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Obituaries for Sunday, April 24, 2022

Thomas ‘Tom’ Cooper

Thomas “Tom” Cooper, 77, of Kailua, O‘ahu, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on April 6, 2022.

He is survived by loving wife Jenny, brother Randy of Port Townsend, Washington, daughters Tracey (Rob) Borgstrom of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania and Jill (Jory) Hopkins of Longmont, Ccolorado, and grandchildren Emma and Carl Borgstrom and Jacob and Joshua Hopkins, as well as numerous other relatives.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, he completed his bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry at Washington University and a master’s degree in biological research from St. Louis University with a specialty in comparative physiology. Following graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy and received his wings as a designated aerospace physiologist. Embarking on what would culminate in a 26-year career as a naval officer, he retired at the rank of captain.

During his career as a naval aerospace physiologist, he served as an aviation survival instructor, research scientist for a joint Navy/NASA program and program manager for the Navy/Marine Corps Aviation Life Support Systems at the Naval Air Systems Command in Washington D.C. He also earned a master’s degree in human resources/organizational behavior from Pepperdine University, and graduated from the Defense Systems Management College with a certification as a Department of Defense acquisition professional.

Following his retirement from the Navy, he was an executive vice president for a small, Virginia-based company devoted to providing aviation safety and life support systems engineering services. When an opportunity presented itself to return to Hawai‘i, where he had served two tours of duty, he leapt at the chance. He and his wife Jenny returned to Hawai‘i to reside in Koloa.

There, he established the Kaua‘i office of General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, providing direct support to the Office of Naval Research. He retired as the senior manager for business operations and Kaua‘i office director. Of all his accomplishments, he was most proud of building and mentoring a talented team of Kaua‘i-born systems and software engineers, exemplifying his belief of keeping local talent on island.

During his many years on Kaua‘i, he was active in both state and county organizations, having served as chairman for the Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce; chairman of the Kaua‘i Workforce Investment Board; chairman, Kaua‘i Economic Development Board; founding member of the KEDB’s Aloha ‘Ike (To Love Learning) program; founding member, Leadership Kaua‘i board of directors; commissioner, Salary Commission of the County of Kaua‘i; member of the board of directors and member-at-large, science and technology, Economic Development Alliance of Hawai‘i; and member of the board of directors of the High Technology Development Venture.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in his memory to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, at website:; by phone, 800-654-8364; or by mail: Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, Attn: Development Department, 875 N. Randolph St. Ste 225, Arlington, VA 22203.

Services will be held at a later time.

Kaleihoku ‘Unko Hoku’ Kuhaulua

Kaleihoku “Unko Hoku” Kuhaulua of Anahola passed away on April 9, 2022, at the age of 80. He was born on Kaua‘i on April 5, 1942. He was a retired school bus driver for Akita Enterprises and a harvesting superintendent for Lihu‘e Sugar Company.

He was preceded in death by parents Benjamin and Mary (Keli‘ilike) Kuhaulua, brothers Benjamin M. Kuhaulua Jr., Abraham Kuhaulua, Abner Kuhaulua, Robert Kuhaulua, Jonathan Kuhaulua and Mathan Kuhaulua, sisters Emma Kuhaulua, Lynette Kuhaulua Lanning and son Chai Hoku Kuhaulua.

He is survived by wife Sarah K. Kuhaulua, sons Chad (Kalei) Kuhaulua and Abe (Leila) Kuhaulua, 11 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

A celebration of life is at his home, at 3866 Manamana Road in Anahola, on Saturday, May 7, at 1 p.m.

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

Gertrude Lorraine Merle

Gertrude Lorraine Merle passed away on April 12, 2022, at the age of 99. She was born on April 9, 1923, in New York City.

She was preceded in death by parents Abraham and Fannie Newman.

She is survived by husband Sherman Merle, daughters Fern (Michael) Merle-Jones of Kilauea, Carol (James) Merle-Fishman of Cortlandt Manor, New York, grandchildren Quinn (Helen Merle) Merle-Hand, Jesse (Kerry Kitchens) Merle-Jones, Sarah (Seth) Marion and Emily (Joshua Gorelick) Fishman, great-grandchildren Lea Merle, Michaela Marion and Levi Marion, brother Larry Newman and sister Freida Schneider.

A private service was held.

Garden Island Mortuary assisted the family with arrangements.

Helene Eiko Tada

Helene Eiko Tada passed away on March 13, 2022, at the age of 72, in Lihu‘e. She was born on Aug. 30, 1949, in Lihu‘e. She was a receptionist.

She was preceded in death by father Nichi Miyao, mother Pansy Miyao, brother Warren Miyao and son Delrick Tada.

She is survived by daughter Melanie (Tyrus) Matsumoto of Lihu‘e, grandson Kristian Matsumoto, brothers Earl Miyao of Lawa‘i and Winston (Marian) Ogata of Lihu‘e, and numerous uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews and cousins.

A service will be held at the Garden Island Mortuary on Sunday, May 1. Visitation will begin at 2 p.m., with a celebration of life to follow at 3 p.m. The family recommends wearing masks.

Garden Island Mortuary is assisting the family with arrangements.

Gertrude Atsuko Saiki

Gertrude Atsuko Saiki passed away on Feb. 16, 2022, at the age of 85, at her home. She was born on June 30, 1936, in Waimea. She was a U.S. Postal Servce clerk.

She was preceded in death by husband Tsunao Saiki, parents Saichi and Shizuno Murakami and brother Melvin Murakami.

She is survived by son Wayne (Nadine) Saiki of Mililani, daughter Michele (Craig) Kaneshige of ‘Oma‘o, grandchildren Brandon and D’Asha Saiki and Trysen and Tyren Kaneshige, siblings Madeline Kageno of O‘ahu, Ruth Takaki of California, Betty Moriguchi of Kaua‘i and Gladys Katena of O‘ahu, sister-in-law Lillian Murakami of O‘ahu, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

A service will be held on Saturday, April 30, at Garden Island Mortuary. Visitation is from 10 to 11 a.m. with a celebration of life at 11 a.m.

Garden Island Mortuary is assisting the family with arrangements.

Mitsue I. Kimoto

Mitsue I. Kimoto, of Kekaha, passed away on March 25, 2022, at the age of 101. She was born in Makaweli on Oct. 23, 1920.

She is survived by sons Bruce (Louise) Kimoto of Huntington Beach, California and Walter (Joi) Kimoto of Torrance, California, daughter Elizabeth (Leslie) Iida of Honolulu, grandchildren Randal Kimoto, Brad Iida, Erik Kimoto, Rob Iida and Tisha Kimoto Johnson, and 11 great-grandchildren.

A private service was held.

Garden Island Mortuary assisted the family with arrangements.
Source: The Garden Island

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