Obituaries for Sunday, September 19, 2021

Norine M. Kusaka

Norine M. Kusaka, 64, of Lihu‘e, passed away on July 21, 2021, at home. She was born in Lihu‘e on Nov. 5, 1956. She was the owner of NMK Janitorial Services.

She was preceded in death by father Yukitoshi H. Kusaka and brother Dwayne Kusaka.

She is survived by partner Valerie Nagano, mother Fely Kusaka, brother Royden (Weena) Kusaka, nieces Taylor, Jaylynn and Jayde, nephew Kimo, and numerous aunties, uncles and cousins.

A drive-by celebration of life will be held at Niumalu Beach Park pavilion on Saturday, Sept. 25, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Social distancing and masks are required.

Flordelina ‘Deling’ ‘Mama D’ Detoning Agustin

Flordelina “Deling” “Mama D” Detoning Agustin, 72, of Puhi, passed away at Straub Clinic and Hospital on Sept. 2, 2021. She was born in Maayon, Capiz, Philippines, on Aug. 15, 1949, and was the retired owner of Agustin Care Home.

She was preceded in death by husband Paustino Agustin, parents Lodgario and Maria Detoning and brother Rodrigo Detoning.

She is survived by son Tim (Britnai Sanysidro) Agustin, daughter Darlene (Tunu) Afele, grandchildren Tiara (Brendan) Rose, Kekoa Agustin, Tianne (Dominick) Abalos, Tialei Agustin, Tia Agustin, Kaikoa Agustin, Ka‘inoa Sanysidro-Agustin, Bristen Nagao, Ashlei (Kyle Nuivo) Nagao, Joshua Nagao, Blayze Afele and Rayne Afele, great-grandchildren Kala‘i Abalos, Aurora Rose, Orion Rose and Emi Nagao, sister Florentina Dolfo, and numerous aunties, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.

A celebration of life is Saturday, Sept. 25, at Aloha Church, with viewing from 8:30 a.m. and services at 10 a.m. Burial will follow at Kaua‘i Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home.

Due to COVID-19, social distancing and masks are required.

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

Jose Evangelista Bulatao Jr.

“Somewhere, over the rainbow, way up high, there’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby.” Jose Evangelista Bulatao Jr. sang his lullaby, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so,” after he said the Lord’s prayer. Then he closed his eyes as he traveled to that land on Aug. 15, 2021.

Jose E. Bulatao Jr. was born on Oct. 6, 1936 in Koloa, and was preceded in death by parents Jose Evangelista Bulatao and Guadalupe Ledesma Bulatao, youngest sister Rosalind Barbara Bulatao Franklin and nephew Jack Odo.

He is survived by sisters Millie (David/Duke) Wellington of ‘Ele‘ele, Mabel (Maybelle) Jean (Kaoru/Jackson) Odo of Kalaheo, and nieces and nephews with namesakes Wellington, Odo, Griffith, Reynolds, Dang, Leeloy, Iannucci, Parongao, Ponce, Melendez, Franklin and Fahnestock clans, including many relatives of the Bulatao and Courtezan families.

He imbedded his visionary prowess beginning in early childhood, which continued throughout adulthood. He did this from his most-miraculous resources of energy.

After graduating from Waimea High School, he was awarded a fully funded Kekaha Sugar Plantation Scholarship to attend the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, where he earned a teaching degree while continually being named on the Dean’s List of high achievers. This gave him the opportunity to be invited to join the honorary, prestigious membership of the Phi Delta Kappa.

Returning to Kaua‘i, he taught English at Kaua‘i High School, then transferred to his alma mater, where he boosted the school spirit through coaching the Pep Squad and directing musical plays.

Many years later, he accepted the position at Kauai Community College as a speech instructor. To his delight, he found that his classes were being filled by former students and those who had heard about his amazingly effective teaching style and his outstanding service to the community. He appreciated bonds of aloha with newly arriving families worldwide. He shared his talents by also coaching Miss Kaua‘i, Miss Hawai‘i, Miss Kaua‘i Filipina and Miss Hawai‘i Filipina contestants with their speeches and talents. He also enjoyed seeing his letters to the editor published in The Garden Island newspaper.

He showcased his artistic vision by being the founder of the infamous Bailes de Jose dance troupe, which performed statewide and on the mainland. His dancers made a promise to keep his legacy alive as a way to promote the Filipino culture. It was his passion to enhance his joy for music, dance and performing arts.

His happiest moments were during family gatherings. The family would gather around him with their guitars, saxophone, trumpet, clarinet or flute. and accompanied him with his incredible gift of playing the piano. They all sang in harmony that was followed with laughter as stories were shared. The family would feast on delicacies, and the end of the meal was usually completed by having a bowl of chicken papaya soup made by Jose. It was the “ahhh” moment of satisfaction.

He will be remembered for all of his contributions, which he did humbly without thought of drawing attention to himself. He was always addressed as “Mr.B,” an adoring nickname given when those in contact would exclaim, “If you want to succeed, go see Mr.B!”

A celebration of life and services will be held at a later date.

Garden Island Mortuary is assisting the family with arrangements.

Conchita Guillermo

Conchita Guillermo passed away on Sept. 9, 2021 at the age of 63, at Garden Isle Rehabilitation & Healthcare in Lihu‘e. She was born March 23, 1958 in Urdaneta, Pangasinan, Philippines. She worked in the hotel industry as a housekeeper.

She was preceded in death by son Harold Santos.

She is survived by husband Delfin Guillermo, son Michael (Merry Rose) Santos of Pangasinan, Philippines, daughters Jeniffer (Giovani) Santos of Pangasinan, Philippines, daughter-in-law Gerlyn Santos of Pangasinan, Philippines, 10 grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

The walk-thru visitation with the family is at Garden Island Mortuary on Saturday, Sept. 25, from 4 to 5 p.m., followed by a celebration of life. The family suggests casual attire and welcomes flowers.

Due to COVID-19, social distancing and face masks are required.

Garden Island Mortuary is assisting the family with arrangements.

Richard ‘Rick’ Prowse

Richard “Rick” Prowse, born Dec. 23, 1949, passed away at the age of 70 on Oct. 7, 2020. He was a fisherman, surfer, freediver, boat captain, water safety instructor, lifeguard, first aid and CPR instructor and a Junior Lifeguard coach. He also did volunteer work for the American Red Cross, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, American Heart Association and St. Catherine Church Food Pantry.

He was born and raised in the San Diego beach communities of South Mission, Pacific Beach and La Jolla, where he attended St. Brigid’s Academy and graduated from La Jolla High School in 1968. His dad, Art, was a boater, fisherman and hunter, and had an early influence on Rick’s love of the ocean, boats and catching fish.

His dad died suddenly when Rick was in grammar school. His mom, Florence (“Sandy”), was a sweet lady who as a widow raised Rick and his older brother Chris while holding down a fulltime job in the aerospace industry.

After high school, Rick traveled throughout Mexico surfing and fishing, and using the Spanish-language skills he developed from managing migrant-farm labor camps in Washington state during asparagus season. He moved to Hawai‘i in the mid-1970, and lived on the North Shore of O‘ahu until moving to Kaua‘i in the early 1980s. He taught ocean-rescue and boating-safety classes, and played a role as a leader and coach for Kauai’s first Junior Lifeguard program. He spent many years driving tour boats on the Napali Coast during the early days when inflatable boats were first adapted for sightseeing. During his nearly 40 years on Kaua‘i, Rick’s bodysurfing prowess achieved legendary status at many of the island’s best surf spots. Tall and lanky, Rick became known as “Stretch” in the lineup.

He was a kind-hearted soul, and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

He was preceded in death by his partner and friend Phyllis Graff, and survived by brother Chris Prowse and niece Carrie Prowse.

A memorial and paddle out are Saturday, Oct. 9, at ‘Anini Beach Park at 8 a.m. Please be prepared to observe all COVID-19 safety and health measures that are in place at that time.

Pacific Beach Mortuary and St. Catherine Church are assisting the family with arrangements.

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