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Obituaries for Friday, March 3, 2023

Judith Eileen Matsuoka Bale

Judith Eileen Matsuoka Bale died on Feb. 22, 2023, following a terminal respiratory illness. Born on July 1, 1944, to Kenneth and Yachiyo Matsuoka, she grew up in Makaweli. She later moved to the mainland for university and practiced speech pathology for 29 years.

After the passing of her first husband, Gary Ropp, she met her current husband, Gary Bale, and they resided in Minnesota. She is fondly remembered for her generosity, charisma and exuberance. From her countless stories and humor to her winning golden touch and musical talent, she was magnetic.

She is survived by husband Gary Bale, brother Ken Matsuoka, children Kenneth Ropp, Cherie Gartner, Michele Hull and Eric Bale, and six grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by parents Kenneth and Yachiyo Matsuoka, brother Gary Matsuoka, and first husband Gary Ropp.

As a wife, sister, mother and grandmother, she will never be forgotten. She was the light in a world full of her many stars.

A hui hou.

Harriet Fumie Iseri

Harriet Fumie Iseri passed away peacefully at home on Jan. 13, 2023, at the age of 99. She was born on April 20, 1923, on Kaua‘i. She was a retired postal clerk in Koloa.

She was preceded in death by parents Suketaro and Shizuno Hamamura, husband Nisuke Iseri, son Steven Farmer, brothers Masamu, Noboru, Tadao, Shigeto, Yorio “Jackson,” Bunto and Hiroaki, sisters Sadako, Tokiko “Gladys” and Toiko, and grandson Dale Farmer.

She is survived by sons Robert (Antoinette “Toni”) Farmer and Neal (Alison) Iseri, grandchildren Carrie Farmer, Kit (Debbie) Farmer, Kyle (Sasha) Farmer, Janine Iseri and Hokulani Iseri, great-grandchildren Mikayla, Ella and Konnor Gonzalez, Kody, Kameron and Karter Farmer, Keanu Ryan Myers and Jayshalyn Michelle Swallow.

A celebration of life is Saturday, March 4, at West Kauai Hongwanji in Hanapepe, with visitation from 10 to 11 a.m. followed by services at 11 a.m.

Due to COVID-19, masks are required and temperatures will be taken.

Borthwick Kaua‘i Mortuary is assisting the family with arrangements.

Katherine K. Matsushima

Katherine K. Matsushima, 77, of Anahola, passed away on Feb. 10, 2023. She was born in Lihu‘e on June 6, 1945.

She was preceded in passing by husband Clifford Matsushima Sr., parents August Sr. and Katherine Kane, brother August Jr. and granddaughters Mistie and Teeana Valpoon.

She is survived by children Dexter “Kaleo” Matsushima, Leah “Teete” (Russell) Matsushima, Cassie (Aaron) Camara, Deede (Peter) Contrades and Clifford Jr. “Kaina” (Glenda) Matsushima, siblings April Reis, Lowell (Joann) Kane and Elizabeth “Keala” (Tony) Prem, grandchildren Cody Valpoon, Aarika-lei (Kameron) and Austin Camara, Chelsey Contrades, Kaison and Kaeleigh Matsushima, great-grandchildren Aleiah Agtarap, Ileana, La‘akea and Kama‘ehu Contrades-Oshiro, Lihau, Lawai‘a, Lokahi and Kaikoa Valpoon, and Liloa Ragsac.

A celebration of life is Saturday, March 11, at Ko‘olau Hui‘ia Protestant Church in Anahola. Visitation will be from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. with services to follow.

Kaua‘i Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Kayla A.K. Pantohan-Kali

Kayla Aiko Kauikaulanaku‘umomiomakanalani Pantohan-Kali, 20, passed away on Jan. 25, 2023, at Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital.

She was preceded in death by paternal great-grandparents Juan (Rosa Aledo) Pantohan and Robert (Hatsumi Akiyama) Fujimoto, grandfather Michael Pantohan, aunt Tiffany Pantohan, maternal great-grandparents Benjamin (Susan Pavao) Kali Sr. and James (Salala Keamoai) Kahale Sr.

She is survived by daughters Sirvalience C.K. and Kayhani R.K. Kalani of Hanapepe, parents Renee “Momi” (Mason) Fujimoto-Kali of Hanapepe and Curt Pantohan of Pakala, brothers Lo‘ea and Liloa Pantohan of Kekaha, grandparents Colleen Pantohan of Pakala, Mitchell (Laurie Keamoai) Kali Sr. of Hanapepe, aunts and uncles Mitchell Kali Jr., Michele (Kurt) Oshima and Talia (Jonathan) Green.

A celebration of life is at Garden Island Mortuary on Saturday, March 4. Viewing is from 9 to 11 a.m. and service to follow. Burial will follow at the Hanapepe Hawaiian Cemetery, followed by a gathering at Hanapepe Stadium tennis courts.

Garden Island Mortuary, Ltd. is assisting the family with arrangements.

Masao ‘Masa’ Fujimoto

Masao “Masa” Fujimoto, 95, of Hanapepe, peacefully passed away on Feb. 11, 2023. His final days were spent at Hale Kupuna, surrounded by hospice and the family he loved so much. He was born in Waimea.

A good-natured and unassuming man, he served in the U.S. Army and retired as a carpenter foreman with Shioi Construction on Kaua‘i. He was one of three original employees of Shioi Construction on O‘ahu and Kaua‘i, and was said to be the best finishing carpenter they ever had.

He met Janet Cabacungan (Mira), and upon marrying her in April 1979, he gained five stepchildren (Harvey, Corinne, Marlene, David and Mary Alice) when they were in their teens, and they quickly accepted him into the family, which grew into a loving bond.

He loved going to Las Vegas. You could always find him at the craps table. When he retired, it became an annual trip, and he was quick to remind his stepchildren Marlene and David that it was time to hit Vegas, and off they went. He also enjoyed fishing (“don’t forget the sunscreen,” his wife reminded). He also looked forward to watching his favorite entertainment on TV: Samurai action flicks and WWE Wrestling.

He was a family man, always visiting and helping his stepchildren with their home projects and babysitting. He was a good friend to many, and never shied away from helping others with building projects when asked.

He was never far from the harbor, his meditative place that connected him to his joy of fishing, the fresh salty air, and caring for the harbor cats who looked for the “old man with the flap hat” that nourished them.

He was predeceased by stepdaughter Mary Alice Mira, who was his favorite. They are together again in heaven.

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Janet, and pup April, stepchildren, Harvey (Colleen) Mira, Corinne (Matthew) Simao, Marlene (Joe Clark) Mira and David (Tim Flaherty) Mira, grandchildren Janelle (Chet) Kaita, Justyn (Vanessa) Simao, Corey (Nicole) Simao, Kellen Mira, Taryn (Alex) Oubre and great-grandchildren, Jai Kaita, Sage Masao Simao and Evan Oubre.

A memorial service is at the Kaua‘i Veterans Cemetery on Friday, March 17, at 11 a.m., followed by a gathering at the Hanapepe Church of the Nazarene.

He will be sadly missed and fondly remembered. His love lives on.
Source: The Garden Island

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