Obituaries for Thursday — July 17, 2003

• Dr. William Kenji Kikuchi

• Leonila Carlos

• Tsutomu Fukushima

Dr. William Kenji Kikuchi

Dr. William Kenji Kikuchi, 68, of ‘Oma’o died at his home on July 10, 2003, after a 4 1/2 year battle against an aggressive form of prostate cancer. He was born on June 27, 1935, in Honolulu.

Kikuchi had a lifelong love of airplanes. That fascination began one day in the early 1940s when Kenji and his father, the late Edward Goro Kikuchi, were walking on the King Street side of the ‘Iolani Palace Grounds where planes had been parked. In his as-yet-unpublished memoirs, he wrote: “I climbed on the wings and looked into the cockpit . . . touched the propellors, fuselage and tail. I fell in love with aviation…” Later, as a 6 year old on December 7, 1941, he already was able to recognize the airplanes flying low over him, coming out of Nu’uanu Valley. “I clearly knew they were Japanese as I saw the red circles under their wings,” he wrote. Kikuchi later worked as a draftsman on the B52 at Boeing in Seattle and served in the U. S. Air Force. Throughout his carreer, he used his exquisite drafting skills to draw his own maps and figures for his publications and reports.

“Dizzy,” as he was known at the time, was a proud member of the Knights and of the 1953 graduating class of Kaimuki High School. He attended the University of Washington and received his BA and MA Degrees in Anthropology from UH-Manoa where he was given the name “Pila” by his dear friend Mary Kawena Pukui. Pila both volunteered at and was employed by the Bishop Museum, during which time he worked with his mentor Dr. Yoshihiko Sinoto, conducted fieldwork for his Master’s thesis in American Samoa, and worked with Dr. Kenneth Emory as part of the Museum’s archaeological expedition on the NaPali Coast, which is recognized by many as a part of the beginning of archaeology in the Hawai’i. In 1973, “Bill” earned his Ph. D. from the University of Arizona where he studied under Edwin Ferdon and Jane Underwood. His dissertation, the landmark “Hawaiian Aquacultural System,” remains the basic resource for any subsequent work done on fishponds in the State.

Dr. Kikuchi returned to the Islands to assume a position as Instructor and, later, Professor in Anthropology and Archaeology at Kauai Community College, a position he treasured for 26 years. He wrote numerous publications; but dearest to his heart was his newsletter “Archaeology on Kaua’i.” After his retirement in 1998, he was named Professor Emeritus. Until his passing, he continued to work with Drs. David Burney of Fordham and Storrs Olson and Helen James of the Smithsonian Institution on the Maha’ulepu Sinkhole project. His website, “Pila’s Pages,” at, was established to fulfill his wish that his research be easily accessible and free to as many people as possible who want to learn about this island that he held so dearly.

A man with an infinite number of interests and hobbies, he most loved his family, his college, his teaching, his colleagues, his students, and his students/chemotherapy nurses. He was well known for his sense of humor and for volunteering his time selling pastries in the KCC cafeteria. He spoke publicly and freely about having cancer and was a volunteer with the American Cancer Society.

Passionate about archaeology, history, preservation, and the island of Kaua’i, he was a member of many boards and commissions, including the Kaua’i County Historic Review Commission, Kaua’i Historical Society, Native Hawaiian Culture and Arts Commission of the Bishop Museum, Hawai’i Historic Places Review Board, and the American Samoa Historic Places Review Board.

He felt especially honored by being presented the KCC Excellence in Teaching award in 1981; by being recognized for his preservation efforts by the State, Kaua’i County, and various organizations throughout Hawai’i; and by being named by the Kaua’i Historical Society a “Living Treasure of Kaua’i” in 2002.

He is survived by his wife, Dolly; mother, Gladys; daughter Kathleen (Jeremy) Kikuchi-Samonte; and cousin Katsuo, all of ‘Oma’o; daughters Michelei (Thomas) Motooka and Kristina (Kimo) Kikuchi-Palenapa [aka Pila Kikuchi] of Honolulu; grandson Pilaho’ohau’oli Palenapa of Honolulu; one brother, Bert (Irish) of Maui; one uncle, Shigekazu (Tsuruye) Nishi of New Mill; three aunts, Misako Kawamoto of Koloa, Misayo Kikuchi of Honolulu, and Natsu Kikuchi of Los Angeles; nephews Bumper, Kats and Kyle Kikuchi of Maui; and beloved cousins.

A private service was held at the Kikuchi home on July 13, the Rev. Diane Martinson-Koyama officiating. A public Tribute to Pila, his life and humor, sponsored by the Hawaiian Studies Program, will begin with a Talk Story / Visitation at 1:00 and a program at 2:00 on Saturday, August 16, at the Kaua’i Community College Theater. Inurnment will take place at a later date.

Leonila Carlos

Leonila J. Carlos of Lihu‘e, died at Wilcox Memorial Hospital on July 3, 2003 at the age of 69.

Born in the Philippines on August 18, 1933, she was a janitor for Lihu‘e Airport.

She is survived by six children: Gil (Aleli L.L.) Carlos of Lihu‘e, Mary (William) Bran of Lihu‘e, Noel (Maribeth) Carlos of Lihu‘e, Bessie (Teresito) Fulgencio of San Diego, California, Jolly Carlos of Lihu‘e, Asprenio Carlos of Lihu‘e; sister, Rosita (Cornelio) Bacani of the Philippines; brother, Rogelio (Alicia) Juico of the Philippines, 11 grandchildren, numerous relatives and friends.

Friends may visit with the family on Sunday, July 20, at Borthwick Kauai Mortuary Chapel in Koloa from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Casual attire is suggested.

Arrangements are being handled by Borthwick Kauai Mortuary.

Tsutomu Fukushima

Tsutomu “Tom” Fukushima of Oma‘o, died at Wilcox Memorial Hospital on June 24, 2003 at the age of 91.

Born in Kapa‘a on December 1, 1911, he was a brewer.

He is survived by his wife, Tsuyako Fukushima; two daughters, Amy Oshiro, Dora Lane; one son, Ronald Fukushima; brother, Chester Akira Fukushima, 2 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews.

Friends may visit with the family on Sunday, July 20, at Honolulu Borthwick Makai Chapel from 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. where memorial services will be conducted at 10 a.m. Casual attire is suggested.

Arrangements are being handled by Borthwick Kauai Mortuary.


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