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Obituaries for Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Thelma H.T.L. Chun

Thelma H.T.L. Chun passed away at her home in Lihu‘e, at the age of 97, surrounded by her family. She was a retired Wilcox Elementary School teacher and an organist for Lihu‘e Christian Church and Kapa’a First Hawaiian Church. She was a lover of music, and spent her time as a volunteer teacher at various places around the world.

She is survived by her husband of 72 years, the Rev. Richard Chun, children Dennis (Kyoko) Chun, Malcolm (Carrie) Chun, Jonathan (Sandy) Chun and Debbie (Tiffany) Chun, grandchildren Ke‘ao, Noa, Kamaka and Makana Chun, Lauren, Jason and Kristin Chun and Kelcie and Dayna Ragasa, great-grandchildren Na‘ale and Lei Chun, Cami and Mikey Ambrose and Romi Kummerow, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life is at Lihue Christian Church on Saturday, March 25. Visitation begins at 10 a.m., service at 11 a.m., and pa‘ina to follow.

The family was assisted by Kaua‘i Hospice and Garden Island Mortuary.

Bernadette Vidinha

Bernadette Vidinha passed away on April 14, 2020, in Santa Clarita, California. She was born on Aug. 30, 1937, in Kealia. The mother of five and wife of 66 years was a retired executive housekeeper. She was survived and loved by husband Kenneth Vidinha.

Kenneth Vidinha

Kenneth Vidinha passed away on Jan. 4, 2023, in Santa Clarita, California.

He was born on Sept. 7, 1932, in Koloa. He was a retired 40-year veteran with Hawai‘i Air National Guard 150th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron in Koke‘e.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Bernadette Vidinha.

They are survived by children Lizann Vidinha (Steven) Carvalho, Bruce (Lisa) Vidinha, Brenda Vidinha, Cheryl Vidinha and Mark (Joyce) Vidinha, grandchildren Bryan Carvalho, Meagan Ki‘ilau, Nathan Vidinha, Carly Cagle, Carynn Vidinha, Cherise Day, Lynn Marie Lardizabal-Goo, Brittany Ikeda, Daniel Ikeda, Marlyssa Vidinha and Kylee Vidinha, and 19 great-grandchildren.

Services are Saturday, April 1, at the Kaua‘i Veterans Cemetery, beginning at 11 a.m. There will be no gathering following the service. The family welcomes flowers.

Amby ‘Boy’ Gregory Cruz

Amby “Boy” Gregory Cruz, who resided in New York, originally from ‘Oma‘o, passed away on Jan. 20, 2023, at his residence, at the age of 66.

Born on Feb. 1, 1956, in Lihu‘e, he was a retired customer agent at The Lambs Club By Geoffrey Zakarian, New York.

He was preceded in death by parents Amby and Consuelo “Connie” Cruz, grandparents Gregorio and Juliana Bali and Pedro and Emiliana Dela Cruz, and numerous uncles, aunties and cousins.

He is survived by brothers and sister Anthony (Edelwisa) Cruz of Hanapepe, Adela (Alexander) Padasdao of Koloa and Arnold (Genevieve) Cruz of Kahili, nieces and nephews Tiffany (Chad) Dusenberry, Bryson (Tiffany) Bernades, Annie (Keith) Nonaka, Austin (Christopher Castro) Cruz, Alisa (Joshua Sheldon-Kaualoku) Padasdao, Andrew (Waihea Gonsalves) Cruz, Alexio Padasdao and Zaylie Schmidt Cruz, grand-nieces and grand-nephews Kairus Pedro, Nathan Bennor, Blake Cruz-Gonsalves, Peyton Cruz-Gonsalves, Brylynn Bernades, Braxtyn Bernades and Keiryn Nonaka, and numerous uncles, aunties, cousins, nieces, nephews and grandchildren.

A celebration of life is Saturday, March 18, at St. Raphael Church in Koloa. Visitation with the family begins at 8 a.m., Mass at 10 a.m., and burial to follow at Lihu‘e Public Cemetery.

Arrangements are being handled by Marissa Cunningham, Quinn-Fogarty Funeral Home, and Bruce Hironaka, Garden Island Mortuary.

Flora Carbonel Serrano

Flora Carbonel Serrano, 92, passed away on Feb. 25, 2023, in Lihu‘e. She was born on Dec. 20, 1930 in the Philippines. She was a teacher in the Philippines and in the food and beverage service at Stouffer Waiohai Hotel.

She was preceded in death by husband Teofilo Serrano Sr., parents Saturnino and Estefania Carbonel, brothers Bartolome, Julio (Dolores), Alfredo Sr. (Aida), Emilo, Eugenio, Ernesto and Daniel Carbonel, and sisters Rosita Rivad, Fortunata Carbonel, Herminia Carbonel and Adelina Rivad.

She is survived by children Blesilda (Renato) Looc, Florante (Nilda) Serrano, Edgardo (Lisa) Serrano, Estrella (Rolando) Mendoza, Teofilo (Ofelia) Serrano Jr. and Aleili (Edgar Sr.) Bilgera, brother Rodolfo (Marites) Carbonel, sisters-in-law Dolores Carbonel and Vicky Carbonell, 16 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.

A service is Saturday, March 18, at Borthwick Kaua‘i Mortuary. Visitation will begin at 9:30 a.m., services at 10:30 a.m., and burial to follow at Koloa Public Cemetery.

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

Sherry Lynn M. French

Sherry Lynn M. French, of Wailua and Chaska, Minnesota, sunrise 12.14.49, sunset 3.2.23, left this world and her loving family suddenly to reunite for eternity with her two infant sons John and Brandon Amrhein. She was a generous, caring and loving wife, mother and grandmother. Her presence will be forever missed.

She is survived by her husband of 36 years Tom French, daughter Natalie (Todd) McLaughlin, grandchildren Jackson (Iloriem) McLaughlin, Malone McLaughlin and Jenny (Tim) Barrer, and great grandchildren Olive, Carson and Hattie Barrer.

She was a registered nurse who served as director of Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital Hospice prior to starting her own medical case management business on Kaua‘i.

Memorial donations to the Kaua‘i Humane Society in the name of the lost and forgotten are appreciated.

The family had a private celebration of her life and scattering of her ashes.

Margery ‘Marge’ Freeman


Margery Freeman passed away peacefully, on her home island of Kaua‘i, at the age of 91, on March 3, 2023, surrounded by love. Born in Massachusetts to Katharine and Gilbert, she was the second of three daughters.

She was predeceased by her husband of 44 years, Robert “Bob” Freeman, and is survived by their four children, Barbara, Laura, Eric and Carla, and three grandsons, Daniel, Nicolas and Lucas.

Marge and Bob met and married while attending Antioch College. Early in their marriage and in the spirit of adventure, they moved from the East Coast to the island of O‘ahu. Eventually they settled in Seattle, where Bob worked as an engineer at Boeing. Active in local politics, they became involved with Turn Toward Peace/World Without War Council, resulting in a career change and a move to Berkeley, California, in the mid-1960s.

While raising her children, she earned her registered nurse degree and worked in labor and delivery at various Bay Area hospitals. During her long career, she created a program called Shared Beginnings to improve birthing outcomes for mothers and their newborns, and helped improve working conditions for nursing staff.

In the 1970s, Marge and Bob welcomed other cultures into their home by hosting a Brazilian foreign exchange student, several Japanese students, and finally hosting two Vietnamese refugees, Tien and Susan, who became like family to them.

Soon afterwards they began traveling abroad, eventually visiting six continents. Marge indulged her life-long interest in photography, documenting people and their lives, around the world. She created and shared cultural slideshows of the more than 40 countries she explored. Many of her slideshows are archived and available online via LearnNC at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

As Marge and Bob considered retirement, they moved back to Hawai‘i and called the beautiful island of Kaua‘i their home. While working part-time at Wilcox Hospital, Marge explored many interests outside of her career, including: involvement in local and state politics; saving public access to the beaches of Kaua‘i; helping the development of the Kaua‘i bike path; helping to build play structures at the Kamalani Playground in Lydgate Park, still loved today by children young and old; volunteering with Malama Maha‘ulepu; volunteering at a poi plantation; as well as raising and planting numerous monkeypod trees which now grace Kaua‘i.

Throughout her life, Marge loved reading, and especially reading children’s literature aloud. She loved the words, creativity, irreverence and surprising twists. She enjoyed sharing them with the three generations of her family. All who gathered around to listen appreciated the stories, read with such delight.

A celebration of life will be held in the future. For more information, email after March 21.

In lieu of flowers, please honor Marge by making a donation in her name to Malama Maha‘ulepu,, or the Kaua‘i Bike Path,

Sadamu ‘Sam’ ‘Aka’ Akamine

Sadamu “Sam” “Aka” Akamine, 93, of Kekaha, went to be with Jesus on March 3, 2023. He served as a Marine sergeant in the Korean War, employed as a master plumber for 48 years for the Kekaha Sugar Company, and was an avid fisherman.

He was the cherished husband of Fujiko (Nada), father to Hale (Gayle), Claire China (Ed), Lorna Hu (Hayden), Sandra Kishaba (Richard) and Kurt (Kristi), grandfather to Rachel Kau‘i (Kawika) and Trevor Hu, Ryne Mizushima, Matthew, Joshua and Jonathan Kishaba, Erin and Ezra Akamine, Hope Akamine and great grandfather to Nova Kau‘i.

He was the brother to Tsuruko Shimabukuro, Mitsuno Hada, Yachiyo Nakamatsu and Teisuke Akamine, all whom preceded him in death. He was “Uncle Sam” to many nieces and nephews, “Aka” to his friends and a baseball coach.

Private services were held.

Visits with the family are welcomed on Saturday, March 18, at their home in Kekaha, 8388 Kopa‘a Road, from noon to 2 p.m.

Josephine Bigno

Josephine Bigno, 91, passed away on March 8, 2023. She was born in Lihu‘e on Dec. 20, 1931, and worked as a manager for Consolidated Distributors.

She was preceded in passing by her loving husband Victor Bigno Sr., parents Timoteo and Frances Sasan, brothers Alfred and Richard Sasan and sister Lily Sasan.

She is survived by children Myrna (Paul) Muto, Jonathan (Laura dec.) Bigno and Victor (Violet) Bigno Jr., 11 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, eight great-great-grandchildren, siblings Jay (Diane dec.) Sasan, William (Mary) Sasan and Lucille (Tony) Bargayo, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life is Saturday, March 25, at Immaculate Conception Church, with visitation beginning at 8 a.m. and memorial services at 9 a.m. Inurnment will be held at Kaua‘i Veterans Cemetery at 11 a.m.

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

Violet M. Nakao

Violet M. Nakao, 103, passed away on March 7, 2023. She was born in Waipahu, O‘ahu, on Jan. 1, 1920, and retired as a secretary with County of Kaua‘i Department of Water.

She was preceded in passing by husband James Shigeo Nakao, son Lloyd James Nakao, grandson Russell-James Riley and son-in-law Richard James Riley.

She is survived by daughters Sandra Riley of Oregon and Donna Green of Kapa‘a, eight grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, sister Nancy Tomasa of Kane‘ohe, O‘ahu, daughter-in-law Melvina Nakao, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Services are at the Kapa‘a United Church of Christ on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023, with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. and services at 11 a.m.

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

Ronald Gene Alalem

Ronald Gene Alalem passed away on March 3, 2023, in Lihu‘e, at the age of 61.

He was born on June 25, 1961, on Kaua‘i. He worked for Kauai Freight Service.

He was preceded in death by father Albert Cummings Sr. and grandson Kingstyn Texeira.

He is survived by wife Carol Texeira Alalem, sons Clifford Texeira of Kapa‘a, Leonardo (Alannah) Texeira of Hanama‘ulu, Jesse Texeira of Iowa and Ruben (Ashley Blackstad) Texeira of Lihu‘e, daughter Caroline (John) Kaua of Kapa‘a, grandchildren Randall (Kainoa) Kanaiaupuni, Kasen Texeira-Okami, Isaiah (Alexis Yadao) Texeira, Isaac Texeira, Zylah Blackstad-Texeira, Kylie Texeira, Kiana Texeira, Leia Texeira, Trinity Texeira, Nyjah Texeira, Skylyn Fagarang and Samantha Fagarang, mother Dolores Alalem Kama, stepmother Merlin Cummings, brothers Aaron I. (Bonnie) Howard of Hanama‘ulu and Albert (Rene) Cummings Jr. of Kapa‘a, sister Sherry Carrigan of Las Vegas, and numerous uncles, aunts nieces, nephews and cousins.

The family will be having a private viewing with cremation to follow and a small celebration of life.

Garden Island Mortuary is assisting the family with arrangements.

Katherine A. Weir

Katherine A. Weir passed away on Feb. 27, 2023, in Makaweli, at the age of 72.

She was born on Feb. 19, 1951 in Waimea. She was a bookkeeper.

She was preceded in death by parents Robert and Jean Weir and father-in-law Marshall Smith.

She is survived by husband Marshall J. Smith II, daughter Melissa (Dean) Kelekoma of Kekaha, grandchildren Damien (Jonsie Oliver) Kelekoma, Emma (Ryland Santos) Kelekoma and Lily Kelekoma, great-grandchildren Maddox Kelekoma and Brinzley Kelekoma, brother Randy (Gail) Weir of Wailua, sister Judy (Ken) Cook of Millbrae, California, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

A service is Saturday, April 1, at Waimea United Church of Christ, beginning at 10 a.m.

Garden Island Mortuary is assisting the family with arrangements.

Gerald Sanchez

Gerald Sanchez, 79, passed away on March 6, 2023. He was born on Dec. 10, 1943, and was the owner and proprietor of Wailua Country Store.

He was preceded in passing by parents Manuel Sanchez and Leilani Souza and his best friend Sheba.

He is survived by daughters Sarah (Ridge) Resinto, Roberta (Junior) Apaisa, Lisa Latchford and Marylou Kai, sons Shane (Karon) Sanchez, Shawn Sanchez, Duncan Costa Brum and Kenney Costa Brum, his favorite uncle and mentor Willy Martin, grandchildren Elijah, Jaxtyn and Harden, along with other numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren, brothers Gordon (Healani) Sanchez, Robin (Shar) Sanchez and Rodney Sanchez, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

A celebration of life is at the Sanchez residence on Saturday, March 25, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Kaua‘i Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Source: The Garden Island

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