of Kaua‘i. He liked to quip: “the enemy surrendered when they heard I was enlisting.” Bill served in several locations in the Pacific, including Guam.

After the Army, Bill left the islands to attend Chico State College. At Chico State, Bill was an outstanding athlete, playing football and running track. In football, he was a 3-time All-Far Western Conference tackle, for the Wildcats. He graduated from Chico State with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

It was at Chico State, in front of the flagpole, before Kendall Hall, that Bill met the love of his life, Gloria Snodgrass. They were a strikingly handsome couple. During their courtship, Bill and Gloria enjoyed dancing to Big Band music at the Veteran’s Memorial Hall in Paradise, California.

Romantically, in a story about destiny Bill claimed that in the years before he met Gloria, when the atmospheric conditions were just right that he could pick up and listen to the same radio broadcast of Big Band music from the Paradise Veterans Hall from thousands of miles away in Kaua‘i.

Bill married Gloria, at Saint John’s Catholic Church, in Chico, on Nov. 16, 1952.

Bill was a fiercely devoted husband and father of five children with an unparalleled work ethic. He worked for forty years as the Route Manager for Chico News Agency delivering magazines and periodicals to local stores. With a joke, a smile and big laugh, Bill was a beloved and welcome face in grocery stores from Red Bluff to Willows.

Bill was also active in the local real estate market. Bill built several homes, including his own residence. He was a responsible and well-liked landlord to his tenants and was very active in developing mountain property in Cohasset, California. As a businessman, Bill was always known for his fair dealing, honesty and sacrificing his own financial interests to help people that were struggling or down on their luck.

As all who knew him would attest, Bill Bettencourt was a beautiful human being – inside and out – and he will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him. A hui hou.

Gloria, Bill’s beloved wife of 69 years passed just fourteen days after Bill on Dec. 20, 2021. Bill is survived by his five children Bill Bettencourt, Jr. of Moraga, California (Joan), Randy Bettencourt of Durham, California (Annie), Brent Bettencourt of Walnut Creek, California (Denise), Roxanne Sivori of Elk Grove, California (John), Reid Bettencourt of Des Moines, Iowa, ten adoring grandchildren, one great-grandson, his two sisters, Marjorie Brown and Carrie Vilela both of Kaua‘i. Bill also leaves behind many nieces and nephews, a good number of which are still on Kaua‘i.

A Mass of Christian burial for Bill and his wife Gloria will be held at St John’s Catholic Church in Chico at noon on Jan. 8, 2022. Online condolences can be sent to the family at

Mark David Stryker

Mark David Stryker passed away on Dec. 18, 2021, at the age of 44, on Kaua‘i. He was born on July 20, 1977, in Flemington New Jersey. Mark was a caretaker, preserver and creator of beautiful places.

Mark’s spirit lives on in crashing waves, cascading waterfalls, flowing lava and all things humming with the wild and awesome power of nature. His unmistakable smile can be seen in the faces of the countless people he inspired to live more joyful lives and we can keep his fire roaring by treating each other as he treated anyone he met; with great compassion, humor and an ever-ready helping hand.

Mark was preceded in death by his maternal and paternal grandparents, uncles Richard and David Stryker and aunt Linda Stryker.

He is survived by his partner Lindsay Eltinge, father Charles Stephen Stryker, mother Christina Unger, brothers Christopher Stryker of Bernardsville, New Jersey, Jonathan Unger of Raleigh, North Carolina and by a loving family of uncles, aunts, nieces, cousins and friends.

A celebration of life will be held on Kaua‘i on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, and in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022. The service in Bethlehem will begin at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help. More details will follow for both occasions.

If you have the means to do so, please consider making a donation in Mark’s name to Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank, or a charity of your choice that supports education or environmental causes.

We love you Mark and would give anything to hear that laugh one more time.

It’s a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken / Perhaps they’re better left unsung / I don’t know, don’t really care / Let there be songs to fill the air

Leona Ai Bryant

Leona Ai Bryant, age 55, of Lawai, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. Leona was born on April 26, 1966, in Misawa, Aomori, Japan.

Leona is survived by her husband Conrad Bryant of Lawai and her parents Tony and Taiko Hubahib of Waimea.

Leona attended Mid-Pacific Institute on O‘ahu. After high school she moved to New Mexico to attend college and began working as a Physical Therapy Technician for the elderly and children. It was in New Mexico that she met and later married her husband Conrad Bryant, of 24 years. They moved after a few years due to being tired of the New Mexico heat, to Port Orchard, Washington. After 16 years of warm summers and cold wet winters, they moved to Kaua’i to be closer to her parents.

Leona was known for her welcoming spirit, love of life and love of Christ. She had an adventuresome side to her. She loved to explore, travel and experience life to the fullest.

One of her nicknames was the “Queen of Pickleball” at the courts she helped manage and maintain. She became quite a player and advocate for the game. She developed a myriad of friends who played pickleball, rode horses, or participated in a Women’s Bible Study. She made friends wherever she went. She truly was a Renaissance Woman. She will be missed!

A Memorial Service for Leona Bryant will be on Jan. 22, 2022, at Kaua‘i Christian Fellowship, 2731 Ala Kinoiki, Koloa, (Back road to Poipu). Service begins at 11 a.m. followed by fellowship and pupus.

David Ko‘omealani Palama, Jr.

David Ko‘omealani Palama, Jr. passed away peacefully at home in Kahili Mountain, Koloa, on Dec. 12, 2021, at the age of 85. He was born on May 5, 1936, in Makaweli. He was a site contractor and rancher.

David was preceded in death by his parents David and Marie Palama, Sr., siblings Claire (Buddy) Perreira, Thomas (Patricia) Palama, Roland Palama, Arthur (Lena) Palama, Clarence Palama, Clayton (Barbara) Tremaine, and son Austin Alquiza.

David is survived by his wife Moana Kinimaka Palama of Koloa, sons Dana Palama of Kalaheo, Jeffrey Palama of Waikoloa, Hawai‘i, daughters Maile Gonsalves of Modesto, California, Lisa (John) Ruiz of Hanapepe, Galeen (Mark) Palama of Keapana, Hawai‘i, Leilani (Damien) Alquiza of Commerce, Texas, Kauanoe (Stefan) Hoomanawanui of Kahili Mountain, Kahala Hoomanawanui of Anahola, brother Stephan (Cathy) Palama of Kalaheo, numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins

Na ‘Ohana of David Ko‘omealani Palama Ke Kona aku nei ia oukou i kona pa‘ina ho‘omana‘o i ka la Ianuali 15, 2022, i ka hola 2 p.m. ma Kona hale ma Kahili Mauka.

Garden Island Mortuary assisted the family with arrangements.

Gloria Aguinaldo Curammeng

Gloria Aguinaldo Curammeng passed away on Dec. 25, 2021, at the age of 86, in Lihu’e. She was born on July 7, 1935, in Wailuku, Maui, and was a licensed practical nurse (LPN).

Gloria was preceded in death by her husband William Lagazo Curammeng, Sr., parents Raymondo and Vivian Aguinaldo, brothers Ben and Miguel “Jill” (Tina) Aguinaldo, brothers-in-law Fred Duldulao and Bill Yamaguchi.

Gloria is survived by her sons William L. (Tess) Curammeng, Jr. of Kaua‘i, Joseph Curammeng of Kaua‘i, Duane (Janice) Curammeng of Kaua‘i, Glenn (Lelyn) Curammeng of California, Darren (Michelle) Curammeng of Kaua‘i, daughters Joycelyn (Jason) Iwata of Kaua‘i, Janice (Dean) Russell of Kaua‘i, grandchildren Jolie (Koa), Nani, Jayda, Billy, Garsie (Devon), Angelica (Joelsen), Jolena, Michelle (Christine), Kyle (Kellie), Kyson (Lauren), Aaron (Tia), Jessica (Rocky), Shane, Janilani (Duff), Dustin (Brittney), Bradley (Kimberly), Danielle, Kamryn, Quinn and Cyan, great-grandchildren Mason, Raiden, Raelyn, Ronin, Jacob, Layne, Amaya, Brayden, Greyson, Hazely Crush, Myah, Graycen, Makua and Kaiden, brother Franklin (Esther) Aguinaldo of Maui and sisters Linda (Mike) Albete, Pacita Pladera, Mela Duldulao, Lydia Yamaguchi and Estrella (Andy) Agpalo all of Maui.

Service will be held on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, at the Immaculate Conception Church. Viewing is at 9:30 a.m. followed by Mass at 10 to 11 a.m. Due to COVID-19, social distancing and face masks are required.

Garden Island Mortuary assisted the family with arrangements.

Raymond Esona

Raymond Esona, 87, of Kilauea, passed away at home on April 14, 2020. He was born in Kalaheo on July 30, 1932. He was employed as foreman with the County of Kaua‘i Department of Water.

Raymond was preceded in death by his parents Florentino and Manuela Esona and his wife Rose Esona.

Raymond is survived by his son Michael Esona, hanai daughter Sharnell Woodward and hanai son Tristan Espinosa.

A celebration of life will be held on Jan. 14, 2022, at the Kaua’i Veteran’s Center in Lihu‘e. Visitation begins at 9 to 10 a.m. followed by service at 10 a.m. and burial at 1 p.m. at Kaua’i Veteran’s Cemetery in Hanapepe. Due to COVID-19, face masks and social distancing are required.

James Joseph Sheehan

James Joseph Sheehan died on Dec. 26, 2021, on the island of Kaua‘i, where he had a second home. The funeral will be at Sacred Heart Church, Sioux City, Iowa, near his Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, home, on Jan. 28, 2022, at 10:30 a.m. with Pastor Reverend Terry Roder celebrating. The family will be present at the church from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. for visiting prior to the Mass. Burial will be later at Calvary Cemetery, LeMars, Iowa, with his son, Reverend John Sheehan, officiating. Meyer Brothers Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

James, known to his friends as Jim, was born on Sept. 24, 1936, to Joseph Fahey Sheehan and Maurine (Gard) Sheehan. He graduated from Gehlen High School in LeMars where, as center on the basketball team, he had a devastatingly accurate hook shot. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana. He spent his junior year abroad, at the University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria. He also attended Harvard Business School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the University of Wisconsin Graduate School of Banking, Madison, Wisconsin. He served in the U.S. Navy.

After graduation, he managed Sheehan Produce Company until 1967 and worked at the First National Bank, both in LeMars. He was President and Chairman of the Board of Farmers Savings Bank, Pierson, Iowa, from 1967 to 1997. He was active in many banking and civic organizations during this period.

His family was most important to him. James married Rosemary McGuirk in 1961 and they traveled extensively during their 57 years of marriage. They valued education, community, good conversation, and their Catholic faith. He is survived by his three children, Rev. John Patrick Sheehan of Monticello, New York, his daughter Julie Anne Sheehan and grandson Miles Mannion Thorsen of East Quogue, New York; son Robert Pierson Sheehan and his wife Sarah Sheahan of New York, New York.

He is also survived by his brother Joseph (Patricia) Sheehan and sister Maureen Ann Sheehan, as well as many beloved nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife, Rosemary, his parents, and a brother, Dennis (Maureen) Sheehan.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Sioux City Symphony or Gehlen High School would be appreciated.

Katherine Claire Dilwith

Katherine Claire Dilwith, 80, of Reno, Nevada, passed away on Oct. 16, 2021. She was born in Kekaha on Sept. 26, 1941, and retired as cook from The Nugget is Sparks, Nevada.

Katherine was preceded in death by her husband James Dilwith Sr., parents Ralph Fernandez and Rosita Aperto-Naumu, brothers Edward Fernandez, Henry Fernandez and grandson Dolen Dela Cruz Jr.

Katherine is survived by daughters Christine Dela Cruz of Honolulu, Jami Dilwith of Reno, Nevada, Michelle Dilwith of Oregon, son Dominic Dilwith of Reno, Nevada, 10 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, brother Melvin Fernandez of Rhode Island, Daniel Fernandez of Kekaha, sisters Bernice Wade of Kekaha and Jeanette Pahota of Oregon.

A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, at St. Theresa Parish, Kekaha. Visitation begins at 9 a.m. followed by service at 10 a.m. Friends are welcome to join the family at Kekaha Beach Pavillions immediately following the service. Casual or Aloha attire suggested.

Fredrick “Boti” Bacio

Fredrick “Boti” Bacio passed away on Dec. 22, 2021, at the age of 82, at home in Pakala Camp, Kaua‘i.

He was born on Aug. 24, 1939, on Kaua‘i. He was a Veteran of the National Guard and a machine operator.

Fredrick was preceded in death by his parents Isodoro and Aquilina Bacio, brothers Pedro “Sonny” Bacio, Rodney “Boy” Bacio, sister Lorraine “Dolly” Corbet and grandson Nick Rin.

Fredrick is survived by his wife Elizabeth “Momi” Bacio, sons Kaili J. Bacio of Kaua‘i, Fred (Mae) Rin of San Diego, California, Adam (Sue) Ho‘opai of Wisconsin, Tony Rin of Maui, Michael (Maribel) Rin of O‘ahu, Tito Rin of Maui, daughters Girlie Quinones of Maui, Kehau (Ross) DeCosta of Kaua‘i, Malia Murphy of Kaua‘i, Lilah Andino of Hilo, Piilani (Erickson) Makekau of Maui, 19 grandchildren, 43 great-grandchildren, three great-great-grandchilden, brother Kurt (Nellie) Bacio of Pakala, sisters Josephine “Tila” Brede of Anahola, Lyn (Burt) Moriguchi of O‘ahu, Geraldine “Chan” (Bill) Salsbury of Las Vegas, Nevada. numerous aunts, nieces nephews and cousins.

Service will be held at Garden Island Mortuary on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022. Visitation from 8 to 9 a.m. followed by service. Due to COVID-19, masks and social distancing is required. Casual attire and flowers are welcome.

Garden Island Mortuary is assisting the family with arrangements.
Source: The Garden Island

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