The Golden Child
Ryder Keolaokekai Kaui
Ryder Keolaokekai Kaui was born on Jan. 26, 2003, at Wilcox Medical Center in Lihu‘e. He was a North Shore Boy raised his whole life in Wai‘oli, and will be forever loved.
Known for being fearless, loving, kind, affectionate and radical, his greatest passion was the sport of motocross, in which he brought boundless energy, focus, speed and talent. He loved his family, friends and his community. He was a bringer of smiles and laughter, a dodger of birds, a partner and friend and a catcher of air.
No words can truly describe his many layers of awesomeness. His upbringing allowed him to be a valuable asset and beloved member as first a student then a intern at Waipa Community Foundation. He also worked at his family’s small business in Hanalei, attended Kapaa High School and was a member of the Club Moto Kauai for many years.
On Nov. 23, 2019, he was greeted at heaven’s gates by his pop pop George Bub Yarberry of Hanalei. His pop pop raised him alongside his beloved mother Nina Yarberry and his ama Vicky Yarberry.
He is survived by hanai sisters Leilani Weber and Wailana Longley-Ka‘aumoana, hanai brother Wailau Longley-Ka‘aumoana, aunty Mona Yarberry, cousins Hunter and Reef Ewald, uncle Jett Yarberry, father Ryan Kaui and the Kaui ohana of Keapana, as well as his entire community and ohana who will continue to be warmed by his light.
A celebration of life will be held at Wai‘oli Beach Park on Saturday, Jan. 4, at 11 a.m., with visitation and a service with lunch and music to follow.
Maveline ‘Nani’ Mililani Gardner
Maveline “Nani” Mililani Gardner passed away on Dec. 3, 2019, on Oahu, at the age of 76. She was born on March 12, 1943, in Waimea. She was a tour guide bus driver with Roberts Hawaii and Grayline.
She was preceded in death by parents Eddie and Mary Taniguchi Sr., and sister Sarah “Tita” Borengasser.
She is survived by husband Clarence Gardner of Lawai, sons Wayne (Raynette) Taniguchi of Kalaheo, Kalei (Lanell) Gardner of Lawai and Lono (Christina) Gardner of Lawai, daughter Raynette “Momi” Gardner of Maile, Oahu, grandchildren Kylie Taniguchi, Kawehi Taniguchi, Britney (Jarett) Fujioka, Kody Gardner, Nicole Gardner, Kayley Gardner and Rusty Gardner, great-grandchildren Kailea Fujioka and Kamaha‘o Cabral, brothers, Eddie “Eloise” Taniguchi Jr. of Makaweli and Roger (Jennifer) Taniguchi of Lihue, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Services will be held on Friday, Jan. 3, at Garden Island Mortuary, with visitation from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Services will follow at 11:30 a.m. Burial will be held at Kauai Memorial Gardens.
The family suggests casual attire and welcomes flowers.
Garden Island Mortuary is assisting the family with arrangements.
Shimpei Suzuki, 94, passed away peacefully on Nov. 20, 2019, in Tokyo, Japan. Born in Chiba, Suzuki was a retired executive with NCR Japan Corporation.
He is survived by wife Mitsuko of Tokyo, daughter Michiru (Art) Umezu of Kauai, son Nobumitsu (Yoko) Suzuki, granddaughter Mariko (Shintaro) Tsutsumi, grandson Yosuke Suzuki, great-granddaughter Kio Tsutsumi, brother Hiroshi (Tsutae) Suzuki, and sisters Masako (Susumu) Sato, Tsuneyo (Kazuo) Isono and Kiyo Kada, all of Japan.
A memorial service was held at Genjyoin Buddhist Temple in Tokyo, where he’ll be laid to rest eternally in January 2020.
Mitsuko Ho‘okano passed away at the age of 90 on Dec. 22, 2019. She was born on March 15, 1929. She was a licensed practical nurse.
She was preceded in death by parents Kataro and Kikusano Kimura, brothers Torao Katada, Hisashi Kimura, Shinge Kimura, Haruo Kimura, Tamotsu Kimura and Masaru Kimura, and sisters Agnes Yaeko Kimura and Esther Yachiyo Woods.
She is survived by sisters Yoshiko Young and Tomiko Abusa, sons Aaron (Stella) Ho‘okano of Honolulu, Isaac Liko (Debra) Ho‘okano of Kekaha, hanai son Keith Kimura of Honolulu, daughters Leah (Patrick) Pereira of Kekaha, Prellna (David) Meqee of California, eight grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A funeral will be held on Saturday, Jan. 18, at Garden Island Mortuary in Lawai, with visitation at noon and services at 1 p.m., with lunch to follow.
The family suggests aloha attire and welcomes flowers and lei.
Garden Island Mortuary is assisting the family with arrangements.
Nancy Nakasone Blalock
Nancy Nakasone Blalock, of Wailua, passed away peacefully on Nov. 6, 2019, at the age of 97. Born Shigeko Nakasone on April 10, 1922, in Wahiawa, Oahu, she graduated from Leilehua High School and earned a business degree from the University of Denver.
She devoted her life to the service of others, as a special education teacher in Hawaii, mentor in 4-H programs across Hawaii, co-founder of the County of Kauai Sunshine Markets, longtime member of the Kauai Farm Bureau and Kapaa Lions’ Club, and avid supporter of Na Koa (University of Hawaii athletics).
She was preceded in death by her adoring husband of 57 years, Jack Blalock, parents Ushii and Matsukichi Nakasone, sisters Matsue Shimabukuro, Kay Kimiko Nakamura and Jeanette Kinue Matsukawa, and brothers Matsuzen, Masayuki and Walter Masahiro Nakasone.
She is survived by children Carol (Abraham) Cummings, Reiko (Dominic) Beralas and John Ty Blalock, grandchildren who fondly called her “Grandma Ms. B,” Kawailele (Landon) Yamashiro, Michael (Maricel) Cummings, Momi (Chi) Cummings, Nate (Rebecca) Beralas, John (Carmela) Beralas, Kulia and Faith Blalock and Meghann Matsuda, great-grandchildren Pono, Ava, Elliana and Azariah, brothers Edwin Masanobu (Mary) Nakasone and James (Norma) Nakasone, sister Marian Iha, brother-in-law Joseph Matsukawa and and sister-in-law Takako Nakasone.
In accordance with her wishes, services were private.
Paul Vilja, 91, of Kapaa, passed away at home on Dec. 23, 2019. He was born inside of a sauna in Nuijamaa, Finland, on Sept. 4, 1928, and retired as a construction superintendent at Pozzo Construction Inc.
In his late twenties he moved to Canada, where he was a lumberjack and bear hunter. After several years he moved to California, then Washington, before finally settling down on Kauai in late 1996. He was a proud Finnish man who found great pride and joy in building banks and hospitals and later became a prize-winning wood carver known on Kauai for his life-like coconut carvings.
He was preceded in death by parents Aapeli and Iida Viljakainen and eight siblings.
He is survived by brother Leo Viljakainen, sons Paul Vilja Sr. and Jussi Vilja, daughter Liisa Vandermeer, grandchildren Nicholas (Diane Sater) Vandermeer, Jeanee Vilja and Justin (Jasmine) Vandermeer, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Kauai Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Marcelino Agojo Martinez
Marcelino Agojo Martinez, 86, of Hanamaulu, passed away peacefully at Wilcox Medical Center on Dec. 7, 2019, surrounded by his immediate family. Born on April 21, 1933, in Candelaria, Quezon, Philippines, he was the son of Sergio and Elena Agojo Martinez.
He was a retired seed cutter for both McBryde Sugar Company and Kauai Coffee.
He was preceded in death by parents, sisters Aquilina Martinez Banta, Olympia Martinez, Lolita Martinez Mintra and Olympia Martinez, brothers Cirilo Martinez, Jacinto Martinez and Luciano Martinez, and son-in-law SFC Allan Brown.
He is survived by his loving wife Francisca Martinez, daughters, Marissa (late SFC Allan Brown) Brown of California and Christine (Michael Gadol) Martinez of Mililani, granddaughter Abigail Gadol of Mililani, sisters Remedies Agojo Martinez of Madrid, Spain, Consortia Martinez Generoso of the Philippines and Linda (Virgilio) Valdecanas of Georgia, niece Neolita Bejo of Milipitas, California, and numerous in-laws, nieces, nephews and cousins.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, Jan. 4, at Immaculate Conception Church, with viewing from 8 to 9:30 a.m. and Mass celebrated at 10 a.m. Burial will follow at Kauai Memorial Gardens.
Borthwick Kauai Mortuary is assisting the family with arrangements.
Flora Gomes Duarte
Flora Gomes Duarte passed away on Nov. 15, 2019, at Wilcox Medical Center. Born on March 29, 1930, on Kauai, she was a senior secretary.
She was preceded in death by husband David Frank Duarte, parents Manuel and Albina Gomes, sisters Helen Jordan, Clara Jardin, Dorothy Rita, Marjorie Vidinha, Luara Duarte and Miriam Rita, and brother Manuel Gomes Jr.
She is survived by son Douglas (Roberta) Duarte of Washington, daughters Sylvia Duarte of California and Deedee (Yance) Tanaka of Eleele, grandchildren Robyn (Spencer) Jenkins Weber of Washington and Kiana (Kableb Kaiwi) Tanaka of Eleele, and great-grandchild Kelly Weber of Washington.
Services will be held on Saturday, Jan. 18, at Holy Cross Church in Kalaheo, with visitation from 8 to 9 a.m. and a celebration of life at 9 a.m. An inurnment will be held at Kauai Veterans Cemetery.