Obituaries for Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Phyllis Ann DeGraff Kunimura

Kauai has lost an invaluable educator and community leader. Phyllis Ann DeGraff Kunimura passed away peacefully on Dec. 7, 2017, surrounded by her beloved family, after a very short and valiant battle with acute myeloid leukemia. She was the wife of the late Kauai Mayor Tony Kunimura, and is survived by her family: daughter Patrice (Michael) Wright, and grandsons Trevor (Katy) and Cole Wright.

She was an innovator of early childhood education. Throughout her 60 years as an educator, she touched countless lives and now leaves behind a brilliant legacy. She was a natural leader who radiated wisdom, compassion and creativity.

In addition to her educational service to the community, she served on many community boards including Hale Opi‘o, Kaua‘i Museum, and the Kauai Philippine Cultural Center. She also spearheaded the 22-year process of restoring the Historic County Building and co-founded Koloa Plantation Days.

She was a talented artist, with a few of her paintings featured in the permanent collection at the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. As the first lady of Kauai, she headed an island-wide beautification program, as well as entertained and dined with politicians, dignitaries and royalty from around the world. She was a true ambassador of aloha.

Kunimura arrived on Kauai in 1961 as an exchange teacher from New York. She instantly fell in love with the island and her then-future husband, Tony Kunimura. She spent the next 25 years teaching kindergarten at Koloa School, where her passion for understanding the development of the left and right hemispheres of a child’s brain led her to create many programs that fulfilled the complete educational needs of young children, one of which was adopted by the state Department of Education into all schools throughout Hawaii in 1982.

It was this same year that she was named Kauai District Teacher of the Year. In 1989, she actualized her true potential by opening K.I.D.S school (Kauai Independent Daycare Services) with the help of business partner John Apana.

With her many years of experience and research, she created K.I.D.S school’s innovative and phenomenally successful preschool program, which actively stimulates the left and right hemispheres of a child’s brain. Her legacy lives on through her school and the book she authored, “Beyond the Sandbox,” which describes her preschool program and early childhood education philosophy.

She was a strong believer in seeking knowledge and leaving the world a better place than she found it. She undoubtedly did both throughout the remarkable life she lived.

Friends may visit with the family at 9 a.m.,and a celebration of her life will be held at 11 a.m., on Saturday, Jan. 20 at Koloa Union Church. Parking will be available next door at Koloa Church and Koloa School. It is requested that parking at Koloa Union Church be kept available for elderly and those with limited mobility. The family kindly suggests that flowers be omitted.

Nicky Rikio Omura

Nicky Rikio Omura, 51, of Kalaheo, passed away on Dec. 8, 2017, at his home in Kalaheo.

Born on Nov. 22, 1966, in Aiea, Oahu, he was a drywall contractor.

He was preceded in death by parents Mitsuo and Gladys Omura.

He is survived by wife Michelle Omura of Kalaheo, niece Brianne Omura, nephew Makana Omura, brothers Douglas (Jessie) Omura, Jeffrey Omura and Joel (Betty) Omura, all of Oahu, and sister Wendy (Lester) Walker of Oahu.

Friends may visit with the family on Saturday, Jan. 13, at the Mililani Kingdom Hall (2) of Jehovah’s Witnesses at 239 Palii St., Mililani, at 5 p.m., with services to be held at 6 p.m.

The family suggests casual attire and requests that flowers be omitted.

Garden Island Mortuary assisted the family with arrangements.

Russell Earl Andrade

Russell Earl Andrade of Wailua passed away at home on Dec. 12, 2017, at the age of 72.

He was born on Kauai on Sept. 2, 1945, and worked in construction.

He was preceded in death by parents Lawrence and Angeline Andrade.

He is survived by daughters Kuulei (Kapena) Cummings and Karina Andrade, best friend Pamela Andrade, grandchildren Kahiau Kamala, Halia Andrade, Kiran Rivera, Kayla Rivera, Russden Andrade, Ezra Cummings, Raeden Andrade and Ezekiel Legend Cummings, sister Susan (Bernard Duarte) Andrade, brothers Carlos (Maile) Andrade, Pierre (Susan) Andrade, Paul (Nancy) Andrade and Kimo (Margaret) Andrade, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, Jan. 13, at Anahola Beach Park, with visitation from 9:30 a.m. and services beginning at 11 a.m. Lunch will follow.

Godofredo Aguinaldo Del Rosario

Godofredo Aguinaldo Del Rosario, 101, of Eleele, passed away on Nov. 22, 2017, at Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital.

He was born on Nov. 5, 1916, in the Philippines.

He is survived by wife Maxima Bartolome Del Rosario, son Rodrigo (Norma Geronimo) Del Rosario, daughter Evelyn (Bert) Del Rosario Sazon, hanai daughter Primitiva Cabatan, eight grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, grandnieces and grandnephews.

He is also survived by sister Isidora Pablo, grandchildren Thea (Steve) Hiatt, Mark del Rosario, Michelle (Brian) Vinci, Catherine (Lindsey) Sazon-Benoit, Larisa Sazon, Joey (Sarah) Cabatan and Jessie Cabatan, and great-grandchildren Madison Hiatt, Brooke Hiatt, Nathan Hiatt, Jessica Hiatt, Benjamin Vinci, Grace Vinci, Olivia Cabatan and Sofia Cabatan.

Friends may visit with the family on Saturday, Jan. 13, at Holy Cross Church in Kalaheo from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Burial will follow at Kauai Memorial Gardens in Lihue.

The family suggests casual attire.

Borthwick Kauai Mortuary assisted the family with arrangements.

Robert Baptista

Robert Baptista of Kilauea passed away on Dec. 26, 2017, at Wilcox Medical Center at the age of 73. He was born in Hanapepe on Oct. 4, 1944, and was self-employed as a contractor.

He was preceded in death by parents George and Marcelina Baptista.

He is survived by wife Bethan Baptista, children Eric Troy Baptista, Rebekah Eve (Scott) Conner, Chanderrae (Copelen) Harada-Snyder, Ray Kukunaokala Katsumi Harada, Zion Micah Kinowiki Harada, Alpha Anuenuelani Harue Harada, Royleen Adeline Ka‘ohuokalani Harada, Michael Basilere, Kaleo Stevens and Heidi Kanahele, grandchildren Mariah “Moki” Baptista, Kamaile Conner, Elena Conner, Chandlyn Harada, Chazlyn Harada, Ka‘ie‘ie Harada, Zen Sexton, Challen Harada-Snyder, Zaaron Harada-Snyder, Tyren-John Harada-Snyder and Juden-James Harada-Snyder, brothers Steven S. (Rosemary) Baptista Sr., Jerry S. (Joyce) Baptista and Thomas S. Baptista, sisters Solina S. (William) Arisman and Margie S. (Ray) Gonzales, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Jan. 20, at the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints Kapaa Ward, with visitation from 9 to 10 a.m. and services from 10 to 11 a.m.

Kauai Memorial Gardens &Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements.

Laureano ‘Larry’ Corpuz

Laureano “Larry” Corpuz of Castle Rock, Colorado, an Army veteran and retired mechanic for McBryde Sugar Co., was born on April 16, 1938, in Koloa, and passed away at his residence on Dec. 6, 2017. at the age of 79.

He is survived by wife Estrella Corpuz, sons Patrick Corpuz and Scott Corpuz, granddaughter Bailey Corpuz, brothers Jay Dela Cruz of Seal Beach, California, Peter Corpuz of Cerritos, California, sisters Josephine Gerardo of Mililani, Oahu, and Edita (Didi) Corpuz Lung of Las Vegas, brother Calvin Corpuz of Kauai, sister Emmaline (Rose) Corpuz Lalin of Kauai, sister Evelyn Corpuz Gonsalves of Kauai, sister Julie Corpuz Broyles of Kauai, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial services will be held at the Kauai Veterans Cemetery in Hanapepe on Saturday, Jan. 13. Visitation with the family will be at 9:30 a.m. with service to follow. Military honors begin at 11:30 a.m.

Reinaldo Alonzo Aurelio

Reinaldo Alonzo Aurelio, 66, of Lihue, passed away on Dec. 26, 2017, at Straub Hospital on Oahu.

Born on Nov. 14, 1951, in San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte, Philippines, he was a retired school van driver.

He is survived by wife Lucrecia Cubangbang Aurelio of Lihue, brothers Nestor (Lita) Aurelio, Fernando Aurelio and Oscar (Brenda) Aurelio, all of the Philippines, Tony (Josie) Aurelio of Lihue, sisters Lita Marcos of Honolulu, Vina Aurelio of California and Anabel Aurelio of the Philippines, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Friends may visit with the family on Friday, Jan. 26, at Borthwick Kauai Mortuary chapel in Koloa from 6 to 9 p.m., and again on Saturday, Jan. 27, at Immaculate Conception Church from 8 to 9:45 a.m., where Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m.

Burial will follow at Kalapaki Bay Memorial Park cemetery.

The family suggests casual attire.

Dexter Kaido Yamamoto

Dexter Kaido Yamamoto, 74, passed away on Jan. 7, 2018, in Waimea.

He was born on Oct. 12, 1943 in Koloa.

He was preceded in death by wife Charlene S.K. Yamamoto, parents Hiroshi and Kimiko Yamamoto, and brothers Kenneth Yamamoto and Wayne Yamamoto.

He is survived by daughter Dayla (Palani) Camacho of Kekaha, grandchildren Shelbri Ann Cosier and Charli Camacho, brothers Milton Yamamoto of Koloa and Melvin (Elaine) Yamamoto of Kalaheo, brothers-in-law Thomas (Alice) Baptista of Waimea, Benjiman Nakaahiki Jr. of Kekaha, Brenn (Eileen) Nakaahiki of Kekaha and Joseph (Nani) Nakaahiki of Kekaha, sisters-in-law Pili Iwai of Waimea, Kuulei (Burt) Vidinha of Kekaha, Trudi (Lee) Contrades of Kekaha, Elena (Todd) Yamase of Eleele and Oriente Nakaahiki of Eleele, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Friends may visit with the family on Saturday, Jan. 20, at Garden Island Mortuary chapel in Lawai from 9 to 10:45 a.m., where memorial services will be celebrated at 11 a.m.

The family suggests casual attire.

Garden Island Mortuary assisted the family with arrangements.

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