WAIMEA — “This is the exact day, 100 years ago,” said Jon Ogata of Honolulu on Tuesday at Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital’s long-term-care unit. “Naoko Ogata was born today, 100 years ago, in Kaimuki on Oahu.”
Naoko’s son Jon flew in from Honolulu for the occasion, which was celebrated by members of the Waimea Senior Center, friends and relatives who filled the corridor outside the recreation and activity room.
“Her brother Ted Tsukiyama is 96 years old,” Jon said. “He’s also making his way down here. I saw them at the airport, and they said they were coming.”
Naoko went to school in the Kaimuki area, and graduated from Roosevelt High School and the University of Hawaii.
“After she met my dad, Yoshiharu, they moved to Kauai in 1943,” Jon said. “They were both teachers, my mom teaching kindergarten at the Waimea Elementary School, and dad was a shop teacher.”
Kealoha Takahashi, director of the county’s Agency on Elderly Affairs, presented a proclamation declaring Nov. 28 as Naoko Ogata Day in celebration of her 100th birthday.
Following her retirement as a librarian at both Waimea and Kaumakani School in 1971, Naoko enjoyed going to the senior center, dancing hula, playing ukulele, doing needlepoint, caring for her plants, and creating floral arrangements for the Waimea United Church of Christ.
From 1985-2012, Naoko served as a county Retired Senior Volunteer Program volunteer, where she is remembered by many people for her joy, wisdom, hope and love.
She has two children, Jon from Honolulu, and Joy Miyamoto. She also has six grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and an abundance of friends.